Men’s basketball: 2021-2022 season leaves more questions than answers


Kayla Shiao

Northeastern University men’s basketball team finished with a 9-20 regular season record and last-place CAA conference finish.

Nicholas Tesoriero, news staff

After going 10-9 in the 2020-2021 COVID-19-shortened season, the Northeastern University men’s basketball team stumbled to a 9-20 regular season record and last-place CAA conference finish this year. A glaring 2-16 record in conference play was emblematic of the Huskies’ multitude of struggles.

The transfer of sophomore guard Tyson Walker to Michigan State University left a massive hole in the Huskies’ rotation. Walker was the team’s top scorer and facilitator in the 2020-2021 season; he averaged 18.8 points and 4.8 assists per game, en route to an All-CAA first team selection.

After Walker’s departure, the team struggled to generate offense, a problem exacerbated by the undisclosed season-ending injury sustained by graduate student guard Tyreek Scott-Grayson. Prior to the January injury, Scott-Grayson recorded 12.3 points and 2.5 assists per game in a small sample of six games.

Injuries and departures were not the only reasons to blame for the Huskies lackluster performance, as minimal internal development among key contributors also stagnated the team.

Despite being one of the most productive players on the roster, sophomore guard Jahmyl Telfort did not make the leap the team needed. He averaged 12.6 points and 1.8 assists per game this year, a marginal increase from the 11.8 points and 1.4 assists he recorded as a freshman. 

Expectations were high for Telfort after he was named a Kyle Macy Award finalist for being one of the nation’s top freshman players. Although his production was solid, he was unable to carry NU’s offensive load.

Another setback for the team was the lack of distributors on offense, as they posted a mere 11.4 assists to 14 turnovers per game. Consistently losing the turnover battle took the Huskies out of many games, as they struggled to compete with a deficit of talent.

It was not all bad however, as the addition of redshirt junior forward Chris Doherty generated success. Doherty flourished this season as he consistently dominated the paint on both ends of the court. He averaged 11.8 points per game on an efficient 58.5% from the field and 75% from the free throw line. Doherty blocked 0.9 shots per game and drew plenty of fouls. He pulled in 8.9 rebounds per game, the 26th highest mark in the NCAA.

A sour regular season did not stop NU from putting forth an encouraging showing in this year’s CAA tournament.

Despite the inter-conference woes the team faced all season, the Huskies defeated No. 8 seed College of William & Mary in the first round 68-63. NU split the regular season series against the Tribe this season before knocking the team off in the tournament.

The victory propelled them to the second round where they faced CAA conference leader, top-seeded Towson University. Although the Huskies ultimately lost 61-68, they played a good team to the wire, and should feel encouraged by the strong showing.

2021-22 was a season filled with struggles, but the impressive finish provides some reason for optimism. A return of Scott-Grayson would provide much needed scoring and playmaking while reducing the pressure on Telfort to handle the ball. Furthermore, junior guard Joe Pridgen, acquired during last year’s transfer window, will make his debut next season after missing the entire season due to injury.

High-level guard play will be key as the team looks to right the ship. NU men’s basketball will return this November.