Manhattan 71, Iona 68

For the first time in ten years, the Manhattan Jaspers are headed to the Big Dance. Manhattan defeated New York rival Iona 71-68 in the MAAC championship game Monday night, avenging their own three-point loss in the same championship game last year. Continue reading “Manhattan 71, Iona 68”

Forecasting the MAAC Tournament

Today marks the start of the MAAC tournament, and we at Big Apple Buckets thought it would be worthwhile to take a closer look at each team in their quest to represent the MAAC in the NCAA Tournament.  Each team makes the trip to Springfield with a different set of pros and cons, and dealing with different sets of highs and lows that go beyond simple numbers. Continue reading “Forecasting the MAAC Tournament”

Season At A Glance — Manhattan

This is the ninth (and final) of the capsules for each of the NYC teams when I’m sure their season has concluded.

Team: Manhattan

Record: 21-13 (12-6 in the MAAC)

Season High: Winning at Iona on Emmy Andujar’s last-second shot

Season Low: Losing in overtime to Siena in the quarterfinals of the MAAC Tournament

Really Good At: Defense – This team became a lock-down defensive team. With Rhamel Brown and Roberto Colonette patrolling the middle, the press forcing turnovers and making opponents think, and a general ability to lock down on shooters the Jaspers became a defensive force.

Struggled With: Turnovers – The Jaspers just turned the ball over way to much during their first season in Steve Masiello’s offensive approach. They finished with a turnover rate of 22.9%, eighth in the MAAC during conference play. If you eliminate those turnover possession Manhattan probably had the best offense in the league. It’s something to work on for next season.

Key Losses:

  • Roberto Colonette (6.3 PPG, 5.2 RPG)
  • Kidani Brutus (8.3 PPG, 2.4 APG)
  • Liam McCabe-Moran (5.3 PPG, 36.5% 3PT%)

Key Returnees:

  • George Beamon, Jr., G (All-MAAC First Team, 19.1 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.5 SPG)
  • Rhamel Brown, So., F (MAAC Defensive Player of the Year, 7.8 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 2.5 BPG)
  • Michael Alvarado, So., G (8.5 PPG, 3.2 APG, 1.4 SPG)
  • Emmy Andujar, Fr., G/F (8.4 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 3.2 APG)

Key Quotes:

“Great season. Biggest turnaround in college basketball. I couldn’t be more proud of these guys,” Steve Masiello

Outlook: Positive. The three seniors that are leaving the Manhattan program do represent some quality players, but the Jaspers seem to be well positioned for next season. Beamon will be a star in the MAAC during his senior season (possibly the best player in the conference) and Brown, Alvarado and Adujar are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of talent in Riverdale. There is a strong recruiting class coming in with players that seem to fit Steve Masiello’s system. That’s one of the keys too. The players now have had a season to learn the trapping defensive system Masiello brought with him from Louisville. They should be able to work on it this offseason. Now that they’ve tasted success players like Beamon are just going to be that much hungrier. It should make for a focused, talented Manhattan team come 2012-13, one that has the potential to win the MAAC.

The Full Series of Season At A Glance Posts:

Manhattan loses to Siena, bigger loss is Alvarado

Midway through the first half in Manhattan’s 70-64 loss to Siena at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY Michael Alvarado collided with O.D. Anosike. According to tweets from reports who were at the game Steve Masiello said in the postgame that Alvarado was elbowed and suffered a concussion and possibly a fracture of his eye-socket bone. That sounds like a long-term injury and certainly is going to have a big impact on the Jaspers moving forward.

Here’s video of the play courtesy of the Siena Saints Blog, which I highly recommend you check out.

Manhattan is now 18-10 and 11-5 in the MAAC. The Jaspers are probably going to hold onto the fourth seed, which could set up a potential match up with Iona in the conference semifinals. But all that is getting ahead of ourselves because of the current roster situation.

Alvarado is the second leading scorer on the Jaspers. Manhattan relies on his ability to drive to the basket in order to make plays. That’s why his free throw rate is so strong. He’s also shooting a respectable 39% from three, one of the best marks on the team. His offensive rating right now sits right at 100. Also, Alvarado’s man-to-man defense is a key to the Jaspers’ press. He’s one of the top players in the nation according to steal rate.

