Masiello wants Jaspers to never give up

Steve Masiello wants to teach his new Manhattan squad to never give up, even when they’re playing each other.

The new Jaspers head coach started the first half on the sidelines, a patient observer, content to find teaching moments in Manhattan’s annual Green & White scrimmage and have assistants lead the way, but as the White team fell behind by 17 early in the second half, he moved over to the home bench to offer some encouragement.

“I was trying to get them to buy into a ‘Never give up’ attitude,” Masiello said. “I was trying to get them understand that the game is never out of reach and they actually cut it to five and had an opportunity.”
The White team got the Green lead to five on three separate occasions in the final 10 minutes. That fight is important to Masiello, as he brings an exciting, but highly variable style of play to the Jaspers.

“A lot times what happens in this style of play, you can get down and if you have mental toughness you can make comebacks,” Masiello said. “I’ve been in games down 20, 24, and second half come  back and won the game. So it’s a mindset, it’s a mentality and that’s what we’re trying to instill.”

The White team fell behind by so much due to one of the biggest problems of youth, turnovers. Neither team was particularly strong with the ball as Masiello’s aggressive, pressing defense was on display throughout, but the White team had 29 turnovers to just nine assists in the game.

While the Green team turned the ball over 22 times, they helped offset it with 19 turnovers and strong play from junior guard George Beamon. The preseason All-MAAC Second Team honoree finished the game with 29 points on 12-18 shooting. He also had eight rebounds and three steals while often being asked to use his superior athleticism on the backside of the press.

“I felt I was ready,” Beamon said about the new start to the season. “We just made it work.”

On the other side of the ball, freshman Emmy Andujar showed a strong all-around game with 11 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks, but Masiello said he’d grade the game a D.

“I wasn’t happy with him,” Masiello said. “Now he’s going to be terrific. He’s great. Now the level expectation I have for him is extremely high. I’d hold him to that if he was a senior.”

That’s probably because Masiello is going to rely on players like Andujar and Donovan Kates, who struggled with his shot on Thursday but still grabbed 10 rebounds, to contribute from the first game of the season against NJIT. In order for Manhattan to be successful those players are going to have to limit their mistakes.

Part of that is due to Manhattan’s lack of size, especially bigs that can make an impact in offense. Rhamel Brown showed some good things around the basket and finished with nine points and 15 rebounds, but he also had seven turnovers. Center Djibril Coulibay was 0-2 in 15 minutes of action and freshman Ryan McCoy had 11 rebounds, four assists and four steals, but he also gave the ball away nine times.

“It’s good to get the guys out into a game setting just to see where they’re at,” Masiello said. “It was a lot of good things, a lot of bad things, but overall it was a good night.”

Notes: Due to the high turnovers neither side finished with an offensive efficiency over a point per possession. Green was at 0.91 and White was 0.79. … Michael Alvarado had eight assists in 37 minutes for the White team. The most assists he had during his freshman season was nine against Binghamton. … Assistants Matt Grady (Green) and Scott Padgett (White) were the coaches of record. … The Jaspers get another tune up on November 5 against Adelphi.

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