Checking in on… the MAAC

Posted by rtmsf on November 22nd, 2009


Ray Floriani of College Chalktalk is the RTC correspondent for the MAAC and NEC conferences,

NEW YORK CITY – The consensus is Siena is the favorite. Judging by early returns, hold off on engraving the championship trophy and sending it to Albany.


  1. Iona                       2-0
  2. Siena                     2-0
  3. Rider                     2-1
  4. Fairfield                2-1
  5. Loyola                   2-1
  6. Manhattan         1-1
  7. Niagara                 1-1
  8. St. Peter’s            1-1
  9. Canisius                0-1
  10. Marist                   0-2

PLAYER of THE WEEK: Mike Ringgold 6’7 JR F, Rider. Ringgold scored 21 points and added 6 rebounds in the big victory over # 18 Mississippi State.

ROOKIE of the WEEK: Derek Needham 5’11 FR G, Fairfield. The Stags entered the season looking for help at the guard spot. Needham is filling the bill. Over the first two games, the Dalton, Illinois native averaged 16 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds.

What Happened

  • Friday the 13th was virtually Black Friday for a few opponents from high profile conferences. Seton Hall needed a buzzer-beating running three pointer to defeat St.Peter’s 53-51 at the Prudential Center.
  • Niagara dropped a heartbreaker at Auburn in the final seconds.  Bilal Benn has been impressive for Niagara. The 6’5 swingman scored 19 points and pulled down 14 boards in the ESPN Marathon win over Drexel. Benn also had a strong outing in the heartbreaker at Auburn. In that game he had 16 points and 13 rebounds including a double-double by halftime. Niagara will participate in the Glenn Wilkes Classic in Daytona Beach, Florida during Thanksgiving week.
  • Also on SEC turf, Rider went in and convincingly defeated Mississippi State 88-74.  Rider’s win over Mississippi State and strong start is largely due to Mike Ringgold. Ryan Thompson, to no one’s surprise has also been an impact performer for  Tommy Dempsey’s group.
  • On Tuesday it was a MAAC sweep in ESPN’s 24 Hours of Hoops Marathon.  At St. Peter’s, the Peacocks thrilled the energized home crowd with a 58-34 dominant victory over Monmouth. The game was played at 6 am and featured a St.Peter’s defense that limited the Hawks to 10 of 47 shooting (21%) from the field.  The St. Peter’s start has been predicated on defense and an offense that shares the ball. Wesley Jenkins led the Peacocks with 10 points in that win over Monmouth. Ryan Bacon and guard Nick Leon both were notable contributors as well. In addition John Dunne is getting good help off the bench.
  • At Niagara, students were encouraged to attend the 8 am contest in purple pajamas. The Purple Eagles did not disappoint the faithful as they posted a 76-67 triumph over Drexel.  At a more traditional noon start, Siena defeated Northeastern 59-53 for their 22nd consecutive home victory.  Siena had a tough one with Northeastern on Marathon Tuesday. The Saints prevailed behind Edwin Ubiles’ 26 points. Inside Ryan Rossiter was a force with 13 points and 14 boards against the Huskies.
  • MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor was in attendance for the 6 am game at St. Peter’s. Following the game, Ensor drove to Albany for Siena’s noon game. A good amount of traveling but a satisfying 3-0 day in the long run.
  • Canisius was the last MAAC school to open its season. The Griffs dropped an 89-69 decision at Loyola (IL). Frank Turner enters his senior year with over 1,000 points and 400 assists. The Canisius lead guard had 17 at Loyola.
  • Fairfield is off to its best start under coach Ed Cooley. Freshman Derek Needham has been an impact player for the Stags.
  • Iona is another club off to a fast  start. Scott Machado is not showings signs of a sophomore jinx. The second-year guard began his season with 16 points in the opening season victory over Boston University at Iona’s Hynes Center.
  • Loyola (MD) improved to 2-1 largely due to the efforts of Jamal Barney. The junior guard scored 14 of his 21 points after intermission to spark the Greyhounds to a 69-66 win over UMBC. Harvey also had the game winner with 11 seconds remaining.
  • Manhattan won its third straight opener with a 70-58 decision over NJIT. Princeton came into Draddy and edged the Jaspers 61-54. The Tigers hit 16 of 20 free throws in the final two minutes to seal the game.
  • Marist lost their opener at Rutgers 74-67. The Red Foxes of Chucky Martin basically have a new  rotation. Among the newcomers, 6’7 freshman Rob Johnson (18 pts) was effective inside and on the perimeter.

What’s Next

  • Thanksgiving week.  Iona is at the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, hosted by the MAAC.  Siena will play in the Hoop Group Classic at the Palestra in Philadelphia., where they’ll face Florida State on Thanksgiving.
  • Rider will also be in Mexico for the Cancun Challenge.  November 28th will be the ‘Battle of the Bronx’- Fordham-Manhattan at the Jaspers’ Draddy Gym. As part of the Hoop Group Classic, Siena has an interesting meeting with St. John’s on the ‘traditional’ Black Friday, the day following Thanksgiving.
rtmsf (3998 Posts)

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