Inconsistent Iona Falls at St. Peter’s

From game-to-game and half-to-half inconsistency has been Iona’s Achilles heel through the first six games of a young season. The Gaels look like a MAAC contender at one moment and clueless the next. It was the same story on Wednesday night, as Iona led by 12 at halftime, but fell to St. Peter’s 64-62 in Jersey City. Continue reading “Inconsistent Iona Falls at St. Peter’s”

MAAC Discussion: League’s Top 10

A few weeks ago we looked at the Top 10 players in the NEC, now I want to do the same exercise with the MAAC. This league is a lot tougher because of all the turnover and transfers coming in. There is no dominant team, so six of the 10 teams probably think they have a legitimate shot at winning the title. There’s also the pesky problem of transfers that aren’t eligible immediately or might not be eligible at all this season. I’m leaving those players off my Top 10 for now, but I’d certainly be willing to consider them in the future.

Continue reading “MAAC Discussion: League’s Top 10”

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.

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.

Continue reading “Iona is growing up”

5 Thoughts from Hofstra’s 83-75 win over Iona

Iona rolled into the Mack Sports Complex at Hofstra with a 10-2 record and hopes of receiving an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament. The Gaels had been road warriors, winning six of their last seven, all away from home. But it was Hofstra, still searching for the right formula after the graduation of Charles Jenkins that pulled out that raced out to a 15-point halftime lead and pulled out a convincing 83-75 victory on Thursday night. Here’s five thoughts from that game, including some post game quotes.

Continue reading “5 Thoughts from Hofstra’s 83-75 win over Iona”

Quick hits from Iona’s loss to Purdue

Iona lost out on a golden opportunity to get a win versus talented, but raw Purdue team this afternoon at the 5-Hour Energy Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The 91-90 defeat was especially difficult because it basically was decided by two last-season heaves. Purdue’s at the end of the first half went in, Iona’s at the end of the game was wide left.
Continue reading “Quick hits from Iona’s loss to Purdue”

Three Questions – Iona

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

1. How does the late addition of Lamont “Momo” Jones impact team chemistry? – Iona is getting a number of new additions to the roster this season, including Arizona transfer Jones, who was granted a hardship waiver by the NCAA. But Jones isn’t the only player the Gaels add to their roster. Ra’Shad James also will need to find some minutes. Here’s the thing, 76.8 percent of Iona’s offensive possession minutes return, including the two big usage guys – Mike Glover and Scott Machado.

Continue reading “Three Questions – Iona”