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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 (https://twitter.com/kj_franko) or email kfranko@trentonian.com.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My outrageously early 2010-11 rankings

Fairfield's loss to Creighton last night in the CIT quarterfinals officially brought an end to the MAAC 2009-10 MAAC season, meaning it's time to look toward next year.

By the time September rolls around, the MAAC landscape could look quite a bit different. But for now, we'll run with the flawed assumption that things will stay as they appear now, and go through a quick rundown of what the league pecking order should look like.

With that, the blog's admittedly premature 2010-11 rankings.

1. Fairfield: Won 23 games -- and came within a 15-foot jumper of the MAAC title -- with a freshman as its most dominant player. Losing Anthony Johnson and Mike Evanovich will hurt, but those losses could be offset by the returns of Warren Edney and Yorel Hawkins.

2. Siena: Those arguing the Saints will finish fifth or sixth are either insincere or delusional. They'll lose the best three-player class in recent history, meaning they're no longer the favorites. But I'll take my chances with Ryan Rossiter, Clarence Jackson, and the league's best recruiting class and coaching staff. That is, of course, if Fran McCaffery returns.

3. Iona: Won 21 games with one of the MAAC's youngest lineups. The Gaels return five starters from a team that finished third, and everyone on the roster should improve. But Kevin Willard's teams are 0-for-the-MAAC-tournament over the last three years -- a stat that can't be ignored.

4. Saint Peter's: Like Iona, the Peacocks return virtually everyone from a team that got a lot better over the past year. But like the Gaels, the Peacocks have shown an inability to win big games. Until that changes, I don't think they're title contenders.

5. Rider: Replacing Ryan Thompson -- unquestionably one of the five best players in school history -- won't be easy. So how will the Broncs replicate their fifth-place finish? Easy: Their two heralded freshmen are ready to contribute right away and, more importantly, the bottom half of the league will be far weaker than it was last year.

6. Manhattan: The Jaspers were wise to bring back Barry Rohrssen for at least one more year. Manhattan showed resolve in the face of adversity down the stretch, and with weaker competition throughout the league, Rico Pickett is poised for a dominant year.

7. Canisius: If the Golden Griffs finish seventh again, there's almost no way Tom Parrotta will be back in 2011-12. With that in mind, Parrotta needs to hope the four starters he has back will somehow play better without Frank Turner -- a scenario that's possible albeit unlikely.

8. Niagara: I trust Joe Mihalich enough to think that the Eagles won't be horrible, but it's hard to imagine them being a major factor without Tyrone Lewis, Bilal Benn or Rob Garrison -- players that have carried them over the past three seasons.

9. Loyola: The Hounds badly underachieved this past year and are staring at an uncertain future without Brett Harvey.

10. Marist: Chuck Martin's second year was so big a disaster that, between the astoundingly bad performance and the academic issues, the Red Foxes would have been justified in firing him. That's exactly what will happen a year from now if the Foxes don't show significant improvement.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Beagle said...

Ben you homer

March 23, 2010 at 3:25 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What odds do you give Frannie Mac to still be in Siena next year?

March 23, 2010 at 4:22 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

siennnna will not be top 3 next year

March 23, 2010 at 6:03 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

expect a huge year for mike ringgold- POY calling it right now

March 23, 2010 at 8:59 PM 
Anonymous MaacFan said...

Fairfield is losing a lot this year too. Still you think a #1? I'd have to say Iona and Fairfield the top 2 and Siena a very close 3rd. Doesn't Siena have a transfer that will be eligible to play next season from a Big East school? Anon..Ringold POY? HAHA that's a good one. He's a tough/physical player, but he wasn't on any on the All-Maac teams this year.

March 24, 2010 at 10:15 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rider returns the best nucleus next year. If their 'heralded' frosh contribute right away, and Dempsey is able to motivate the team, Rider wins the league easily.

March 25, 2010 at 6:41 PM 
Anonymous Marist #1 Fan said...

Ben, you are crazy picking us last. This year our freshman played a ton of minutes and really developed. We will definately not be last, maybe 9th but not last.

March 26, 2010 at 7:19 AM 
Anonymous MaacFan said...

Rider's "best nucleus" graduates in May. Yes, they return 4 starters, but name 1 of them on an all MAAC Team this past year. Sorry to say Anon, but Rider is not winning anything "easily" next season.

March 26, 2010 at 10:48 PM 

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