Iona did not have a fourth-year senior to lead their charge back to the NCAA Tournament. So instead, they turned to a freshman. Continue reading “Rookie Crawford Comes Through Late As Iona Captures MAAC Title In OT Thriller”
A pair of prodigal sons will square off in tonight’s MAAC championship game. Siena’s Nico Clareth and Iona’s Deyshonee Much each took a leave of absence from their respective programs this season, but as Monday night rolls around, they will be among the players their teams turn to in the most crucial game of the year. Continue reading “After Leaving Programs Earlier This Year, Much And Clareth Can Bring Home A Title”
ALBANY, N.Y. – Ho-hum, Iona is headed to another MAAC title game. Just business as usual for Tim Cluess and company. Continue reading “The Iona Train Keeps Rolling With A Fifth Straight Title Game”
The Iona Gaels enter this weekend’s MAAC tournament as the reigning champions, but lack the target most teams seeking back to back titles would wear on their back. Continue reading “MAAC Tournament Primer: Iona”
The MAAC announced all-league teams Monday afternoon with few surprises. Monmouth, which on Sunday became the first MAAC team to win 18 league games, placed two players on the First Team, including likely Player of the Year Justin Robinson. Saint Peter’s, Siena, Canisius, and Rider all saw multiple players receive all-league honors, with Iona and Quinnipiac receiving additional recognition on the all-Rookie team.
*denotes a unanimous selection
Justin Robinson – Monmouth*
Jordan Washington – Iona*
Tyler Nelson – Fairfield
Micah Seaborn – Monmouth
Quadir Welton – Saint Peter’s
Robinson, the leader of the Hawks and the league’s top scorer at 19.7 ppg, earned his third First Team selection and is the odds-on favorite to become the fourth MAAC player to repeat as Player of the Year this Friday. He would be the first to capture the award in consecutive seasons since Manhattan’s Luis Flores in 2003 and 2004. Teammate Micah Seaborn (13.5 ppg) also benefited from the Hawks’ impressive year, as the sophomore made the jump from Third Team a year ago to the top five this season.
Iona’s Jordan Washington joined Robinson as a unanimous selection with good reason. The senior forward established himself as the MAAC’s premier post player, ranking fourth in the league at 17.7 ppg and fifth with 7.5 rebounds per contest. Tyler Nelson led the way in Fairfield’s late push to capture a first-round bye, and was properly rewarded with a First Team spot. The junior ranks second in the league in scoring at 18.9 ppg and will enter next season as a favorite for Player of the Year honors. Quadir Welton rounds out the top five, and was the driving force behind Saint Peters’ run for the second spot in the league. The senior forward checks in at 11.8 ppg and 8.0 rpg, and helped the Peacocks become the league’s top defensive squad.
Kassius Robertson – Canisius
Khallid Hart – Marist
Trevis Wyche – Saint Peter’s
Brett Bisping – Siena
Marquis Wright – Siena
Saint Peter’s sees its second honoree in the form of point guard Trevis Wyche. The senior averaged 11.2 ppg and 3.8 assists per game while leading a surprisingly potent Peacocks offense which ranks fourth in Offensive Efficiency in league play according to KenPom.com. Marist senior Khallid Hart makes a repeat appearance on the Second Team after ranking third in the league with 18.0 ppg despite the Red Foxes’ disappointing season.
Kassius Robertson, who led the Golden Griffins and placed seventh in the league with 16.5 ppg, earned his first all-MAAC honor as a junior while Siena seniors Brett Bisping and Marquis Wright represent the Saints’ two all-league selections. Bisping nearly averaged a double-double with 12.2 ppg and 9.6 rpg while Wright solidified his role as Siena’s facilitator by averaging 4.9 apg and matched Robertson at 16.5 ppg.
Jermaine Crumpton – Canisius
Zane Waterman – Manhattan
Matt Scott – Niagara
Jimmie Taylor – Rider
Kahlil Thomas – Rider
Canisius’ second representative shows up on the Third Team in the form of Jermaine Crumpton. The junior helped lead the Golden Griffins’ early surge, and finished just behind teammate Robertson with 16.2 ppg but added an additional 4.9 rebounds per contest. Manhattan’s Zane Waterman became another to make his first appearance on an all-MAAC squad. With season averages of 14.5 ppg and 7.1 rpg along with three 20+ point performances to end the year, the honor is well-deserved despite the Jaspers’ last-place finish.
