For an NEC fan, a star’s potential breakout is the best thing to dream about during the offseason. Imagining a player turning into the next Julian Boyd or the next Shane Gibson can carry fans through an entire summer. But how realistic are those dreams? Continue reading “Analyzing NEC Similarity Scores”
I’m sorry to break this to you kids, but life isn’t fair, hard work doesn’t always mean success, and the best team doesn’t always win.
That doesn’t mean, of course, that Siena was not the best team Sunday night at the Times Union Center, it most certainly was, scoring 64 points in the second half to erase a 17-point deficit and beat top-seeded Monmouth, 89-85 at the Times Union Center.
Nico Clareth, who was so injured he couldn’t play 24 hours earlier and only managed three hobbling minutes in the first half, scored 27 points in the final 17 minutes of the game, hitting 7-9 from three and at one point making five straight in a three-minute span. Even when he was closely guarded, he hit a turnaround in the final minute to seal the victory, and his performance – rightfully so – will join the annals of MAAC lore long after he graduates.
ALBANY, N.Y. — The Monmouth Hawks coasted to victory in their quarterfinal meeting with Niagara Friday night at the Times Union Center, but their easy win may have come at a costly price. Continue reading “Former Bench Mob Star Pillari Leads Monmouth On The Court”
Saint Peter’s Chazz Patterson became the first guard in six years to win the MAAC’s Defensive Player of the Year award Friday morning. Later this evening, a young man with the potential to replicate that feat in the years to come will take on the toughest assignment of his career. Continue reading “Niagara’s Chris Barton Embraces Top Defensive Assignment”
The MAAC handed out individual postseason awards Friday morning. Here’s a rundown of who took home the hardware: Continue reading “MAAC Announces Postseason Awards”
Monmouth enters this weekend’s conference tournament not only the hottest team in the MAAC, but riding one of the longest winning streaks in the nation. Continue reading “MAAC Tournament Primer: Monmouth”
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).
Monmouth defeated Siena 77-73 before a sellout home crowd for the Hawks’ 25th win of the season on Friday night. Justin Robinson scored 20 points, including six in the final minutes, to clinch the game for Monmouth. Two other seniors, Je’lon Hornbeak and Collin Stewart added 13 points apiece. Here’s the video recap.
Monmouth has entered a strange portion of its season which few have to deal with, and really – from a pure justice standpoint – doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Monmouth pummeled Fairfield, 82-62, Tuesday night at Webster Bank Arena for its 14th straight victory. The Hawks (24-5, 16-2) have already won their second straight MAAC title, yet still have two fairly difficult regular season games left: against Siena and at Iona.
Now in most of life’s pursuits, consistently over the long haul is rewarded. Monmouth is now 33-5 in MAAC play over the last two seasons, and as King Rice said afterward, if you watched the Hawks at the end of their time in the NEC or their first season in the MAAC, that is quite the accomplishment and deserves to be recognized as such by fans and the public at large.