Checking in on… the MAACPosted by rtmsf on December 5th, 2009
Ray Floriani of College Chalktalk is the RTC correspondent for the MAAC and NEC conferences.
EAST ORANGE , NJ – The conference play started on Thursday with Marist visiting Fairfield. With everyone having roughly seven games in the book it is time to look at the conference from a tempo-free angle. Again thanks to BBstate.com for making this information possible and easy to obtain. When conference play heats up in January we will look at the figures from a conference games only perspective. For now all games are considered. Efficiency is points per possession multiplied by 100. Siena at 101 actually averages 1.01 points per possession. On the other end the Saints allow .91 points per possession, a nice defensive figure. At this point the conference average pace is 70.3 possessions per game. A fast pace, largely the result of different matchups and opposite playing styles. Expect that figure to hit the sixties in league play.
Standings (through 12/3)
Player of the Week. Julius Coles (G), Canisius – Averaged 26.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in non-league wins over Howard and Buffalo. On the week Coles shot 54% from the floor and 50% from three.
Rookie of the Week. Derek Needham (G), Fairfield – Needham’s week was highlighted by a 13 point, 7 assist performance in a win at American.
A Tempo Free Look… (through 12/3)
- The ’10 Old Spice Classic field has been announced. The eight team tournament played in Orlando is sponsored by the MAAC . The conference representative next year will be Manhattan. The Jaspers will be joined by Boston College, California, Georgia, Notre Dame, Temple, Texas A & M and Wisconsin. Florida State won the recently completed edition of the Classic, edging Marquette in the final.
- The MAAC is one of the conferences where members play two league games before the new year. Conference play began on Thursday with Fairfield defeating Marist 70-61 at the arena at Harbor Yards. Anthony Johnson of Fairfield led the way with 15 points. Marist trailed at the half 29-25 and led by one with just over 8 minutes remaining. The Stags then went on a run to seal the contest. A bright spot for Marist was 7 of 14 shooting beyond the arc.
- Canisius – The win over Buffalo was the first for the Griffs over their city rival in 5 years. Canisius rallied from 10 points down and it was the first time they came back from a halftime deficit to win since March 7, 2008. Senior guard Frank Turner won the game with a runner in the lane with 1.5 seconds remaining.
- Fairfield – Yorel Hawkins came back from preseason surgery to lead the Stags twice in scoring averaging 17 ppg. The Stags block 6.4 shots per outing and are considered one of the conference’s top defensive units. The chart above confirms Fairfield’s work on the defensive end. The 92 defensive efficiency equates to a .92 points per possession for Stag opposition.
- Iona - The Gaels finished 1-2 at the Old Spice Classic. They dropped a 54-49 opener to eventual champion Florida State. The next game was an overtime loss to Baylor before rebounding with a 63-55 triumph over Creighton. Iona began their matchup with Florida State at the free throw line as the Seminoles were assessed for dunking in warm-ups. Sophomore guard Jermel Jenkins and freshman forward Mike McFadden were consistent performers through the three games at Old Spice.
- Loyola (MD) – The Greyhounds defeated Dartmouth 58-41 on the road. The 41 points were the lowest allowed since February of 1984 when the Greyhounds held Marist to 41. Back then both schools were ECAC Metro Conference (later Northeast Conference) members. Dartmouth was limited to one field goal and a single free throw in the final 12 minutes of the contest. After having one game in a week, Loyola faced a four game stretch in eight days prior to exams.
- Manhattan – Battle of the Bronx went to the Jaspers 68-44 in the 102nd meeting with rival Fordham. Manhattan opened the week with a 73-66 victory over Florida Atlantic, coached by former St. John’s mentor Mike Jarvis. Sandwiched between the Florida Atlantic and Fordham wins was a nice road victory at American. Antoine Pearson (16 points on 6 of 8 shooting) earned the John ’Doc’ Johnson MVP award in the ‘Battle of the Bronx’. Jamal Crawford was instrumental in the win at AU with a 26 point, 6 board outing.
- Marist – The young Red Fox club is in the midst of a long road swing. Marist’s first 6 games were scheduled away from the McCann Center. The long road and youth are two of the reasons for the team’s struggles. The three leading scorers, Candon Rusin (10.7), Rob Johnson (10.0) and Sam Prescott (9.0), are freshmen. Marist opened the MAAC schedule dropping a competitive meeting at Fairfield (see highlights). The tempo free chart shows the Red Foxes are struggling at both ends of the floor, but especially on the offensive end.
- Niagara – The Purple Eagles ended a stretch with 6 of 7 on the road. They defeated Mt. St. Mary’s and lost to Akron both away from the Gallagher Center’s friendly confines. Good news for Niagara was the return of Tyrone Lewis. He came off the bench and led the purple Eagles in scoring both games. Lewis made 10 threes and moved into second place on the school’s all-time list in that category. Just a thought. If there was a three back then where would Calvin Murphy have finished ?
- Rider – Broncs were 1-3 at the Cancun Challenge with the lone win over Florida A & M. Ryan Thompson and Justin Robinson earned Mayan Division All-Tournament honors at Cancun. Exotic locale aside, Lawrenceville is home. Rider returned to their ‘Broncs zoo’ to earn victories over Binghamton and St. Joe’s. That’s 25 victories in their last 29 games at their campus facility.
- St. Peter’s – They had three players in double figures. Jeron Belin scored a career high 22 points. It was not enough as the Peacocks dropped a 77-71 decision at LIU. John Dunne’s club bounced back to defeat Lafayette on the road. Belin, as well as teammates Ryan Bacon, Wesley Jenkins and Nick Leon give St. Peter’s four solid players capable of hitting double figures on a given night.
- Siena – The Saints split at the Philadelphia Hoop Group Classic defeating Brown and Delaware while losing competitive contests to Temple and undefeated St. John’s. They faced former mentor Paul Hewitt on Wednesday in a 74-61 loss at Georgia Tech. The much anticipated ‘Battle of Albany’ is Saturday as Fran McCafferey’s club hosts Albany of the America East. Ronald Moore continues solid play at the lead guard spot. Moore averaged 8.2 assists per game through the first five games, including 11 against Brown, a game he played with an ankle injury.
Saturday Dec 5
- Albany at Siena
Sunday Dec 6
- Manhattan at Canisius
- Fairfield at St.Peter’s
- Loyola at Niagara
- Marist at Rider
Monday Dec 7
- Siena at Iona
Wednesday Dec 9
- Holy Cross at Fairfield
- Manhattan at Hofstra
- Buffalo at Niagara
- LaSalle at Rider
Saturday Dec 12
- Siena at Northern Iowa