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.

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”

Season At A Glance — Hofstra

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

Team: Hofstra

Record: 10-22 (3-15 in the CAA); season ended by 85-50 loss to Georgia State in CAA First Round

Season High: There were actually two. A 63-53 win over Cleveland State in November and an 83-75 home win over Iona on Dec. 29.

Season Low: The final game, the worst loss in CAA Tournament history.

Really Good At: Offensive Rebounding — Hofstra was the third best offensive rebounding team in the CAA during conference play. Nathaniel Lester, Stephen Nwaukoni and Moussa Kone all showed an ability to get to glass.

Struggled With: Shooting — The Pride finished 11th in the CAA in effective field goal percentage. They shot poorly from three (29.8%) and two (42.3%). That led to an offense that finished 11th in the CAA in efficiency.

Key Losses:

  • Mike Moore, Sr., G (20.0 PPG, 4.6 RPG, Second Team All-CAA)
  • Nathaniel Lester, Sr., F (14.7 PPG, 6.7 RPG, athletic big man)
  • Dwan McMillan, Sr., G (team-leading 4.9 APG)

Key Returnees:

  • David Imes, Jr., F — Athletic rebounder that can help replace Lester
  • Stephen Nwaukoni, So., F — Most efficient scorer on Hofstra this season
  • Stevie Mejia, Jr., G — A full season of health will help the Pride

Outlook: Cloudy. Hofstra loses its two best players and one of two key playmakers from an offense that just wasn’t very good. If you took Moore out of the equation, the Pride’s offense this season could’ve been classified as miserable. Yes, Hofstra certainly got unlucky during a number of losses in conference play, but they went 4-15 in 2012. All of that leaves Mo Cassara with a lot of work to do in order to field a competitive team again in 2012-13. He continues to bring in big men with high upside. Moussa Kone should improve next season and will be joined in the front court by 6’7″ recruit Jimmy Hall. Still, without a returning player who averaged more than 7.0 points per game it’s tough to predict an improvement next season. There is one potential silver bullet though for Cassara. He’s got two key transfers who will be eligible next season – Jamal Coombs-McDaniel and Taran Buie. Both started their careers at BCS schools (Connecticut and Penn State respectively) and should immediately impact the offense. Coombs-McDaniel in particular was an efficient scorer off the bench on UConn’s National Championship team. He’ll add another key wing. At 6’2″ Buie wasn’t really a pure point guard at Penn State. He didn’t play much for the Nittany Lions in 2010-11, but he did shoot a ton when he was on the court. It should give Cassara another confident backcourt player to add the rotation alongside Mejia.

Stony Brook an AE contender and random variance

Wednesday provided three illustrations of different ways to win and lose basketball games. Stony Brook delivered a crushing blow to UMBC, 89-49. Fordham was on the other side in an 80-62 loss to Saint Joseph’s and Hofstra lost a heartbreaker to Northeastern 64-62 to fall to 0-5 in CAA play.

Continue reading “Stony Brook an AE contender and random variance”

Three Bob Cousy Nominees and Notes

Three local guys have been nominated for the Bob Cousy Award. Brian Barbour of Columbia, Bryan Dougher of Stony Brook and Scott Machado of Iona are all on the list. Of course Barbour and Dougher only play point guard because their teams require it in a pinch. Both are really playmakers in the truest sense. Even though the Cousy guys get to pick 60 names to start they always seem to miss someone. This year the four big whiffs seem to Phil Pressey of Missouri, Jordan Theodore of Seton Hall, Vincent Council of Providence and Nate Wolters of South Dakota State. (At least they remembered Jordan Taylor this season!)

Also in the news is the fact that St. Francis (NY) plays its first home game of the season in Brooklyn against Albany tonight. The Terriers played nine true road games (and are 3-6) before returning home. Even though he wasn’t playing at home Ben Mockford hit seven threes against Howard to earn NEC Player of the Week honors.

Hofstra’s Mike Moore was named the CAA Co-Player of the Week along with Drexel’s Samme Givens. Iona’s Mike Glover was named the MAAC Player of the Week.

Finally, if you love point guards you should check out my Assist Tracker. It’s going to be updated nightly with stats and insights into the guys with the most assist each night. (Even one big guy each evening.) Because I don’t want to clutter up the home page with those updates you’ll have to go to Assists page to find it though, so make sure to bookmark it.

Season Snapshot: Hofstra

If I could give Hofstra one piece of advice it would be to shoot more threes. (Well not if I was talking to Nathaniel Lester, but everyone else.) The Pride are one of the best three-point shooting teams in the country, but they underutilize the weapon to a criminal degree. Still, at 3-4 the Pride look to be right in line to fulfill expectations at the moment. Maybe they’ll be able to surprise in CAA play, but the projected eighth-place finish seems to be the goal right now.

Continue reading “Season Snapshot: Hofstra”

Three Questions – Hofstra

As the season approaches every team has questions. This series is going to look at three key ones.

1. Who or how does Hofstra replace Charles Jenkins? – All right, I started with the obvious one first, but this is definitely the biggest question. Jenkins had the best offensive rating the in the country last season for a player that used at least 28% of his team’s possessions. That’s high volume at high efficiency and it drove the Pride’s offense. And that offense in turn drove Hofstra to a surprisingly competitive campaign in the CAA.

Continue reading “Three Questions – Hofstra”

How does Hofstra replace Jenkins?

Last season Hofstra went 21-12 and played in the CBI in Mo Cassara’s first season. But he had some help, senior Charles Jenkins. The dynamite 6’3 guard from Queens was the driver behind the Pride’s offense for the past four seasons. He averaged 22.6 points per game last season. Now begins life after Jenkins.

How is Hofstra going to deal with that loss? It’s certainly not going to be easy.

Continue reading “How does Hofstra replace Jenkins?”