After finishing 6-25 last season and tying for last place in the MAAC with Marist at 3-15, Manhattan can only go up. Steve Masiello has inherited a tough task. He needs to rebuild the team with young talent that can stick around and be part of a revival for the Jaspers. This first class might not be enough to get Manhattan immediately out of its doldrums, but hopefully the class can help spur the rebuilding movement.
The good news for the Jaspers is they don’t lose much in terms of graduating personnel. The biggest loss is Demetrius Jemison. The transfer from Alabama was 93rd in the country last season in defensive rebounding percentage and averaged 10.4 PPG and 8.6 RPG. It’ll be important to replace his presence in the front court.
Masiello though has brought in a lot of guards with this new class. That makes sense given his coaching background at Louisville. The more waves of talented players you have to throw at an opponent, the less they can do to counter it. (Or so the theory goes.) Still, since Ryan McCoy was recruited originally by Barry Rohrssen, Masiello has locked down just one big man, Emmy Andujar. All reports said that Andujar is a great glue guy and Masiello’s own “On the Road” blog post from July 26 affirmed that notion. The other big man in the class is the 6’8 McCoy. A good shooter with high basketball IQ, McCoy, like many freshmen bigs, will need to work on his body in order to make an impact at the collegiate level.
The guards though are ready to make an instant impact. Masiello plucked 6’6 wingman Donovan Kates from his old stomping grounds in Hopkinsville, Kentucky and it sounds like he could be a steal. He’s got great shooting range and it seems like he’s taken well to collegiate training programs. Kates appears to be a player that could blossom with the Jaspers.
It also sounds like another backcourt recruit, DeCarlos Anderson, is going to get the chance to make an impact this season. Anderson was described in scouting reports as more of a combo guard that uses his strength to score. That’s going to be a tough road to follow during his freshman season, but the Jaspers were 283rd in the nation in offensive efficiency last season, so they’ll take all the help they can get.
One player who will be helping, but you won’t see on the court this season is walk-on RaShawn Stores. He’s going to sit out this season in preparation for 2012-13. Stores is from the Bronx. He went to All Hallows before going to prep schools the past two seasons.
Obviously, even though he’s sitting out this season, Stores, like the rest of his class, will have to make a big impact for Masiello’s first campaign to be a successful one.