Last year the BR-15 NEWMAC conference was the only D3 men’s basketball conference to put four teams into the national tournament—MIT, Babson College, Springfield College and WPI—all Massachusetts schools with 20 or more wins. In a conference that demands top form basketball every night, the BR-58 MIT Engineers (11-3, 4-0) have been tearing through the early goings of NEWMAC play.
Statistically, the Engineers have been averaging 66.2 points per game in conference competition and coupling that with the stingiest defense, which only allows 47.2 points per game—both numbers ranked 1st. After stomping Clark University 78-53 in the team’s first conference matchup by shooting 62.5 percent from the field; MIT’s first big test came against BR-26 WPI (13-2, 3-1) at home on Jan. 10. Junior guard Ryan Frankel played all 40 minutes and scored 14 points on 6-of-15 shooting to lead the Engineers to a close 51-46 victory. With a 4-0 record in conference play, the Engineers have outscored their opponents 265 to 189 tallying up a margin of victory of +19 while shooting a 51.3 percent clip from the field—an outstanding rate of efficiency as a team.
If the field goal percentage isn’t impressive enough, their efficiency from beyond the arc is even more incredible. Led by sharpshooting junior, Justin Pedley, who’s made 32 3-pointers this season; the team is shooting 42.9 percent from downtown.
Since 2009 the Engineers have captured four NEWMAC Tournament Championships, including an underdog championship crowning after last year’s campaign, which had them seeded at #4 in tournament.
With head coach Larry Anderson in his 20th season at the helm, the Engineers continue to bring in top tier talent from all over the country. Most D3 rosters in the Northeast consist of talent in the neighboring east coast states like Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts, but Anderson has eight players that came from no where near the east coast. With players from Texas, California, Washington and even Greece the recruiting reach that MIT has for their athletics gives them a leg up on the competition.
Being one of the world’s most notable institutions for science and engineering, the academic powers that MIT possesses allows for programs like men’s basketball to recruit higher level athletes who would rather take a MIT education over playing at a low-major D1 state school for example.
MIT most recently beat Springfield College by 20, 74-54, and look to improve to 5-0 in conference play as they prepare to take on BR-14 Babson College (13-2, 3-1) on Jan. 21 at home.
Live stream of the game can be watched HERE, tip-off is scheduled for 8:00PM ET.