Dribble Handoffs – April 5

A bunch of links that I wanted to share with you as the season wraps up. Jerry Carino released his All-Metropolitan ballot and his Haggerty Award nominees. I like some of the Ivy League players a bit better, but overall we agree throughout much of it. Also, Princeton Basketball tipped me off to this hilarious piece about what movie bad guy roles the coaches of the NCAA tournament would be cast in. LIU Brooklyn’s Jim Ferry is apparently in line to play a cop on the take (and got ranked #22).

In some other coaching moves, Bashir Mason has filled out his coaching staff at Wagner adding Mike Babul, Marquis Webb and Scott Smith according to the Staten Island Advance. Smith is the lone returnee and Babul and Webb both have high-major experience either as a player or coach, so that’s a good sign. Cormac Gordon digs into their connections with Mason in his article.

What would be an end of year post without some stats? Keepin’ Track of the MAAC looks at the national leaders from the MAAC. Here are a few more tempo-free nuggets for Iona and Manhattan courtesy of KenPom.com. Manhattan’s Rhamel Brown finished second in the nation in block percentage behind only Kansas’ Jeff Withey. Roberto Colonette finished fourth in the nation in offensive rebound percentage at 18.3%. As a team the Jaspers had the 19th best block percentage in the nation and ranked 22nd in assist per field goal made. Iona’s Scott Machado finished fourth in the nation in assist rate. Thanks entirely to his great two-point shooting Mike Glover finished 11th in the nation in effective field goal percentage and 24th in the nation in true shooting percentage. Sean Armand also finished 13th in the nation in offensive rating at 126.8.

Top NYC Players: 5-1

This is the final part of this week’s series about the Top 25 players in the New York metro area. Check out 21-25, 16-20, 11-15, 6-10.

5. Mike Moore, Hofstra — The Pride might have struggled in Year 1 A.C.J. (after Charles Jenkins), but Moore did everything he could to try and keep the team afloat. He increased his usage by almost 5% (a large leap) and still maintained strong efficiency while handling the basketball. That led to 19.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per game and a nod to the All-CAA Second Team. Moore scored 30 points three times this season, against Binghamton, Siena and UNC-Wilmington — all Hofstra wins. He also scored 24 points in Hofstra’s upset of Iona. Considering how much the Pride’s offense struggled overall, with three regular contributors with an offensive rating under 90, it was up to Moore and Nathaniel Lester to keep the offense afloat. They did the best possible job they could in a difficult situation. I’m sure Moore knows exactly how being the lead guy feels now.

4. Mike Glover, Iona — It took Glover a little while to get to Iona, but once in New Rochelle he made the most of his time there. The senior from the Bronx scored 18.3 points and grabbed 9 rebounds per game on the way to MAAC First Team honors. While he does owe some of the credit to the man that is at No. 1 on this list, Glover also took some of the pressure off the Iona guards as well. The only consistent interior presence for Iona this season, it was Glover’s job to do as much as possible to keep opponents off the boards and occupied defensively, which opened up looks for the Gaels’ talented shooters. Just watch tape of the second half of the BYU game and you’ll see how Glover really helped make Iona’s offense go. Overall though that final NCAA game is one Glover would probably rather forget. He had some of spectacular games, including 31 points and against Marist and 34 against Saint Joseph’s. He also played well against the MAAC’s best, with double-doubles in both games against Loyola (MD). Glover will play professional basketball somewhere next season, but he’ll remember his time at Iona.

3. Julian Boyd, LIU Brooklyn — The unanimous NEC Player of the Year Boyd was the big presence in the middle for the best team in the conference in 2011-12. He’s the reason that Blackbirds swept Wagner, including 19 points and 15 boards the second time they met. That was one of 14 double-doubles on the season for Body. The most impressive one was a 21-point, 20-board performance against Fairleigh Dickinson. Boyd though also scored 29 points and grabbed 17 rebounds against St. Peter’s and put up 18 points and 12 boards in a key victory at Vermont early in the season. Boyd’s averages of 17.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per game are incredible and deceptive, because he averaged just 27.1 minutes per game thanks to the Blackbirds’ front court depth. Boyd shot 56% from the floor, including 42% from three, and 74% from the line. He was a terror to deal with and no NEC player wanted to be matched up against him on the low block. The craziest thing is that he’s just a redshirt junior and will be back to make some more noise and try to get LIU an NCAA win in 2012-13.

