All that is good with Metro-Atlantic Athletic men’s basketball.
Cormier and Andujar claim weekly awards
Cormier helped the Greyhounds extend their school Division I record best start to 8-1 with two victories in non-conference action last week, both on the road. He averaged 20.5 points, 10 more than his career average, 7.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in the wins. On Wednesday night, Cormier helped Loyola defeat the Atlantic-10 Conference’s George Washington on the Colonials’ home court. The sophomore guard scored a career-high 26, eclipsing the 22 he had in the Greyhounds’ previous game at Siena. He was 10-of-13 from the free throw line and made seven field goals, two from 3-point range. Cormier also came up a rebound shy of a double-double, logging a career-best nine against George Washington to go with a team-high four assists. On Saturday at Mount St. Mary’s, Cormier scored 15 points in 27 minutes of action, making 6-of-9 shots from the field, with 2-of-3 from behind the arc.
MAAC announces 2012 Basketball Hall of Fame Honor Roll
Edison, N.J. – In conjunction with the 2012 MAAC Basketball Championships at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass., the MAAC has announced the creation of the MAAC Honor Roll, in which honorees will be enshrined in The MAAC Experience exhibit at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
“We are proud to partner with the MAAC, its 2012 MAAC Basketball Championships and the MAAC Honor Roll, which will be a part of their exhibit at the Hall of Fame,” said John L. Doleva, President & CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “There have been so many incredible basketball players through the years from the MAAC, and it will be great to recognize these great athletes in Springfield and throughout the Basketball Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase weekend.”
Loyola garners attention in Mid-Major polls
BALTIMORE – The Loyola University Maryland men’s basketball team’s school Division I record 8-1 start and eight-game winning streak has caught the attention of the national media and mid-major coaches.
After wins over George Washington University and Mount St. Mary’s University last week, Loyola checks in at No. 15 in the ESPN.com Mid-Major Power 15.
The Greyhounds are also ranked for the first time this season in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25, checking in at 24th. Loyola is ranked in the poll for the first time since the end of the 2007-2008 season when it finished the year 19-14, the most wins in Loyola’s Division I history.
Loyola is one of two Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference teams recognized in both rankings. Iona College is 11th in the ESPN.com version and fifth in the CollegeInsider.com poll. Fairfield University is receiving votes, as well in the latter.
Jesuit Basketball Spotlight honors Cormier
BALTIMORE – A day after earning Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Week laurels, Loyola University Maryland sophomore guard Dylon Cormier (Baltimore, Md./Cardinal Gibbons High School) was named the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight Player of the Week.
The spotlight is a national effort, developed by the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, to promote men’s and women’s basketball at the 28 Jesuit Catholic Colleges and Universities in the United States. Each week, the spotlight honors one men’s and one women’s student-athlete as its player of the week.
Last week, Cormier helped the Greyhounds continue their school Division I record start. They improved to 8-1 this season with victories at George Washington University and Mount St. Mary’s University.
Walker, Olson lead Greyhounds in win at the Mount
EMMITSBURG, Md. – Shane Walker and Robert Olson combined for 39 points, and the Loyola University Maryland extended its school-record start to 8-1 this season with a 65-54 victory on Saturday afternoon at Mount St. Mary’s University in the 167th meeting of the rivalry.
Olson scored 16 of his season-high 19 after the break, and Walker tallied 12 of his season-best 20 in the second half.
“This is a tremendous rivalry, one that our players enjoy playing and fans of both teams really get up for. It’s so special because it started in 1910,” Loyola Head Coach Jimmy Patsos said of the most played series in State of Maryland history. “Guys like Robert Olson who grew up just down (Interstate) 270 (in Bethesda, Md.) and was recruited by both schools know what this means.”
Tim Cluess is his brothers’ keeper
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — At a time in college basketball when coaches pad their records at the expense of the meek, Tim Cluess keeps hearing it about his schedule, his journey through a maze of mid-major madness.
Purdue and Maryland in Puerto Rico. A date at altitude in Denver. A no-win Sunday matinee at Marshall. Twelve of the first 14 games away from his Iona campus, playing teams nobody wants to play in gyms nobody wants to visit, the kind of coach-class odyssey that can get a coach fired.
The schedule is insanely tough, just not as tough as the man who confronts it. At 52, Cluess is a scarred survivor out of one of the great sports families of New York, the West Hempstead family of Henry and Patricia Cluess that delivered four sons to St. John’s on basketball scholarships, four who would play professionally, and one daughter athletic enough to read a how-to book on racquetball before winning national and world titles in the sport within a few years.
