New Head Coach Sellers Takes Basketball to the NEC Tournament in First Season


CCSU senior Stephane Ayangma hangs on the rim after dunking the ball at Detrick Gymnasium on Feb. 12, 2022.

Andrew DeCapua, Sports Editor

With a new head coach at the helm, the Central Connecticut basketball team won eight games during the 2021-2022 season and ended with a trip to the Northeast Conference Tournament. The Blue Devils’ eight wins are the most they have had in a year since the 2018-2019 season.

In his first year leading the Blue Devils, head coach Patrick Sellers brought some excitement back to CCSU basketball. In what was a rebuilding year for the Blue Devils, Sellers improved on the win totals of the previous two seasons under former head coach Donyell Marshall. The Blue Devils finished the 2021-2022 season with an 8-24 (.250) overall record and a 4-13 (.235) conference record.

The Blue Devils struggled to start the season with a young group of players by dropping their first five games. They picked up their first win in an out-of-conference game against the University of Maine. The Blue Devils defeated the Black Bears 64-56 in that one. They would win three more games outside of the NEC and just four inside the conference.

Despite ending the regular season in last place in the NEC standings, the Blue Devils were still invited to participate in the NEC Tournament. Before the season, the NEC had announced that both the men’s and women’s tournaments would be temporarily expanded for one year to include all eligible teams. The Blue Devils would defeat Fairleigh Dickinson University, 67-66, in the play-in round of the NEC Tournament but fell to the eventual NEC Champions, Bryant University, in the next round.

Junior Nigel Scantlebury led the Blue Devils in averaging 13.4 points per game during the 2021-2022 season. He shot 42% from the field and 41.4% behind the three-point line. Freshman Andre Snoody led the Blue Devils in rebounding with 7.1 boards per game.

As a team, the Blue Devils averaged 61.8 points per game while allowing 72.1 points per game to oppose teams. CCSU averaged only 10.6 assists per game and turned the ball over 13.8 times per game during the 2021-2022 season.

With only one senior, Stephane Ayangma, on the team, the Blue Devils will return a young core of players and look to build on their eight-win season and get back to the NEC Tournament for real this time.  So far this off-season, the Blue Devils have signed letters of commitment from just one player, TJ Holloway. Holloway is a 6-foot-4 guard from Orange, CT. He is a versatile player that can play multiple positions and should help the Blue Devils right away.

“It is exciting to add a player of TJ’s caliber to the Central Connecticut basketball family,” said Sellers. “He is a versatile and athletic individual who can help us at multiple positions offensively and defensively. We are excited to have TJ join our program and help us continue building a successful program.”