2. Jordan Theodore, Seton Hall — There’s no way to measure heart through statistics, but Theodore certainly had a ton of it. The Pirates’ 6’0″ point guard averaged 16 points and 6.7 assists per game as he tried to will SHU into the postseason. It was an impressive tour de force that ended with him being named to the All-Big East Second Team at the conclusion of the season. Unfortunately, the Pirates couldn’t quite figure out a way to win enough games to pull out an NCAA bid and, even though Theodore scored 17 points on just 11 shots against Louisville, the dreams of making the tournament died at Madison Square Garden. Theodore had seven double-doubles this season, including 26 points and 11 assists in a 21-point win over DePaul in January. In the end he wasn’t able to save his team from losing to Rutgers and the Blue Demons during the final weeks of the season, which probably sealed their NCAA Tournament fate.

1. Scott Machado, Iona — After spending an offseason really dedicating himself to preparing to run the Iona offense during his senior season Machado had a year to remember in New Rochelle. He was the best player on the court almost every night out and often flirted with a triple double. He averaged 13.6 point, 9.9 assists and 4.9 rebounds per game this season. He shot 50% from the field, including 40% from three, and 81% from the free throw line. All of those marks are career highs. As a senior Machado also lowered his turnovers to 3.3 per game. Now the 6’1″ point guard from Queens is looking at the possibility of being picked in the NBA Draft in June. Machado had a triple-double against Marist on February 12 with 10 points, 10 assists and 11 rebounds in an 83-74 home win. He had 11 other double-doubles throughout the year, including a rare 10-rebound, 10-assist performance against William & Mary. Machado also proved he could score, dropping 33 points in a double-overtime win over Saint Joseph’s and 25 points in Iona’s MAAC tournament game against Fairfield. When the Gaels were selected as an at-large for the NCAA tournament Machado performed there as well, scoring 15 points and handing 10 assists as the Gaels fell 78-72. There doesn’t seem to be much more that he could’ve accomplished this season. As the driving force of Tim Cluess’ offense and Iona’s return to the postseason, Machado is my pick for the top player in New York City this season.

Awards Update: AP All-America Teams

No player on a New York City team made the AP All-America Teams this season, but three were named Honorable Mentions. Iona’s Scott Machado, LIU Brooklyn’s Julian Boyd and NJIT’s Isaiah Wilkerson were all included on the list. Considering these teams are made up of the best players in the country, being named is quite the honor. Also, Mike Glover is on JTM Basketball Blog’s Portsmouth Suggested Invites for 2012. I’m guessing that he has Machado as one of the seniors that wouldn’t accept an invite.

New York Mid-Major 2011-12 Teams

What a year it was for college hoops in New York City. Both Iona and LIU Brooklyn qualified for the NCAA tournament and Stony Brook also won the regular season title. A number of players were named to their All-Conference teams and garnered postseason awards. In fact, those awards are still coming in. Here I’d like to name my New York Mid-Major teams for the 2011-12 season.

Continue reading “New York Mid-Major 2011-12 Teams”

Iona’s Assists or Why the Offense Will Stay Strong

This season the Iona offense was run by the steady hand of Scott Machado. One of the nation’s best point guards, Machado led the nation in assists per game during the 2011-12 season. He was also fourth in assist rate (behind Utah’s Josh Watkins, Penn State’s Tim Frazier and UNC’s Kendall Marshall). As you’ll see below, Machado was a big driver in the success of a number of players’ success this season. Of course, Machado is a senior and will be heading to the NBA next season. The keys are going to be turned over to Lamont “Momo” Jones in 2012-13.

