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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

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

What To Watch For: MAAC Tournament

Here are some things to watch at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament that gets underway on Thursday night at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y.

The Favorite: Monmouth has been the best team throughout the year, winning the regular-season title. The Hawks are led by dynamic point guard Justin Robinson (20.2 ppg) and sharpshooting freshman Micah Seaborn (13 ppg, 39.3 percent from 3).

Home Court: Siena coach Jimmy Patsos unsuccessfully tried to claim his Saints won’t have an advantage in their home building. He cited a neutral floor design and different locker rooms, but ask Iona or Monmouth what they think when 10,000 screaming Siena faints pack the place for a potential semifinal and final.

The Sleeper: Fourth-seeded Saint Peter’s. The Peacocks, coached by the underrated John Dunne, are the top defensive unit in the league and can make life difficult for free-flowing offensive sides like Monmouth, Iona and Siena. The last time SPU dances, it did it form the No. 4 position.

Seed is Just a Number: The No. 1 seed in the MAAC Tournament hasn’t gone on to win since Siena did it in 2010. The lowest seed to ever claim the crown was No. 8, when Fairfield did it in 1997.

At-Large: Monmouth, thanks to some quality non-league wins (Notre Dame, USC), has been in the NCAA Tournament discussion all season. King Rice’s team can grab the auto bid by winning the whole thing, but if the Hawks were to fall short might they become the second MAAC school in the last five years to grab an at-large?

Player to Watch: Iona’s A.J. English had scouts showing up in New Rochelle in droves, but can he deliver a MAAC title for the Gaels? Iona’s come up short the last two seasons, falling to archrival Manhattan in the championship both times. English led the league in scoring, averaging 22.3 point per game.

Three-Peat: Hard to see Manhattan, losers of five of their last six, running off four straight to win a third straight title, but if anyone can do it, love him or loathe him, it’s Steve Masiello.


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