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Welcome back to the Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog. Yes, we're still alive, and with the 2015-16 season rapidly approaching, it's time to fire up the old blog for another season. Check back here throughout the year for updates on all things Rider and Princeton, including coverage of both the MAAC and Ivy League. Feel free to drop me a line on twitter @kj_franko ( or email

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Almost half-way there; PMI Week 6

We’re nearing the mid-way point in the MAAC season, and here’s what we know: First, Siena, which entered the season with absurdly high expectations, has met them as far as league play is concerned.

The Saints are so good that when they play their best the opponent has no chance, and when they play their worst – even if it’s on the road – they still win. Having survived at Marist, then manhandled Fairfield in Bridgeport, it’s reasonable to at least start wondering if 18-0 is possible.

We also know that, as far as these rankings are concerned, teams in spots two through seven are really close, and there’s perfect evidence to back that point up: Marist, in the seven slot this week, beat Niagara (ranked second) by 18 when the teams met last week in Poughkeepsie.

Teams ranked nine and 10 are a step behind the rest, but no longer incapable of keeping up with the pack. Exhibit A is Canisius. The Griffs have lost to Saint Peter’s (by 18), so with one league win they’re still in the 10 spot. But they clobbered Rider, then nearly took down Iona – a two-game stretch that wouldn’t have been possible a month ago.

So here’s how I see things in Week 6 of the Index:

1. Siena (14-5, 8-0, 29)
See above. Would I bet on 18-0? Probably not, since it’s a long season and even the best teams come up small once in a while. But you’d be crazy to say it’s impossible.

2. Niagara (14-5, 5-2, 90)
Saved face with a double digit win over Rider. But as Joe Mihalich noted after the Eagles’ loss to Iona, they’re not in Siena’s class.

3. Fairfield (12-7, 5-3, 77)
Stags are in this spot because somebody has to be and they have five league wins. But Rider Friday at a sure-to-be jumpin’ Alumni Hall is a must-win.

4. Iona (9-10, 4-4, 157)
If only Jermel Jenkins’ 3 at the buzzer at Rider had gone in. … Gaels are winners of three of four and looking very much like an upper-half team.

5. Rider (9-8, 4-3, 169)
Hard to imagine that Buffalo trip having gone any worse, but Broncs still have a winning record in the league – for now.

6. Manhattan (9-8, 4-4, 215)
Jaspers – so good against Siena, so bad against Loyola – are tough to read. They’re dangerous, but as 4-4 league record shows, inconsistent.

7. Marist (7-13, 3-5, 223)
Win over Siena would have been huge. Loss at Loyola is disappointing, but Red Foxes have plenty of success ahead of them.

8. Loyola (8-12, 3-5, 178)
Just when you thought the Hounds wouldn’t be heard from again, they beat Manhattan and Marist back-to-back. Jamal Barney is MAAC’s leading scorer and further proof that Jimmy Patsos is always ready with a transfer who can take over.

9. Saint Peter’s (5-13, 2-6, 306)
Peacocks never get blown out but rarely win. Wesley Jenkins can play, but he doesn’t have a whole lot of help.

10. Canisius (6-12, 1-7, 220)
Resurgent Golden Griffs have showed they’re not pushovers. They’re young enough that a strong second half could be a springboard to big things next year.


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