Monmouth needed an unlikely comeback to keep their stranglehold on the top of the MAAC standings and will be tested down the stretch here.
Here are the numbers to know from the last week of play:
0.9% – That is the win probability of Monmouth’s chances, down 76-64 with 3:10 left, but closed the game on a 15-2 run from there to win 79-78 at Rider. Thanks to this game winner from Justin Robinson, who has almost locked himself in on the conference’s Player of the Year award.
42 – The number of points Siena freshman Nico Clareth put together over the last week of MAAC play. He made 73% of his two-pointers, 55% of his three-pointers, compiled seven assists and 10 rebounds. The rookie is angling for the MAAC Rookie of the Year honors, should he keep this up, and has helped the Saints fill a void of losing junior Marquis Wright.
10 – The number of points Monmouth earned in Monday’s AP poll.
37.2% – Quinnipiac’s two-point field goal percentage, which still ranks last in the country according to KenPom.
Current MAAC Tournament Setup: Thursday night 8 Canisius vs 9 Quinnipiac, 7 Rider vs 10 Niagara, 6 Manhattan vs 11 Marist. Friday 1 Monmouth vs 8-9 winner, 2 Iona vs 7-10 winner. Saturday 3 Siena vs 6-11 winner, 4 Saint Peter’s vs 5 Fairfield.
Tweet of the Week: This one fits the bill for Rider senior Shawn Valentine, who put together his best game ever on a day just for him…
Instagram Post of the Week
This @sienasaints fan was quite pleased with the outcome of today’s game. #SienaSaints
A video posted by Siena Men’s Basketball (@sienambb) on
Photo of the Week
Here’s a great shot by our Vincent Simone of someone you don’t want to get in the way of: Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos.
Quotes of the Week
“They’re gonna do more tomorrow and try to find out [more]. I just asked them. I have not talked to the trainer. I tried not to even tell the guys at halftime. They’re going to do more x-rays.Deon said to me it was (broken) in two places.” – Monmouth head coach King Rice on senior Deon Jones’ injury during the first half of their win over Manhattan
“If we can manage to start playing a bit better, we can end up with a top 5 seed. That’s exactly what you want to do going into the tournament. We definitely have had the hardest schedule in conference up to this point, because there were so many road games that we’ve played. We have an opportunity in front of us, we have some games bunched in, we just have to deal with that.” – Saint Peter’s head coach John Dunne on the team’s critical stretch entering last week
“We want you to be like A.J. English, just not go to Iona.” – Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos on his recruiting pitch to freshman Nico Clareth
“I’ve never been prouder of our team. We’ve been through an awful lot, and I thought we played very, very well and deserved to win.” – Marist head coach Mike Maker on his team’s loss to Fairfield on Monday night
“We knew we couldn’t lose to Marist. We needed this game to finish in the top five and get that bye (in the MAAC Tournament). The guys never quit and we made plays down the stretch to win the game.” – Fairfield freshman Jerry Johnson, Jr. on his career-high 25 point performance in the Stags 76-73 win over Marist
“The first thing Brian Cashman said was ‘God, looks like you and 31 are joined at the hip. You’ve both got that fire and anger, and not pretty, bull in a china shop thing, but wow is he an unbelievable player.’ I said ‘Yeah, cause he goes hard.’ I think Brett has led this team with his energy.” – Patsos on a conversation regarding junior Brett Bisping he had with longtime friend and Yankees GM Brian Cashman, who attended the Saints’ 81-78 win at Iona Saturday afternoon.
“Our overall shooting numbers were not what we’re capable of doing. You’re not going to beat a team with all that size if you don’t shoot the ball better. We had all the looks we wanted, and we got plenty of them, we just didn’t make them.” – Iona head coach Tim Cluess on their loss against Siena
“No, listen the guy gets the rebound and steps out of bounds with it late in the game, it should be our ball and it’s not. Foot was completely out of bounds. We have a chance to win the game at that point, and this happened all game long. The other coach is on the court all game long. Okay, get him off the freaking court.” – Iona head coach Tim Cluess on late game calls in their loss against Siena
“This team three years ago, I don’t know if we could have accomplished what we’re doing now just because I would’ve been too stubborn. What I’ve learned is we might not do certain things well that our typical teams have done, but we might actually do other things a little better than certain teams have done.” – Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello on learning how to adjust through his experience
“We lost so many games where we played bad offense for the whole game but kept going to the well and holding teams to 35-36%. As a coach you look at it like you wasted a great defensive performance, and a night like tonight you get one half of defense and don’t get the other one, it’s a shame to lose this game.” – Quinnipiac head coach Tom Moore on their struggles in their loss to Manhattan
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.