It’s awards day and now it’s time to release the final Big Apple Buckets Power Poll of the season. The voters here have made a strong statement that making the NCAA tournament in a one-bid league doesn’t determine a team’s worth, but it can help.
The Stony Brook Seawolves were a near unanimous pick for the top spot in the poll. All four of the top teams played in either the NCAA tournament or the NIT. There were numerous disagreements about teams moving forward. Rider was the final team that received votes from the four of us.
Voters: Ryan P., Ryan R., Jaden Daly (A Daly Dose of Hoops) and John T.
Final Big Apple Buckets Power Poll:
1. Stony Brook – 39 points: The way SBU consistently stayed in games is a testament to the veteran talent this team had on its roster – and the great play of freshman Jameel Warney. Winning a game in the NIT just showed how strong the Seawolves were this season, even if they didn’t get to the Big Dance. – John
2. Iona – 35 points: The Gaels’ stretch of six losses by three points or less in seven games was minimized by their MAAC tournament run, then they ran into a buzzsaw in Ohio State. Tim Cluess should still be in decent shape next year despite losing Momo Jones and Taaj Ridley. – Jaden
3. St. John’s – 31 points: The Red Storm lost a lot of momentum when D’Angelo Harrison was suspended at the end of the regular season, yet somehow managed to win a game in the NIT. The talent is there, but the coaching sometimes isn’t, and that’s something Steve Lavin needs to work on now that he knows what life is like without Mike Dunlap. – Jaden
4. LIU Brooklyn – 29 points: Props to Jack Perri for somehow getting the Blackbirds to their third straight NCAA tournament, even after losing Julian Boyd. It’s too bad they were overmatched against JMU in Dayton. – Ryan P.
5. Manhattan – 19 points: Steve Masiello changed this team’s identity and the Jaspers were just a few minutes away from making the NCAA tournament in Springfield, MA. That type of finish is what most of the non-postseason teams in the area lacked. – John
6. Rutgers – 13 points: Mike Rice almost had this team in the postseason until Eli Carter went down. With nearly everyone other than Austin Johnson and Dane Miller coming back, the experience should help the Scarlet Knights contend before their move to the Big Ten. – Jaden
7. Rider – 12 points: This was season one of the Kevin Baggett era and after finishing second in the MAAC and making a nice run in the CIT the Broncs showed that the future is brighter in NJ. They’ll be a dynamic team again next season. – John
8. Princeton – 10 points: I would have them higher, but brutal road losses to Yale and Brown certainly cost them, not to mention a shot at the Ivy League title. – Ryan P.
9. Wagner – 10 points: When Rivers, Burton, and others finally were healthy, there was a strong feeling that Wagner could win the NEC tournament. They fell short, of course, but a 12-6 conference record after losing Tyler Murray and Chris Martin, while getting little production out of Dwaun Anderson isn’t all that bad for first-year head coach Bashir Mason. – Ryan P.
10. Seton Hall – 9 points: My, how the mighty have fallen. Of course, I think Kevin Willard’s team would beat any of the five teams above them right now, but losing 16 of your last 19 games must go punished. Especially after a cupcake non-conference schedule that had observers thinking this team was ready to join the middle of the pack in the Big East. – Ryan P.
Others receiving votes: Fairfield (7), Marist (3), Army (2), NJIT (1)