These conferences, in terms of average strength, are probably about where the current MAAC or Horizon League are down to the Patriot League. Continue reading
ALBANY, N.Y. — Basketball: Truly a game of inches. Continue reading
The Rider Broncs enter this weekend’s MAAC tournament as one of the league’s hottest teams. Head coach Kevin Baggett’s squad is averaging an astounding 98.3 points per game over its last three contests, all double-digit wins in which the Broncs shot over 54% from the field. Continue reading
The MAAC announced all-league teams Monday afternoon with few surprises. Monmouth, which on Sunday became the first MAAC team to win 18 league games, placed two players on the First Team, including likely Player of the Year Justin Robinson. Saint Peter’s, Siena, Canisius, and Rider all saw multiple players receive all-league honors, with Iona and Quinnipiac receiving additional recognition on the all-Rookie team.
*denotes a unanimous selection
Justin Robinson – Monmouth*
Jordan Washington – Iona*
Tyler Nelson – Fairfield
Micah Seaborn – Monmouth
Quadir Welton – Saint Peter’s
Robinson, the leader of the Hawks and the league’s top scorer at 19.7 ppg, earned his third First Team selection and is the odds-on favorite to become the fourth MAAC player to repeat as Player of the Year this Friday. He would be the first to capture the award in consecutive seasons since Manhattan’s Luis Flores in 2003 and 2004. Teammate Micah Seaborn (13.5 ppg) also benefited from the Hawks’ impressive year, as the sophomore made the jump from Third Team a year ago to the top five this season.
Iona’s Jordan Washington joined Robinson as a unanimous selection with good reason. The senior forward established himself as the MAAC’s premier post player, ranking fourth in the league at 17.7 ppg and fifth with 7.5 rebounds per contest. Tyler Nelson led the way in Fairfield’s late push to capture a first-round bye, and was properly rewarded with a First Team spot. The junior ranks second in the league in scoring at 18.9 ppg and will enter next season as a favorite for Player of the Year honors. Quadir Welton rounds out the top five, and was the driving force behind Saint Peters’ run for the second spot in the league. The senior forward checks in at 11.8 ppg and 8.0 rpg, and helped the Peacocks become the league’s top defensive squad.
Kassius Robertson – Canisius
Khallid Hart – Marist
Trevis Wyche – Saint Peter’s
Brett Bisping – Siena
Marquis Wright – Siena
Saint Peter’s sees its second honoree in the form of point guard Trevis Wyche. The senior averaged 11.2 ppg and 3.8 assists per game while leading a surprisingly potent Peacocks offense which ranks fourth in Offensive Efficiency in league play according to KenPom.com. Marist senior Khallid Hart makes a repeat appearance on the Second Team after ranking third in the league with 18.0 ppg despite the Red Foxes’ disappointing season.
Kassius Robertson, who led the Golden Griffins and placed seventh in the league with 16.5 ppg, earned his first all-MAAC honor as a junior while Siena seniors Brett Bisping and Marquis Wright represent the Saints’ two all-league selections. Bisping nearly averaged a double-double with 12.2 ppg and 9.6 rpg while Wright solidified his role as Siena’s facilitator by averaging 4.9 apg and matched Robertson at 16.5 ppg.
Jermaine Crumpton – Canisius
Zane Waterman – Manhattan
Matt Scott – Niagara
Jimmie Taylor – Rider
Kahlil Thomas – Rider
Canisius’ second representative shows up on the Third Team in the form of Jermaine Crumpton. The junior helped lead the Golden Griffins’ early surge, and finished just behind teammate Robertson with 16.2 ppg but added an additional 4.9 rebounds per contest. Manhattan’s Zane Waterman became another to make his first appearance on an all-MAAC squad. With season averages of 14.5 ppg and 7.1 rpg along with three 20+ point performances to end the year, the honor is well-deserved despite the Jaspers’ last-place finish.
