http://www.courant.com/sports/hc-sp-cen ... story.htmlThe Central men’s basketball team hasn’t participated in the Northeast Conference Tournament since 2013-14, but Blue Devils senior forward Mustapha Jones, who joined the program the next season, is feeling more optimistic about it happening this year.
“It feels really good being that this is my last year,” Jones said. “It would be good to go out on a high note.”
Central (12-11, 5-5 NEC), with eight regular season games to go, is tied for sixth place. The top eight teams qualify for the conference tournament and, with the exception of two dates with in-state rival Sacred Heart, the remaining opponents all have better records than the Blue Devils, including first-place Wagner (15-6, 8-2), so things will be difficult the rest of the way.
What has happened at Central?
The junior college additions of Tyler Kohl (15.5 points, 7.8 rebounds), Deion Bute (11.2, 6.1) and Joe Hugley (8.9, 3.8) have paid off big time.
“They’ve been a bonus because they’re older, more mature, all battle-tested, and it’s helped us have a mixture of older guys and younger guys,” Blue Devils coach Donyell Marshall said. “A lot of people, when they take over a program, they always talk about year three is the year you’re supposed to start winning. If you look at the state of the program where it was, I don’t know if it would have been year three. It might have been year four, but I think with the way we were able to build with the addition of those guys, we were able to win faster.”
Kohl and Bute, who each have another season after this one, and Hugley, with two more seasons to play, are settling in at the Division I level. They give credit to players like Jones and junior guard Austin Nehls.
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