Last year Sacred Heart went to the Championship game of the Northeast Conference, losing to Central CT. They did so with a high powered offense and good shooting.
This year, many publications are picking Sacred Heart to win the NEC Championship and to go dancing. But so far, their shooting has gone astray, 34% from the field and 21% from the arc.
Sacred Heart has 5 guards that can stroke it from the outside: 6-0 sophomore Chauncey Hardy is quick and can penetrate, Corey Hassan is a 6-4 Sophomore transfer who started at Boston University, Ryan Litke is a 6-3 sophomore who is probably their best pure shooter, Drew Shubik is a 6-4 senior who can rebound, pass and is probably their best all-around player, and 6-6 Luke Granato is a streak shooter.
Those 5 guards will likey rotate at the PG, 2G, and SF positions. All of them average under 10ppg this year.
Upfront, Sacred Heart lost their best player to injury. Joey Henley is out for the season. Brice Brooks was a starter last year and is currently averaging 9ppg. Ryon Howard was injured last year but is their top rebounder this year at 7rpg. Both players are solid, experienced, and will get most of the minutes upfront.
The Stags will likey try to exploit Sacred Heart with their height, strength and inside game. Ironically, the Stags will likely use a similar strategy that they used in their win over American, which was to stop the guards, and exploit them on the inside with 6-7 Greg Nero and 6-8 Anthony Johnson.
Stags will likely start 2 freshmen at the wings in Yorel Hawkins and Warren Edney. They are talented but they will be going against experienced Sacred Heart players. This will be the matchup to watch.
Jon Han is coming off a very good game against American with 15pts and 7 assists. His experience and skill level give the Stags an edge at this posiition.
The question is which Stag team will show up. The one who outscored American by 17 in the 2nd half or the one who was down by 9 in the opening stanza.
The question about Sacred Heart is if they can regain their shooting from last year.
If both teams are on top of their game, it will be Sacred Heart's offense versus Fairfield's defense.
Let the Rivalry begin.