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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.

Monday, December 26, 2011

MAAC Monday

-- Every Monday I'll take a look around the MAAC from the week that was and look ahead to what's on tap. Without further ado, on to the inaugural addition of MAAC Monday:

Canisius (2-9, 0-2): Last week -- def. South Dakota, 90-80 in overtime; lost to Loyola-Illinois, 59-45. This week -- Dec. 28 vs. Binghamton (0-10), Jan. 1 at Fairfield (7-5). OUTLOOK: Rumblings that Tom Perrotta could be on the hot seat in Buffalo started after his team's exit in the MAAC quarterfinals a year ago and the Griffs' rough start this season can't be helping matters. Facing winless Binghamton in their final non-conference game could at least give them a lift heading into the league grind.

AP Photo: Rakim Sanders Fairfield

Fairfield (7-5, 2-0): Last week -- lost to No. 9 Connecticut, 79-71. This week -- Dec. 28 at Drexel (6-4), Jan. 1 vs. Canisius (2-9). OUTLOOK: There was hope the MAAC could grab two NCAA bids this year with both the Stags and Iona putting out talented teams. After the first 12 games, it looks like the only way the league gets two bids is if someone other than Iona wins the conference tournament. The Stags had chances for quality wins but are 0-5 in those games with the only solid victory coming against 6-6 Old Dominion. That said, Sydney Johnson will like the way his kids battled back against UConn after falling behind by double digits in the first half. A win over a good Drexel team that was picked to win the CAA would be nice boost heading into league play.

Iona (10-2, 2-0): Last week -- def. Vermont, 73-72; def. William & Mary, 83-65. This week -- Dec. 29 at Hofstra (5-7), Jan. 3 vs. Siena. OUTLOOK: The Gaels have lived up to the hype that came with their talented roster. They can finish an eight-game road trip 7-1 by beating Hofstra Thursday. Mike Glover's been a beast, averaging 18.7 points and 8.4 rebounds per game and Scott Machado has been every bit of a top-five point guard, averaging 10.4 assists per game. Barring a 2012 collapse in MAAC play, Iona has set itself up nicely for an at-large bid should it falter in the conference tournament.

Loyola (8-3, 2-0): Last week -- lost to No. 3 Kentucky, 87-63. This week -- Dec. 28 at Bucknell (8-5), Jan. 2 vs. Niagara (4-8). OUTLOOK: Jimmy Pastos won't be disappointed with his team's effort at Rupp Arena. The Greyhounds trailed by six at the half before the Wildcats pulled away in the second half. Erik Etherly (12.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg) is having an All-MAAC type of season.

Manhattan (8-5, 2-0): Last week -- def. Towson, 81-62; lost to George Mason, 81-61. This week -- Dec. 30 at Binghamton (0-10), Jan. 2 vs. Rider (3-10). OUTLOOK: Steve Masiello's team won five in a row before falling at George Mason and after a 2-0 start to conference play the Jaspers should feel confident. George Beamon is averaging 16.4 points per game for a team that has overachieved this year after winning six games a year ago.

Marist (5-7, 1-1): Last week -- def. Hartford, 89-86 in double overtime; lost to Penn, 84-71. This week -- Dec. 28 vs. Columbia (7-4), Jan. 2 vs. St. Peter's (2-10). OUTLOOK: The five wins for Chuck Martin's squad is a success after six wins all of last season. The Red Foxes will surely surpass that total but it's still hard to see them finishing in the top six.

Niagara (4-8, 0-2): Last week -- lost to Quinnipiac, 85-81. This week -- Dec. 2 vs. UMBC (1-10), Dec. 30 vs. St. Bonaventure (6-5), Jan. 2 at Loyola (8-3). OUTLOOK: The Purple Eagles have lost five of their last six after a 3-3 start but it's not the fault of freshman Juan'ya Green. The guard's averaging 19.1 points per game to lead the league.

St. Peter's (2-10, 1-1): Last week -- lost to Kent St., 67-58; lost to Utah St.; 72-47, lost to Texas-Arlington, 73-68. This week -- Dec. 28 vs. Lehigh (9-4), Jan. 2 at Marist (5-7). OUTLOOK: John Dunne knew this was going to be a difficult season. He lost four starters from last season's MAAC tournament championship team and his team's youth has been exploited. They've lost six straight, failing to score 50 points in three of those games.

Siena (4-7, 0-2): Last week -- def. Princeton, 63-59. This week -- Dec. 28 at Florida Atlantic (4-8), Jan. 3 vs. Iona (10-2). OUTLOOK: How to figure the Saints? They lost seven of eight after starting 2-0, then picked up a nice win over Princeton at home. Freshman guard Evan Hymes has been outstanding this season, scoring a career-high 22 points against Princeton. Siena might just be dangerous in the MAAC this season.

Rider (3-10, 0-2): Last week -- def. UMBC, 73-66 in overtime; def. Monmouth 74-62. This week: Dec. 30 at Stony Brook (3-6), Jan. 2 at Manhattan (8-5): OUTLOOK: No question the Broncs have been the biggest disappointment in the league, but they showed signs of life last week. The defense is starting to pick up, holding three straight opponents under 80 points.

GAME BALLS

- Brandon Penn (Rider) matched a career-high 26 points in the team's win over Monmouth. He also set career bests in field goals made (eight) and rebound (15). The Broncs have won two in a row for the first time all season.
- Evan Hymes (Siena) scored a career-high 22 points to help the Saints get a much-needed win over a decent Princeton team. Hymes leads the Saints with 15 point per game.

AIR BALLS

- St. Peter's has lost six straight and while the defending tournament champs were going to struggled after losing four starters, the Peacocks look like they could finish rock bottom in the MAAC.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evan Hymes had 30 against Mt. St. Mary's in November, which is his career high at this point, not the 22 against Princeton.

December 26, 2011 at 4:52 PM 
Anonymous don turtuccio said...

Oh yeah. The blog is back. This is awesome.

December 26, 2011 at 7:22 PM 
Anonymous don turtuccio said...

There better be some CoverItLive.

December 26, 2011 at 7:22 PM 

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