MAAC teams have started to reach their first checkpoint of the season: final exams. Yet the season has just started and there has been plenty of disorder to sort through.
Here are a few numbers from the past week.
81 – That is the KenPom ranking of the MAAC’s best team, which for the first time this season is Monmouth. The Hawks, with their win over Wagner on Sunday, are now off to their best start since the 2003-04 season (6-3).
83.9 – That is the number of the second highest MAAC scoring offense, which surprisingly is the Canisius Golden Griffins. So far they’ve tied the school record for three-pointers at home (16) in their win over Monmouth and despite losses this past week to Penn State and Kent State, they still have managed to be an effective offense. Canisius and Siena are the only two teams that have five players averaging double-digit points per game.
7 – Monday’s ‘Jasper count’, according to our Ray Curren.
Even as Manhattan is reduced to seven scholarship players, they managed to pick up a 71-60 victory Monday over St. Francis Brooklyn.
2 – That’s the number of wins Rider has this season after picking up their second win with their 10-point win at Charleston Southern. They would have picked up two wins if it wasn’t for a one-handed slam in the final seconds against Wagner.
We all wish we could fly. @WagnerHoops Dwaun Anderson can. And putback dunk. For the win. #TopThis #SCTop10 #NECMBB https://t.co/2ORB47EgVr
— Northeast Conference (@NECsports) December 9, 2015
Here’s a quick look at the league, through the latest RPI data released on Monday against the conference’s preseason rankings to see how they compare. The answer is a surprise.
Quotes of the Week:
“Will is a master psychologist. We do get along. We’re funny me and him. We could drive to California no problem together. we’d have lots to talk about and different theories. I’d want to go south and he’d want to go north. But we would agree. Come on, they won three titles in a row.” – Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos responding to Albany head coach Will Brown’s comment that the pressure to win resides on the Saints to win the Albany Cup
“I can’t believe people even thought about getting rid of this game. That was a lot of fun.” – Siena junior Brett Bisping after his first career Albany Cup win
“It’s absolutely hard for me, but that’s what I signed up for. If it has to be done, I want to do it. Winning is everything to me, so I’ll do whatever it takes.” – Quinnipiac’s Gio McLean after their 68-66 win over Hartford
“This was fun, the crowd was really great from start to finish. It was fun to finally be able to come back and play in front of our crowd, but we knew just because we came back home, we weren’t going to win the game. We knew we had to play, so we focused on getting stops and scoring when we could.” – Monmouth sophomore Micah Seaborn after their home-opening win over Wagner
“Does it matter if you go 20-0 and lose the MAAC tournament? I don’t want to lose, but at the end of the day it comes down to what we do on three nights in Albany this year. End of the day, that’s what my program plays for: to go to the NCAA Tournament. That’s what I’m about. If I lose in the semis, ask me how I feel then. But until that point, it’s about a process. People who don’t have belief in their process and their system, they panic now. We don’t panic. We know what’s important. We know what matters.” – Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello, after their 72-71 loss to Columbia
“Our kids, I wanted them to have fun, but how do you control that? For our school, we needed that. We feel like we have a great place over here and we needed some kind of way to get people to know.” – Monmouth head coach King Rice on how his team’s popularity has accelerated early in the season
“Chaise was our energy spark. When he’s out, you can feel him missing on the court. He talks, he’s the voice, he’s got the passion and aggression, everything you look for in a player.” – Quinnipiac freshman Abdulai Bundu said of Chaise Daniels’ injury
“His IQ and his poise are beyond his years for sure and he’s probably one of the most poised and best IQ guys I’ve coached here, and that’s saying a lot for a freshman.” – Saint Peter’s head coach John Dunne on freshman Antwon Portley
“We buy the papers, I woke up today and told my wife, fuck we missed the game. She said what game the Hofstra game, I said we missed it, she said why I said because Bob wrote an article about the Albany game the preview of the Albany was today in his fine paper so I had like a Rip Van Winkle moment so then I went and got your paper so then I was okay just giving you little heads up” – Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos, after their win over Hofstra.
Games to Watch: Tuesday: Monmouth at Georgetown 7:30 p.m. Fox Sports 1, Saturday: Iona at Rhode Island 7 p.m., Rider at Providence 8 p.m. YES Network
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.