The final chapter in Reggie Witherspoon’s first year as head coach of the Canisius College Golden Griffins may not yet be written, but their run toward a MAAC title is. Continue reading
The Canisius Golden Griffins held control of a MAAC tournament first round bye up until the final day of the regular season, but a three-game slide capped by a 72-65 loss to Saint Peter’s on the final day of the regular season culminated in first-year head coach Reggie Witherspoon’s squad falling into Thursday’s slate of games. Continue reading
The Marist Red Foxes finished the 2016-17 season with a 5-15 record, their third consecutive year with five or fewer victories, but enter the conference tournament winners of two of their last three games. 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.
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
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
Canisius erased a 15 point second half deficit to edge Manhattan 77-76 Friday night at Draddy Gymnasium in Riverdale, NY. 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
This season may very well be a big one for the MAAC. Many of the league’s most talented players return, including the reigning Player of the Year, Monmouth’s Justin Robinson. Continue reading