Unfortunately concussions are a tricky thing. You never know when a player is going to be ready to return or how he’ll react when healthy. Pay attention to the news as we get more information about the extent of the injury. If it’s a long-term situation then Kidani Brutus and Mohamed Koita are going to play even more minutes in the Manhattan backcourt. Brutus played 32 minutes, about six more than his season average, and Koita played 15, five more than his season average, against Siena. Brutus will have to cut down on turnovers, but his three-point shooting should be a valuable asset. Against the Saints he shot 3-7 from long distance. Koita has really struggled offensively this season. He’s a strong defensive presence, but with a 79.0 offensive rating he’s basically a black hole at that end of the court.

The defensive end though is where Manhattan got burned by Alvarado being out against the Saints. Freshman Evan Hymes went off for 21 points, including 5-8 three-point shooting, and seven assists in 40 minutes. The worry is that players like Scott Machado, Dylon Cormier and Derek Needham would be able to take even more advantage of such a situation.

If Alvarado has to miss any extended amount of time it’ll be a big blow for the Jaspers. Their depth will certainly be tested and they finish up against UNC Wilmington, Canisius and Loyola (MD) in the Bronx over the next few weeks.

Assist Tracker: Dec. 20

Jesse Sanders (G, Liberty) — I’m not really sure playing a game against Montreat College should even count in the assist tracker, but Sanders had 16 assists in the 91-73 win. Three of those assists went to his younger brother John Caleb Sanders. He scored 20 points. The assists were very evenly split amongst layups, dunks, jumpers and threes. The 16 assists were an arena record at the Vines Center.

Vincent Council (G, Providence) — Council had one nice double-double with 17 points and 12 assists for the Friars in his first game after being inexplicably left off the Bob Cousy Award watch list. He helped Providence to a 67-52 over New Hampshire. Half of his assist went to Gerard Coleman, who led Providence with 20 points. Seven of Council’s 12 assists went for layups and just two were for threes.

Matt Carlino (G, BYU) — Carlino also had a double-double with 10 points and 11 assist. He wasn’t done yet though, also recording seven rebounds in BYU’s 93-78 win over Buffalo. Carlino did a nice job of distributing his assists to a bunch of players. Anson Winder and Noah Hartsock each got three, Brock Zylstra two, and Nate Austin, Josh Sharp and Charles Abouo one. Winder had 20 points in 19 minutes off the bench, including 6-7 of three-point shooting, and Carlino certainly helped sparked him.

Jason Brickman (G, Long Island) — Another guy with a bunch of assists, another double-double. Brickman played what might’ve been his best game of the season against Texas State with 12 points, 11 assists and just three turnovers. Four of Brickman’s assists went to Julian Boyd, who scored 22 points. Two of Michael Culpo’s five threes came off assists from Brickman as he got back on track as well. All of that helped LIU put up 100 on the Bobcats.

Will Weathers (G, Troy) — He played 36 minutes and shot 1-7 from the field, but Weathers helped the Trojans to an 80-72 win over Southern Utah thanks to 10 assists. Every assist by Weathers was either a three (3) or a layup (7). He really spread the love around too as no player converted more than three of his passes into buckets. Troy had a super balanced scoring offensive effort as seven players scored between eight and 13 points.

Michael Alvarado (G, Manhattan) — The Jaspers moved to 8-4 overall with an 81-62 victory over Towson and part of it was thanks to Alvarado’s eight assists. The sophomore guard also had six steals in the game. Because Manhattan plays exactly like Louisville it’s no surprise that all of Alvarado’s assists were for either threes, layups or dunks. The one dunk went to George Beamon, who led the team with 21 points. Also, two of Liam McCabe-Moran’s four threes (on 4-4 shooting) were from Alvarado as well.

Scott Wood (F, N.C. State) — Wood is our token big man of the night as the Wolfpack survived at St. Bonaventure 67-65 on Tuesday night. Wood led the team with 20 points and he also had six assists in 36 minutes. Three of his six assist came on jump shots though, so I don’t expect to see him on this list often.

Peyton Siva (G, Louisville) — The Cardinals had to work pretty hard to take down College of Charleston 69-62. The Cougars dropped to 9-2 with the loss. Siva had six assists in the win, including assists on all three of Chris Smith’s threes. Siva had one assist that wasn’t a dunk or a three; it was a jumper by Kyle Kuric.