Entering the MAAC tournament, the hottest team in the conference was not Iona, Manhattan or any of the top five seeds, it was the Niagara Purple Eagles.
The last time Niagara and Siena met, the Saints swept the season series from the Purple Eagles with a 74-70 road victory.
The MAAC announced its All-Conference teams as well as All-Rookie team during the final coaches conference call of the season on Monday afternoon.
For a team that revolved around one player last season, Niagara is doing it in a very different way this year thanks to one of its most experienced players.
Iona played their customary game at Madison Square Garden following Duke’s victory over St. John’s in Mike Krzyzewski’s 1000th win Sunday afternoon and ran the Purple Eagles back onto the streets of New York, 87-64.
It has not been easy for Niagara under head coach Chris Casey, they have remade the roster quickly and competed during conference play, but haven’t seemed to get the bounces to go their way.
The St. Bonaventure Bonnies and the Niagara Purple Eagles kicked things off in the inaugural Big 4 Classic in Buffalo, NY Saturday afternoon and senior center Youssou Ndoye tallied a double-double in the Bonnies’ 74-59 win over the Purple Eagles. With the line of 23 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks, Ndoye dominated Niagara.
Niagara was a better team last season than the one that won just seven games, and two of those reasons were Wesley Myers and Ramone Snowden.
Entering his second season, Niagara head coach Chris Casey has quickly remade the roster.
The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference will open conference play on perhaps the earliest date in its history.
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