After this weekend, the Monmouth bandwagon may have left the station. Meanwhile every MAAC team reached the win column and two other teams are on winning streaks.
In case you missed it, the Hawks won two out of three in Orlando, becoming just the second MAAC team to finish 3rd in the AdvoCare Invitational. By far their performance was the best the conference has had in their history in the event, as the Red Foxes in 2006 beat two teams that failed to reach .500. A more in-depth review is here on their weekend, but time to take a quick check of the most recent power rankings.
|MAAC Power Rankings|
|9||The remaining unmentioned Hawks|
|10||Shore Sports Network|
This week’s power rankings are brought to you by the Monmouth Hawks, not officially sponsoring it, but they did prove they belong with their play on the floor. They also proved to have the most entertaining group of bench celebrations, even so much so that they were told to tone it down on Sunday, according to the broadcast.
5 – The number of votes the Hawks received in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
16 – The number of spots Monmouth moved up in the College Insider Mid-Major Top 25. They are now 7th in the poll and the only MAAC team in the current top 25.
Conference play opens tonight with Iona hosting Fairfield. This game should be interesting, as the Stags have won three straight for the first time since the 2012-13 season and have done it by scoring 92.6 ppg over the last three games. The Stags close a stretch of eight games in the season’s first three weeks when they face Rider on Friday, which will provide be a good barometer for what Sydney Johnson’s group can do.
Other match ups of note include Monmouth and Quinnipiac going on the Buffalo trip, the Hawks swept the trip last season. Manhattan heads to Siena to open up MAAC play and Steve Masiello hopes to get RaShawn Stores and Ak Ojo back for their Friday night game.
Quotes of the Week
“Those guys are having a blast. We want to keep it on the court, but those guys are creative, they’re having fun. They’re a fun group of kids, so I encourage all of that.” – Monmouth head coach King Rice on WFAN with Ed Coleman
“Coach is always preaching to us to push the ball, push the ball.. once we do that, we can get up on teams really quick and they don’t know what hit them.” – Fairfield senior Marcus Gilbert on their overtime win over Columbia.
“It was almost like a death walk last season… Now we’re going and going and going.” Fairfield head coach Sydney Johnson on their offense after Friday’s overtime win.
“I told the guys, as Fordham was dribbling the clock out, remember this… It’s like Iona’s 70-67 three years ago, remember it. Let this be the fuel, when we come back in January because one thing I do like is, let us get angry about that, let us get mad about this. I think that’s great. I don’t shy away from that. I want them to feel this, I want them to feel the pain, because this is going to be our motivation come January and February.” – Steve Masiello on losing 87-64 at Fordham in the Battle of the Bronx.
“We did put an emphasis on three-point shooting in our recruiting, and we’re starting to see the benefits of that.” Quinnipiac head coach Tom Moore after their 69-59 win over NC Central
“I love it. I just love to compete and I love the game. Coach Patsos told us every game in the MAAC and every game we’re gonna play is gonna come down to the last four minutes. It’s gonna be close every time and that’s what we’re ready for.” – Siena junior Marquis Wright on winning two straight overtime games.
Ryan Restivo wrote the America East conference preview for the 2015-16 Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. He covers the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the America East conference among others for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanarestivo or contact Ryan at rrestivo[at]nycbuckets.com.