Two great opponents to test Gael Force
The Iona College athletics department and the office of alumni relations are proud to offer pregame receptions for its men’s basketball games at Hofstra (Dec. 29) and vs. Siena at Madision Square Garden on Jan. 3.
After an arduous, five-game out-of-state road trip, Iona returns to the Metropolitan area on Dec. 29 and take on Hofstra at the Mack Sports Complex in Hempstead, NY. The 7:00 pm tip off will be preceded by a pregame Goal Club reception for members at 6:00 pm
UR will deal with NBA prospect’s passel of passes
The unofficial title of “Best Visiting College Player to Appear in Richmond This Season” goes to Scott Machado. He’s a guard who isn’t well-known to the masses, from a program that’s not often on the lips of Division I fans.
Machado and Iona (7-2), the favorite to win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship, bring a formidable challenge to the University of Richmond on Wednesday at 3 p.m. Four NBA scouts have requested credentials for entry to the Robins Center to evaluate Machado, who leads the nation in assists (10.4 apg). The 6-foot-1 senior from New York last season ranked second nationally (7.5 apg) in that category.
Herd holds down the Gaels
HUNTINGTON – The Iona Gaels, the top scoring team in Division I men’s college basketball, gets up and down the court faster than Tom Herrion can toss his suit jacket to the side.
Iona had that offense on display in the first 12:26 of the game. But Marshall adjusted and, by the end of the non-conference game at the Henderson Center on Sunday afternoon, Herrion’s Herd had held the visiting Gaels to 27 points below their 90.5 season average – its lowest point total of the season.
Fairfield posts 59-51 win over ODU
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Derek Needham scored a game-high 19 points, while Rakim Sanders just missed a double-double with nine points and 15 rebounds, lifting the Fairfield University men’s basketball team to a 59-51 win over Old Dominion on Friday night. The game was part of the Hall of Fame Holiday Showcase, played at the MassMutual Center.
Fairfield controlled this game from the outset, trailing just once when the Monarchs scored on their first possession of the game. Following Chris Cooper’s layup, Fairfield tallied the next six points to take the lead for good. Sanders tied the score on Fairfield’s initial possession, before Maurice Barrow and Adam Jones scored on consecutive touches. The Monarchs cut the lead to two points after Trian Iliadis’ three pointer made the score 9-7.
Former Marist star, Rik Smits, finds a home away from hoops…on a dirt bike?
Rik Smits spent over a decade in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers, where he was affectionately known as “The Dunking Dutchman.”
Eleven years removed from his final NBA game, his nickname might need to be updated to “The Dirt-Biking Dutchman”; because these days you will find Smits competing in motocross races while still living in the Indianapolis area.
That’s right, the 45-year-old, 7-foot-4 former NBA center that weighs nearly 300 pounds is now tearing it up on dirt tracks.
A longtime motorcycle enthusiast, Smits started riding competitively in 2001, just a year after hanging it up on the hardwood, he found the need to keep his competitive juices flowing.
It is no secret that Paul Kowalski is tagged “The Birdman”.
Standing at 6-foot-6, this Purple Eagle forward has the same playing style as the aggressive NBA player Chris Andersen, who the nickname originated from. It was during Kowalski’s sophomore season in 2009-10 when the coaches gave him this title. His aggressive style and undying resolve are attributes acknowledging the “The Birdman” nickname; something he has no problem living up to.
With the season underway, Kowalski has made an impact on and off the court.
“I go out and do my best every day,” Kowalski stated “Whatever the coach wants me to do, I’ll do it. I am a team player and I am willing to do whatever it takes to make the team successful.”
Broncs bolster bench – key recruit eligible
LAWRENCEVILLE–Junior Fortunat, a 6’9″, 220 pound freshman center from Quebec, Canada, has been cleared by the NCAA and is now eligible to play for the Rider basketball team.
A 2011 graduate of Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia, Fortunat missed the first nine games of the season while the NCAA reviewed his eligibility.
Broncs host Princeton on TV tonight
LAWRENCEVILLE–Directions from Princeton University to Rider University do not require a global positioning system (GPS), MapQuest or even a Rand McNally road map. The 6.6 mile trek basically consists of leave the Princeton campus, make a left onto Route 206 South, and 15 minutes later make a right onto the Rider campus.
But despite being the easiest of road trips, the Tigers have never visited Rider’s Lawrenceville campus for a men’s varsity basketball game.