Niagara’s Matt Scott makes a return appearance on the Third Team after filling the stat sheet with 17.3 ppg (fifth in the league), 7.0 rpg, and 3.0 apg. For the second year in a row, Rider placed a pair on the final all-MAAC squad. Kahlil Thomas also repeats as a Third Team selection by nearly averaging a double-double with 14.1 ppg and 8.9 rpg, while Jimmie Taylor’s 15.7 ppg leads the Broncs, who closed the season on a three-game winning streak powered by an impressive offensive surge.
E.J. Crawford – Iona*
Mikey Dixon – Quinnipiac*
Peter Kiss – Quinnipiac*
Stevie Jordan – Rider*
Malik Johnson – Canisius
Quinnipiac’s duo of Mikey Dixon and Peter Kiss captured ten Rookie of the Week honors including the final eight of the year. Dixon (16.8 ppg) ranks sixth in the league in scoring and is on pace to break the all-divisions school scoring record of 16.7 set by Frank Berretta in 1979-80 at the Division II level, while Kiss (13.3 ppg) is on pace to break Rob Monroe’s Division I record of 13.0. Kentucky, St. John’s, and UCLA are the only schools in the nation to receive a higher combined scoring average from their top two freshmen.
Iona’s E.J. Crawford established himself as a valuable player on the wing of Iona’s high-powered offense and finished the season with 9.7 ppg while shooting 45% from behind the arc. The final two honorees displayed a penchant for sharing the ball: Stevie Jordan (11.5 ppg) leads the MAAC with 5.8 apg and became a critical piece of Kevin Baggett’s starting lineup amidst four seniors. Malik Johnson, recruited by former Canisius coach Jim Baron before his retirement, ranks fifth in the league with 4.2 assists per contest.
Vincent Simone covers the MAAC, Hofstra, and more for NYC Buckets. You can follow him on Twitter @VTSimone.
If you’re reading this, it’s extremely likely you are a member of the choir and have been singing with us for a few years (and we thank you), but it feels like this is a good time to appreciate what Monmouth has accomplished this season. The Hawks finished the 2016-17 regular season at 26-5, winning the last 16 of them, and capturing their second straight MAAC title, this one by four games over their nearest competitor, Saint Peter’s.
They finished six games ahead of third place Iona, who just happened to be their opponents Sunday in the season finale. The Hawks led for most of the second half and held on for a 79-73 win at the Hynes Center, the second straight year they’ve won there. While Manhattan recently won back-to-back MAAC Tournament titles, it was Iona who had won three of the last four conference regular season titles before Monmouth (can you name the other? Niagara).
Iona kept its hopes alive for the #2 seed in the upcoming MAAC tournament with a 72-51 thrashing of crosstown rival Manhattan Friday night at the Hynes Athletic Center in New Rochelle. Continue reading “Iona 72, Manhattan 51 – Gaels Prove Much The Best”
As they say, it’s like déjà vu all over again. In a scene reminiscent of their win in New Rochelle last season, Siena stormed back from a 13 point second half deficit to upend Iona 81-79 Tuesday night. Continue reading “Siena 81, Iona 79: The Return of Nico Clareth”
At the midpoint of the MAAC season, it’s worth examining where each team in the league stands and where they might end up over the next six weeks. Here is a team-by-team analysis based on the current standings, along with mid-season all-MAAC teams: Continue reading “MAAC Midpoint”
Deyshonee Much, Schadrac Casimir, and Jordan Washington, by most measures the three top returning players for defending MAAC champion Iona, sat on the bench next to Tim Cluess as Mikey Dixon – Quinnipiac’s freshman star in waiting – drilled a three-pointer to cut the Iona lead to a single point Monday night at the Hynes Center.
With 7:20 left, this is usually the juncture where the coach making a point to his players and team relents and resorts back to his “best” team on the floor for crunch time. But Cluess never even looked down the bench. His veteran trio never saw the floor the rest of the way, and Iona … pulled away for an 84-74 victory, continuing a remarkable streak of never being swept in the regular season by a MAAC opponent under Cluess (seven seasons).
Washington was the biggest omission, a potential MAAC Player of the Year candidate when playing well, but he struggled Monday (9 pts., 7 rebs., 6 turnovers) and compounded his tough night by picking up a fourth foul 20 feet from the basket with 9:45 left. As soon as he got to the sideline, Iona (13-8, 6-4) was hit with a bench technical, that may or may not have been due to something Washington said (it was not directly charged to him or it would have been his fifth foul).