Picking at the previews: Iona

Now, I hate to pick on Brian Lester after yesterday’s discussion about the NEC, but his predictions in Lindy’s for Metro Athletic Athletic Conference just left me scratching my head. Yes, Fairfield is talented, but how could anyone pick Iona third in the MAAC?

Apparently by picking Rider second. The theory Lester must be going with is that Jeff Jones, a transfer from Virginia, is going to be one of the best players in the MAAC. This is very likely, but is he enough to raise the Broncs up to the second spot in the conference after losing Justin Robinson (15.2 PPG last season) and Mike Ringgold (12.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG)? Tommy Dempsey is a really good coach, but it seems like a little bit of a stretch. (Here’s one smart take on why Rider could be dangerous by Raphielle Johnson.)

But you’ll hear no arguments from me with Fairfield in the No. 1 spot. A lot of smart people have picked the Stags to finish at the top of the MAAC standings. Sydney Johnson has inherited a team that’s got some serious punch.

But that still doesn’t mean I understand the love for Derek Needham. He’s a 5’11 guard that averaged 14.1 PPG and 3.0 RPG. What makes him the Preseason Player of the Year in Lester’s mind? Iona’s Mike Glover, Jones or even Needham’s incoming teammate Rakim Sanders seem like more logical choices.

On the other hand, watch out for Emmanuel Andujar of Manhattan. That’s a really insightful pick for Newcomer of the Year (if that only means freshman). He should have a big impact for Steve Masiello.

Can Manhattan climb above its projected eighth place finish? It’ll depend on just how well Masiello is able to implement the principles he learned at Louisville under Rick Pitino and how prepared the rest of the MAAC is for that relentless pressure. The whole conference should be in for a great race from the top on down.

Note: Athlon has Iona first in the MAAC followed by Fairfield and Rider. Glover and Scott Machado are on the All-MAAC First Team. Manhattan is once again picked eighth.

One thought on “Picking at the previews: Iona

  1. I was also shocked at Lester’s picks for the MAAC. How does Scott Machado not make 1st or 2nd team after making 1st team last year? I really question is knowledge of the conference and how much he has seen.


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