Iona did not have a fourth-year senior to lead their charge back to the NCAA Tournament. So instead, they turned to a freshman. Continue reading
The Iona Gaels enter this weekend’s MAAC tournament as the reigning champions, but lack the target most teams seeking back to back titles would wear on their back. Continue reading
Entering the home stretch of his sophomore season, Iona’s Rickey McGill has emerged as the next great Gael guard. Continue reading
It wasn’t the swashbuckling Iona team that we’ve been used to seeing over the last few years Sunday afternoon against Saint Peter’s. How much of that was due to the Peacocks’ style of play? Do we overrate such discussions?
The game eventually went to overtime, but through regulation was at 57 possessions, which would have been one of the slowest games in Division I this season, and by far the slowest the Gaels have ever played under Tim Cluess. As it was, the 64-possession overtime contest had the least possessions for a MAAC regular season game since … playing Saint Peter’s at the Hynes Center last year.
Even John Dunne, one of the least angry Division I coaches you’ll ever meet, is tired of talking about how his team is 345th (of 351) in adjusted tempo, and would rather speak about how his Peacocks are 8-4 in the MAAC, and – even with a loss Sunday – completed seven games in 15 days in decent shape, tied for second with Iona in the conference standings.
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
Iona has still yet to lose a regular season series in the Tim Cluess era. The Gaels led throughout and held off conference foe Fairfield 96-89 Friday night, earning revenge for a 93-87 loss earlier in the month in Bridgeport. Continue reading
Quinnipiac’s freshman sensation Mikey Dixon continued his stellar rookie campaign with a career-high 27 point performance, leading the Bobcats in a 97-91 overtime win over defending MAAC champions Iona Saturday afternoon at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, CT. Continue reading
Iona looked like the Gaels of old Saturday afternoon, taking down Marist 93-80 at the Hynes Athletic Center to restart MAAC play on the final day of 2016. Continue reading
Picture if you will, a basketball world where you can commit as many fouls as you would like, without fear of disqualification. Basketball is virtually the only sport where that’s the case, after all. Sure, other sports have penalties and violent conduct is sure to see you removed from participation in just about any athletic endeavor.
But a specified number of common fouls having a direct link to a player’s removal for the rest of the contest? Only our beloved hoops.
Now picture Iona senior Jordan Washington in that blissful no-foul out utopia. Washington has been borderline unstoppable for the last two seasons, a matchup quandary (especially for mid-major opponents) at 6’8”, especially when surrounded with the shooters that the Gaels seem to breed. He led the nation in usage last season (involved in 38.5% of Iona possessions), and is fifth this season. Washington also checks in second nationally in points per minute (behind the nation’s leading scorer, Central Michigan’s Marcus Keene at 30.8 ppg) and he is also sixth in number of minutes played … on his own team (20.7 minutes per game)?
On Dec. 4, 2015, Schadrac Casimir – reigning unanimous MAAC Rookie of the Year – went scoreless in just 23 minutes as Iona played Fairfield. It was a secondary story because the Gaels won, but something was clearly up and a couple of days later it was announced Casimir would miss the rest of the season with a hip labral tear.
With modern medicine, most of the time, that’s it, Casimir would return for 2016-17 with three years of eligibility and be ready to rock and roll by the time practice began in October. But even state of the art medicine is not perfect and hips can be tricky for athletes, especially basketball players with the constant changing of direction needed. Casimir underwent another surgery on the other hip later in the winter and then a third on a sports hernia which was related to the first two.