MAAC Event Preview: Peak Instances, Help & How To Watch Siena Tries To Attain The NCAA Event
Can Siena finish an excellent season with a spot in a event? Can Monmouth lastly finish a string of sorrows? Or will Iona write the identical outdated story – even with an uncommon season and a brand new coach – and nonetheless qualify for the massive dance?
All of them seem like viable potentialities in a season that has seen practically each MAAC staff drastically affected by COVID. Though Siena crossed the end line within the common season with the perfect report, neither they nor any staff appear dominant sufficient to be a lock on the event crown.
The MAAC has chosen a distinct path than most by selecting to seed by whole wins somewhat than win proportion and even metric adjusted win proportion. In doing so, a staff like Iona, which holds a share of the second greatest successful proportion. could also be vastly under-ranked as a result of some important COVID delays which notably prompted his coach to request a postponement of the season. They may face groups like Siena prior to they might beneath regular circumstances.
All video games at Boardwalk Corridor, Atlantic Metropolis, NJ
Siena (12-4, 12-4): Essentially the most constant staff all through the season, the Saints had a four-game successful streak earlier than dropping their regular-season closing to Canisius in a weird single-point vogue. Metrics appear to love them; Siena is the highest-ranked MAAC staff in KenPom and is tied for second within the MAAC in factors allowed per sport. Not solely are they good at protection, however they’re distinctive at defending with out fail, permitting the fewest fouls and free throws tried in convention.
Maybe the perfect information is that Jalen Pickett of the Saints, final yr’s MAAC POY, seems as wholesome as all season after struggling a hamstring damage early on. Pickett is joined within the MAAC first staff by teammate Manny Camper, a favourite for this yr’s Participant of the Yr, who averages a double-double at 16.4 factors and 10.0 rebounds. Additionally they acquired a stunning contribution from former walk-on Jordan King, averaging over 12 factors per sport, and purpose to carry again senior guard Nick Hopkins after lacking the final 5 video games. Carmen Maciarello’s Saints have been sturdy all through the season and seem like in good well being and taking their step on the proper time.
Monmouth (12-7, 12-6): Is it Monmouth time? The Hawks final went dancing in 2006, however have been crushed down by dangerous luck (and Iona) recently. Mid-major followers bear in mind their 2016 season with large wins and a vigorous bench, solely to be defeated by Iona within the closing; 5 of their final six years, they’ve had successful seasons in convention and failed. This yr, King Rice’s facet lead the league with 74.1 factors per sport – their greatest groups so far, in 2016 and 2017, additionally ranked among the many highest within the nation in factors scored. They’re led this yr by a trio of double-digit scorers: George Papas, Melik Martin and the unanimous first-team choice Deion Hammond. They’re all seniors to accompany seasoned coach Rice in his tenth season. The Hawks, who would keep away from going through Siena and Iona till the ultimate, are 9-3 of their final 12 video games and haven’t been as badly affected by COVID as a number of the different individuals. They hope that a few of their chemistry and continuity will assist them overcome their poor protection and finish the drought of their event.
Iona (8-5. 6-3): The Gaels are there as a result of … nicely, they all the time appear to have the. And by that we imply the NCAA event. They’ve gained the final 4 (accomplished) MAAC tournaments and, regardless of dropping longtime coach Tim Cluess, had been capable of rent maybe the largest title of any mid-major program in Rick Pitino. Sadly, this season’s Gaels squad have been hit by two large COVID breaks: they’d an unimaginable 49 days between video games between December 23 and February 12 on their first break, and their second has continued since a win decisive in opposition to Monmouth on February. 20. The Gaels are the perfect capturing staff within the convention and are led by convention high scorer Isaiah Ross with over 20 factors per sport however with simply 13 video games performed they really feel just like the wild card. And but, it will virtually be becoming if, in a season with so many modifications (together with Iona’s head coach), the Gaels might return to the event.
The lengthy strokes
Saint-Pierre (13-10, 10-8): The Peacocks enable the fewest factors per sport within the MAAC, and junior ahead KC Ndefo is among the primary causes. A high ten-ranking stat sheet hangman in factors, steals, blocks and rebounds, Ndefo is especially dominant on the defensive facet, main the nation in blocks per sport. Shaheen Holloway’s peloton have confirmed able to beating good groups: Saint Peter’s ought to have crushed St. John’s earlier within the season, beat La Salle and Stony Brook, and gained divisions with Siena and Monmouth over the course of the yr.
Marist (12-8, 10-8): The Pink Foxes additionally sport a strong protection, tied for the second lowest factors per sport allowed. Offensively, they’re younger and led by freshmen Ricardo Wright and Hakim Byrd, who’ve earned spots on the MAAC All-Rookie squad. Though they’ve been by means of a tough January, dropping six of 9 video games at one level, they’re the one staff to have gained a number of video games in a row.
Gamers to observe
Jake Wojcik, Jr., Fairfield: 13.6 Pts, 2.8 Reb, 2.2 Ast
Taj Benning, Sr., Fairfield: 12.0 Pts, 4.5 Reb, 1.3 Ast
Isaiah Ross, Sr., Iona: 20.5 Pts, 3.3 Reb, 1.7 Ast
Nelly Junior Joseph, Fr., Iona: 12.1 Pts, 7.1 Reb, 1.2 Ast
Ant Nelson, Jr., Manhattan: 13.3 Pts, 3.2 Reb, 3.0 Ast
Warren Williams, Jr., Manhattan: 11.5 Pts, 7.5 Reb, 0.8 Ast
Hakim Byrd, Fr., Marist: 9.8 Pts, 2.4 Reb, 3.1 Ast
Ricardo Wright, Fr., Marist: 11.4 Pts, 3.9 Reb, 1.8 Ast
Deion Hammond, Sr., Monmouth: 17.2 Pts, 3.8 Reb, 1.7 Ast
George Papas, Sr., Monmouth: 12.6 Pts, 3.3 Reb, 1.8 Ast
Melik Martin, Sr., Monmouth: 12.5 Pts, 5.8 Reb, 1.7 Ast
Marcus Hammond, Jr., Niagara: 13.2 Pts, 5.7 Reb, 2.9 Ast
Kobi Nwandu, Sr., Niagara: 14.5 Pts, 3.0 Reb, 2.7 Ast
Jacob Rigoni, Sr., Quinnipiac: 12.0 Pts, 6.3 Reb, 1.3 Ast
Tymu Chenery, Fr., Quinnipiac: 10.0 Pts, 3.9 Reb, 0.8 Ast
Luis Kortright, Sire, Quinnipiac: 10.5 Pts, 3.9 Reb, 2.9 Ace
Dwight Murray Jr., Jr., Driver: 15.9 Pts, 6.0 Reb, 4.1 Ast
KC Ndefo, Jr., Saint-Pierre: 13.6 Pts, 6.2 Reb, 1.4 Ast
Daryl Banks III, So., Saint-Pierre: 10.8 Pts, 3.8 Reb, 2.3 Ast
Manny Camper, Sr., Siena: 14.6 Pts, 10.0 Reb, 3.9 Ast
Jalen Pickett, Jr., Siena: 12.8 Pts, 6.2 Reb, 4.8 Ast
Jordan King, So., Siena: 12.5 Pts, 1.6 Reb, 2.1 Ast
Iona attracts on Isaiah Ross, Rick Pitino and their event pedigree to stifle Siena within the quarterfinals and proceed to signify MAAC within the large dance for the fifth time in a row.