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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

Monday, January 23, 2012

MAAC Monday (Jan. 23)

-- Happy Monday to all. We'll take a look at news and notes from around the MAAC in a moment but first condolences to Marist College and the families of those that lost their lives in the off-campus fire Saturday. The school postponed Sunday's men's game against Fairfield and Monday's women's game against St. Peter's.

First some Rider news to pass along: The school officially announced the transfer of Nurideen Lindsey from St. John's today. Lindsey is enrolled in the school for the second semester, which began today. He can also begin practicing with the team today.

The school will apply for a waiver that would allow Lindsey, a sophomore, to play immediately as a junior next season. If that waiver is denied, Lindsey would have 1 1/2 years of eligibility remaining and would be able to begin play with the Broncs in December.

Lindsey appeared in nine games -- all starts -- for the Red Storm, averaging 11.8 points per game before announcing his decision to transfer in December.

Just one game on tonight's docket. It's league-leaders Iona (15-4, 7-1) traveling to Siena (8-10, 3-5) with the Saints try to avenge a 36-point loss to the Gaels earlier this month. Iona's Sean Armand made a conference and school-record 10 3-pointers in that game, including scoring the final 20 points of the first half. Iona made 17 3-pointers in that game.

Siena responded by winning three straight league games but has dropped its last two coming into tonight's game. The Saints only play six players so you have to wonder if their lack of depth is starting to catch up with them.

MAAC Standings as of Jan. 23:

1. Iona (15-4, 7-1): Last week -- def. Rider, 91-71. This week -- Jan. 23 at Siena; Jan. 27 at Fairfield; Jan. 29 at St. Peter's.

2. Loyola (14-5, 7-2): Last week -- def. Siena, 66-55; def. St. Peter's, 65-54. This week -- Jan. 27 at Niagara; Jan. 29 at Canisius. *Loyola has head-to-head win over Manhattan.

2. Manhattan (14-7, 7-2): Last week -- def. Marist, 61-44; def. Niagara, 71-64. This week -- Jan. 27 at Canisius; Jan. 29 at Niagara.

4. Fairfield (10-9, 5-3): Last week -- def. Rider, 61-52; def. St. Peter's, 75-63. This week -- Jan. 27 vs. Iona; Jan. 29 vs. Marist.

5. Niagara (9-12, 4-5): Last week -- def. Canisius, 75-56; lost to Manhattan, 71-64; This week -- Jan. 27 vs. Loyola; Jan. 29 vs. Manhattan.

5. Rider (7-14, 4-5): Last week -- lost to Fairfield, 61-52; def. Canisius, 89-65. This week -- Jan. 26 vs. St. Peter's; Jan. 29 vs. Siena.

7. Siena (8-10, 3-5): Last week -- lost to Loyola, 66-55. This week -- Jan. 23 vs. Iona; Jan. 27 vs. Marist; Jan. 29 at Rider.

8. St. Peter's (4-16, 3-6): Last week -- lost to Fairfield, 75-63; lost to Loyola, 65-54. This week -- Jan. 26 at Rider; Jan. 29 vs. Iona.

9. Marist (7-12, 2-6): Last week -- lost to Manhattan, 61-44. This week -- Jan. 27 at Siena; Jan. 29 at Fairfield.

10. Canisius (4-15, 1-8): Last week -- lost to Niagara, 75-56; lost to Rider, 89-65. This week: Jan. 27 vs. Manhattan; Jan. 28 vs. Canisius.

News and Notes:
  • Scott Machado is the best point guard in the country. He had 15 assists against Rider and leads the country in assists per game with 10.6. Last week he was named to the Midseason Wooden Award Top 25. He probably won't end up as one of the finalists for the award, but being on the Midseason Top 25 is nice recognition for what he's accomplished. 
  • Five wins in a row for Steve Masiello's Manhattan has the Jaspers keeping the pressure on Iona atop the league. Remember, Manhattan already has a win over the Gaels when it rallied from 17-down to win on Emmy Andujar's buzzer-beater. George Beamon (17.2 ppg) is fourth in the league in scoring.
  • Loyola has won five of its last six with the lone loss coming against Iona. The Grehounds are also 7-2 in the league, tied with Manhattan. They have a head-to-head win over the Jaspers. Sophomore guard Dylon Cormier (15.3 ppg) has stepped up to become one of the league's best guards.
  • Maybe Fairfield is finally finding its groove. The Stags have bounced back from three straight losses with a pair of wins over Rider and St. Peter's, respectively. This week marks the first of the Fairfield-Iona matchups that were expected to determine the league's regular season champion.
  • Brandon Penn has scored 173 points in Rider's last 10 games (17.3 ppg). Other teams are starting to take notice of him and trying find ways to limit his shots. Penn's 44.6 percent from behind the arc is second in the conference to Sean Armand (48.9 percent). He deserves to end up on All-League team somewhere. 
  • Canisius is really struggling. The Griffs shot 6 for 32 in the first half against Rider to dig themselves a 21-point halftime hole. Right now they look doomed to finish last in the MAAC. Tom Parrotta has to feel his seat getting hot.
  • Have to wonder if Siena's lack of depth is catching up with it. OD Anosike -- the nation's leading rebounder (12.6 per game) -- and fantastic freshman Evan Hymes have kept the Saints afloat but two straight losses and a date with Iona (who beat them by 36 in the first meeting) tonight has to make you wonder if Siena is due for a real struggle in the second half of the MAAC season.
MAAC Awards at halfway point:

All-League First Team: G-Scott Machado (Iona), G-George Beamon (Manhattan), F-Rakim Sanders (Fairfield), F-OD Anosike (Siena), F-Mike Glover (Iona).
Coach of the Year: Steve Masiello (Manhatan) -- The Jaspers only won six games a year ago and Masiello has worked a near miracle to have them at 14-7 and 7-2 in the MAAC. Jimmy Pastos and Tim Cluess rank right behind him.
Rookie of the Year: Juan'ya Green (Niagara) -- His 17.4 points per game are second in the conference. He's a big reason why the Purple Eagles are an improved team from a year ago. Siena's Evan Hymes has closed the gap and should also be considered.
Player of the Year: Scott Machado (Iona) -- Glover, the Preseason Player of the Year, leads the league in scoring but Machado is the real difference maker. He's the engine that drives the Gaels and gets all the other players open shots.

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