Iona featured in ESPN’s offseason coverage

Iona is getting some love in ESPN’s offseason coverage right now. The Gaels weren’t given a long write up in Fran Fraschilla’s post about breakthrough teams, but they were mentioned along with a few other teams as one that could “enjoy postseason success next season.”

Other the other hand, Iona is listed as the MAAC champion in Joe Lunardi’s latest bracket. St. Peter’s isn’t in the bracket, but interestingly it is one of the bubble teams in Lunardi’s “Also considered” list.

The Ivy League’s wide recruiting world

On one hand Ivy League schools have one of the toughest sells in Division I basketball. The schools commit a lot of money to athletics, but not always to college basketball. There are no scholarships, but there is financial aid. Then there are the academic requirements. You might not have to be Bill Gates to play basketball at Harvard, but you can’t be dumb either. They want you to stay in school for four years.

Thankfully, the Ivy League has a way to combat this problem, by offering some of the best “names” in collegiate education. There are only five Top 20 News and World Reports schools that aren’t in the Ivy League and play Division I basketball. (They are: Duke, Northwestern, Rice, Vanderbilt and Notre Dame.) The educational success of the league’s institutions thus gives them national appeal in education, and this year’s recruiting class shows how powerful it is.

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Fordham going to Loyola

Schedule details are leaking out and here’s another one. Fordham is going to be playing at Loyola (Ill.) to christen the Ramblers’ new athletic facility. The game is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 26 in Chicago. In another bit of Loyola scheduling, it appears the Ramblers won’t be coming to Jersey City to return their BracketBuster game from last season with St. Peter’s, so expect to see them in 2012-13.

Where are the recruits coming from?

While only nine of the 29 recruits currently committed to New York City mid-majors are playing high school basketball in the state, that number is pretty deceiving about how well schools are mining the talent base of the city. Take a deeper look and see just what some schools are doing to revive and build their programs.

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How does Hofstra replace Jenkins?

Last season Hofstra went 21-12 and played in the CBI in Mo Cassara’s first season. But he had some help, senior Charles Jenkins. The dynamite 6’3 guard from Queens was the driver behind the Pride’s offense for the past four seasons. He averaged 22.6 points per game last season. Now begins life after Jenkins.

How is Hofstra going to deal with that loss? It’s certainly not going to be easy.

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Ratings systems didn’t understand Long Island

Not all numbers are created equal. While there are a number of widely accepted methods of figuring out which teams are the best in college basketball, not even they completely agree. Statisticians like Ken Pomeroy and Ken Massey lead the way, but the College Basketball Rankings Comparison page lists 42 different ones.

Some are tempo-free, others are based on human intuition. They’re all some sort of ranking of the 345 teams in Division I college basketball (or some subset of that group). Good luck figuring out which one is right.

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Welcome Paul Hewitt to the CAA

It’s not often you get fired and actually end up coaching a better team, but that’s exactly what happened to Paul Hewitt. After finishing 13-18 (5-11 in the ACC) Hewitt was relieved of his duties at Georgia Tech. Still, he managed to land on his feet with a sweet gig at George Mason after Jim Larranaga left for Miami.

Hewitt was known at Tech for underachieving teams. It might seem odd then that he was chosen to lead a Patriots team that is expected to be in the Top 25 in the nation next season.

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Iona could win Puerto Rico Tip-Off this fall

The field for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off has officially been set and it includes five teams that played in either the NCAA Tournament or NIT last season. Iona isn’t one of them, but the Gaels will still have a good shot at taking home the tournament title on November 20.

Many of the other teams in the tournament have to replace key pieces. Purdue will be without both E’Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson next season and those two players used over 50% of Purdue’s possessions last season. Colorado’s Alec Burks, who used a whopping 32.2% of the Buffaloes’ possessions last season when he was on the court, looks to be headed to the NBA.

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