Tom Moore stood in front of the podium after Friday night’s 95-90 win over Canisius with a smile on his face. Yes, winning is a lot more fun than losing (expert analysis), and the Bobcats are threatening to move into the top half of the MAAC with a 5-4 record, but there was more to it than that.
Quinnipiac shot 58.9% from the field and posted a 66.7 eFG% (8-13 from three-point range), and while there is plenty to work on defensively and 19 turnovers is a bit alarming, having a team that can make shots makes a coach’s life so much less stressful. Moore, of course, could attest to that as much as anyone, because there were many, many nights last season where he stood in front of that same podium and tried to explain why his offense wasn’t working and how hard he and his staff were going to try to fix it.
It was painful to watch, and Moore’s words couldn’t hide how difficult to coach it was on a daily basis, which isn’t meant to disrespect his team, which obviously included talented senior Gio McLean, but it just wasn’t working.
Canisius could have been forgiven for being blown out by Iona. They weren’t the first, and surely aren’t the last – even if the Gaels do not quite look like their dominant selves this season – to be buried in a flurry of three-pointers at the Hynes Center.
First-year coach, team picked closer to the bottom of the MAAC than the top. Not that big a deal, right?
But Reggie Witherspoon and the Golden Griffins left New Rochelle Sunday night with a bad taste in their mouths. Despite the coaching change, they’re a largely veteran outfit and despite what the experts or anybody else thinks, feel they’re a contender for the MAAC title.
Tuesday night, they set out to prove it, and – despite digging an early 8-0 hole – were dominant in almost facet in rolling to a 86-72 victory at Webster Bank Arena.
Schadrac Casimir made his first start in more than 13 months Sunday with Jon Severe still ailing from a couple of different minor injuries. But he lasted only 2:47 as with Canisius out to a 10-2 start, Iona coach Tim Cluess called time out and immediately went to Severe.
“The group that started had a couple of little breakdowns right at the get-go, and he was one of the guys,” Cluess said. “He really responded well, he didn’t sulk about it, and came back ready to play.”
It wasn’t a huge surprise, although Casimir was the 2014-15 MAAC Rookie of the Year, after missing almost all of last year and having to undergo three surgeries (because of two hip labrums), the stats indicate he hasn’t been the same since. In five MAAC games before Sunday’s, Casimir had a total of 21 points, with no more than 7 in any of them. Even worse, Iona – which has never has anywhere close to a losing conference record under Cluess (seventh season) – came in at 2-3, two games behind their red-hot opponent.
Justin Robinson scored a season-high 28 points and Micah Seaborn added 25 points as Monmouth defeated Canisius 94-88 to move to 2-0 on the December MAAC weekend. Here’s the video recap from Tony Graham. Continue reading →
Only five of the 16 players named to the All-MAAC teams at the end of last season will not make a return to the court. With plenty of young talent yet to reach their full potential, along with some fresh new faces by way of recruits and transfers, and there is sure to be a fight to secure those limited all-conference spots come March. Continue reading →
Reggie Witherspoon is no stranger to the eleventh hour. Anyone would face a major challenge taking over for a retiring Jim Baron at Canisius midway through the offseason, but Witherspoon has faced tougher odds already. Continue reading →