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 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.
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.
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