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.