Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello will honor one of the best tandems on Sunday in the team’s final home game at Draddy Gymnasium.
The third-year head coach will come to the realization that his time with Mike Alvarado, George Beamon and Rhamel Brown at home has come to an end. The uniqueness of Masiello’s situation Sunday comes that he did not recruit any of his senior class to play for the Jaspers, he inherited them from Barry Rohrssen when he took the job.
“I’m never going to coach a guy like a Mike Alvarado, who probably hates to lose as much as I do,” Masiello said. “I’m never going to coach a guy that has a character of a Rhamel Brown, that is as coachable as a Rhamel Brown, that literally if I go out and tell him to go get nine blocks he goes and gets nine blocks. I’m never going to coach a guy again like George Beamon who takes every challenge so personal, and so to heart, they’re just a special group because of that.”
Those three, a senior class that is as talented as they are unique, have allowed the Jaspers to reach their second 20-win season under Masiello’s tenure. The third-year coach said that he credits the seniors for embracing his style when he took on the job in April 2011.
“I almost feel like these are my guys, and I don’t want to slight Barry in any way because they’re his guys, and they’re not his guys or my guys, but I mean Barry brought them in,” Masiello said. “He did a phenomenal job recruiting these guys, but to that point they were so humble, so coachable and so just welcoming to me, that they embraced me right away.”
As a player, Masiello had been part of a coaching change when Rick Pitino left Kentucky to take over the Boston Celtics and played three seasons under Tubby Smith and said that he credits the now seniors who hung on every word he said once he took over the job for the Jaspers resurgence.
“I can’t even put into words what that meant to me because everyone was following them,” Masiello said. “People were following them and were waiting to see how Geroge reacted to me, how Mike reacted to me or how Rhamel took me. Just total trust towards the coaching staff and myself and always put the program first, you don’t get that from people today.”
“I think we’ve actually become closer than maybe anyone because of that because there was that distance or I didn’t recruit them. I think we made up for it with our bond and doing a lot of things that got us to a great place where we have so much respect for one another and that type of relationship.”
Ryan Restivo covers the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the America East conference, and Hofstra for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanarestivo or contact Ryan at rrestivo[at]nycbuckets.com.