Niagara’s Matt Scott makes a return appearance on the Third Team after filling the stat sheet with 17.3 ppg (fifth in the league), 7.0 rpg, and 3.0 apg. For the second year in a row, Rider placed a pair on the final all-MAAC squad. Kahlil Thomas also repeats as a Third Team selection by nearly averaging a double-double with 14.1 ppg and 8.9 rpg, while Jimmie Taylor’s 15.7 ppg leads the Broncs, who closed the season on a three-game winning streak powered by an impressive offensive surge.
E.J. Crawford – Iona*
Mikey Dixon – Quinnipiac*
Peter Kiss – Quinnipiac*
Stevie Jordan – Rider*
Malik Johnson – Canisius
Quinnipiac’s duo of Mikey Dixon and Peter Kiss captured ten Rookie of the Week honors including the final eight of the year. Dixon (16.8 ppg) ranks sixth in the league in scoring and is on pace to break the all-divisions school scoring record of 16.7 set by Frank Berretta in 1979-80 at the Division II level, while Kiss (13.3 ppg) is on pace to break Rob Monroe’s Division I record of 13.0. Kentucky, St. John’s, and UCLA are the only schools in the nation to receive a higher combined scoring average from their top two freshmen.
Iona’s E.J. Crawford established himself as a valuable player on the wing of Iona’s high-powered offense and finished the season with 9.7 ppg while shooting 45% from behind the arc. The final two honorees displayed a penchant for sharing the ball: Stevie Jordan (11.5 ppg) leads the MAAC with 5.8 apg and became a critical piece of Kevin Baggett’s starting lineup amidst four seniors. Malik Johnson, recruited by former Canisius coach Jim Baron before his retirement, ranks fifth in the league with 4.2 assists per contest.
Vincent Simone covers the MAAC, Hofstra, and more for NYC Buckets. You can follow him on Twitter @VTSimone.
Rider fell just shy of its third 100-point performance of the season, but the Broncs’ 99 tally Sunday afternoon was more than enough to dispatch Quinnipiac and skate into the MAAC tournament on a hot streak. Continue reading
Amidst the wins and losses, the stories of the individual players that inhabit mid-major basketball often get lost in the shuffle.
Amadou Sidibe was a good sophomore player on a bad Fairfield squad in 2014-15 (7-25). The next season was worse, believe it or not, because early in the season Sidibe developed knee problems that he was never really able to shake as the Stags limped to an almost identical 7-24 mark.
Sidibe underwent surgery after that campaign, and hoped to be ready to go by the start of his senior season in 2015-16, but he wasn’t quite 100 percent so the staff and doctors were cautious. Only a month later, it still wasn’t improving and eventually the decision was made to shut him down for the year, turning him into a well-dressed 6’9” cheerleader, a role he embraced as Fairfield went 19-14 (12-8 in the MAAC) and returned to the postseason (CIT).
Monmouth defeated Rider in a tight game on Monday night at Alumni Gymnasium in Lawrenceville, NJ. Justin Robinson scored 25 points and Chris Brady had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds in the win. Norville Carey led the Broncs with 17. Here’s the video recap.
At the midpoint of the MAAC season, it’s worth examining where each team in the league stands and where they might end up over the next six weeks. Here is a team-by-team analysis based on the current standings, along with mid-season all-MAAC teams: Continue reading
Rider was locked a road battle at Marist Friday night, which wasn’t totally unexpected, road games are always difficult in conference, and although the Red Foxes have been in rebuilding mode for a couple of years now, they had picked off a few teams in MAAC play and were already 2-0 in conference this season.
Then, suddenly, it wasn’t a game. You looked up and Rider had a double digit lead and was on its way to a 73-62 road win. There wasn’t a huge run (Stevie Jordan and Jimmie Taylor did hit big three-pointers), but the Broncs outscored Marist 24-11 in the final 8:30 to slowly get away.
Indeed, it is playing much, much faster (more on that below), there isn’t much flashy about Rider. Taylor leads the team averaging 13.6 points per game, but their two biggest assets are their consistency and defense, two things that aren’t exactly going to grab headlines outside of central New Jersey.
Seton Hall leads our New York City power rankings as we start conference play. Continue reading