Continue reading “Iona’s Assists or Why the Offense Will Stay Strong”

Season At A Glance — Iona

This is the seventh of what will eventually be capsules for each of the NYC teams when I’m sure their season has concluded.

Team: Iona

Record: 25-8 (15-3 in the MAAC)

Season High: Winning at Denver

Season Low: Blowing an 18-point lead at Siena (though I’d guess the NCAA loss to BYU hurts more)

Really Good At: Making shots — Iona had the fourth best effective field goal percentage in the nation during the regular season at 56.7%. The Gaels could knock down twos (55.7%, a lot in transition) or threes (39.3%) with the best of the them.

Struggled With: Defensive consistency – For a team with so much talent, Iona struggled quite a bit defensively. The Gaels often gave up easy shots on the opposite end. Against the shorter three-guard lineup Iona often employed rebounds were tough to get.

Key Losses:

  • Mike Glover (18.5 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 64.4% FG%, All-MAAC First Team)
  • Scott Machado (13.6 PPG, 9.9 APG, 5.0 RPG, 1.6 SPG, MAAC Player of the Year)
  • Jermel Jenkins (5.2 PPG, 90.0% FT%)
  • Randy Dezouvre (5.0 PPG, 2.8 RPG)

Key Returnees:

  • Momo Jones, Jr., G (16.0 PPG, 3.0 APG, All-MAAC Second Team)
  • Taaj Ridley, Jr., F (6.9 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 51.4% FG%)
  • Sean Armand, So., G (128.7 Offensive Rating – 9th in the country, 46.7% 3PT%)
  • Ra’Shad James, Jr., G (3.0 PPG, 1.5 RPG)
  • Kyle Smith, Jr., G (5.7 PPG, 93.8% FT%)

Outlook: Different. As Glover and Machado graduate this will become Jones’ team. He’ll still have a host of talented complementary players around him. Armand is a lights out shooter and Smyth can also launch the rock. With Dezouvre and Ridley graduating there might be some changes up front. I’d expect Josh Gomez to see some more playing time next season. It might not quite be the run-and-gun style of this season because the team will be quite a bit younger. Iona never quite reached the level people thought the Gaels might in 2011-12. Those expectations will be gone next season and could free the team to be even more successful while in a dog fight in the MAAC. Iona won’t be the class of the league like it was in 2011-12, when it outscored opponents by 0.21 points per possession, but it should be right there.

Machado and Glover near top of Value Add

Scott Machado and Mike Glover of Iona are in the top 60 players in the entire country according to Value Add, a statistic created by John Pudner. You can see the list of the Top 200 on the site there. Interestingly, three NEC players also appear in Value Add, but it’s not who you’d expect. There’s Central Connecticut’s Ken Horton (#27) and then Wagner’s Tyler Murray (#144) and Quinnipiac’s Ike Azotam (#162). Pouring over I’m guessing that a slight adjustment for playing time is why Azotam is on the list and LIU’s Julian Boyd isn’t. It’s also interesting that Murray’s 124.6 offensive rating is enough to make up for his relatively low usage rate (just 17.1%) and put him in the Top 150.

Iona is growing up

Three and a half weeks ago Iona was the lead dog in the MAAC. The Gaels were undefeated and controlled their own destiny up by 17 against Manhattan at the Hynes Athletic Center. Then everything changed. Iona collapsed and the Jaspers pulled out a dramatic 75-72 victory. Tim Cluess’ squad got to show just how much it had learned from that moment on Saturday at Draddy Gymnasium.

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Iona loses 18-point lead in loss to Siena

Twenty days ago at Madison Square Garden Iona handed Siena its worst ever Division I conference loss, 95-59. Five minutes into Monday night’s game in Albany the Gaels looked to be well on their way to a similar result up 20-2, but the end result was anything but what they expected. Siena clawed back and pulled out a 65-62 win to send Iona into a three-way tie atop the MAAC with Loyola (MD) and Manhattan at 7-2.

Continue reading “Iona loses 18-point lead in loss to Siena”