The Rider Broncs are looking to navigate back on course Wednesday after showing improvement at 12th ranked Florida last Friday night, when they host Princeton for a 7pm televised game.
Green and Golden State
No former Siena player has ever appeared in a NBA game. Now, two former Saints are on the same roster. The Warriors released on their official website Tuesday that they have signed Tommy Mitchell ’05 to a contract. The news comes just three days after former Saint Edwin Ubiles reported to the team’s Training Camp.
Mitchell, a 6-3 guard from Tyler, Texas, played last season for the Quebec Kebs of the NBL in Canada, averaging 11.8 points in 12 games. He is 29 years old.
ALBANY, N.Y. – Siena’s freshman class has played some electrifying basketball this season, Monday night was not one of those occasions. Fordham raced out to a 13-3 lead just three and a half minutes into the game and never looked back, handing the Saints a 74-59 loss Monday night at Times Union Center.
The Saints’ (3-7) heavily relied upon freshmen shot just 5-21 (23.8%) from the field, including 1-11 from 3-point range. They also committed eight of the Saints’ 15 turnovers, leading to 23 Fordham points. The result was Siena’s seventh loss in eight games, and the team’s largest home margin of defeat in almost a year.
The Rams put Siena away early, shooting 53.6% (15-28) from the field in the first half including a blistering 7-11 (63.6%) from three. Fordham’s zone paralyzed Siena’s offense. Following their game-opening run, the Rams led by eight points or more the rest of the way.
Conley’s career-high not enough in Peacocks’ loss to Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – A career-high 20 points by Darius Conley was not enough as the Saint Peter’s College Peacocks (2-6) fell to the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers (10-1) this afternoon, 69-47. The Peacocks trailed by just 10 with 9:24 to play but Minnesota used an 18-4 run to end the game and held the Peacocks scoreless for 5:33 during the run.
Minnesota won the tip and hit a pair of three pointers to take a quick 6-0 lead. Conley then scored four straight and trailed 8-6 at the first media timeout. The Peacocks continued to keep the game close and trailed 10-9 with 14:28 to play, but four straight by the Golden Gophers gave them a 14-9 lead. The Peacocks got within three points at 19-16, but a 6-0 run by Minnesota gave the Golden Gophers a 25-16 lead with 5:50 to play. Minnesota held the margin and took a 34-23 lead into the break.
Canisius falls to South Dakota aerial attack
Louie Krogman led South Dakota with 18 points and nine assists as the Coyotes went into the Koessler Athletic Center and defeated the Canisius Golden Griffins, 67-55 in non-conference action, Thursday.
Scanning the Game Notes
At 34 years old, Steve Masiello is currently the ninth youngest
head coach in NCAA Division I
Coach, School Age Birthday
1. Andy Toole, Robert Morris 31 Sept. 11, 1980
2. Jason Capel, Appalachian State31 Jan. 15, 1980
3. Brian Wardle, UW-Green Bay 32 Oct. 10, 1980
4. Archie Miller, Dayton 33 Oct. 30, 1978
5. Tony Jasick, IPFW 33 April 17, 1978
6. Matt Langel, Colgate 34 Nov. 21, 1977
7. Jason James, UT Martin 34 Oct. 10, 1977
8. Josh Pastner, Memphis 34 Sept. 26, 1977
9. Steve Masiello, Manhattan 34 Sept. 2, 1977
10. Bobby Washington, Grambling34 June 1, 1977
11. John Gallagher, Hartford 34 May 27, 1977
12. Michael White, Louisiana Tech34 March 2, 1977
The Griffs’ 87-83 win over Longwood Nov. 15, marked the first time under sixth-year head coach Tom Parrotta the Blue and Gold won a game when allowing their opponents to score more than 80 points. Prior to the win over Longwood, the last time Canisius won a game despite giving up more than 80 points was Feb. 24, 2006, when the team defeated Saint Peter’s 91-84 in overtime in Jersey City, N.J. To find the last time Canisius won a game in regulation when giving up 80-or more points, you need to go back to Feb. 26, 2005 when the Griffs defeated Marist 85-81 on the road.
READY FOR ACTION
Juan’ya Green’s 19.7 ppg are second in the nation amongst in freshmen and 32nd in the nation. Green currently leads the MAAC in scoring and minutes played per game (37.5), fourth in assists per game (3.1), second in free throw percentage (87.8), sixth in steals (1.5).
The Stags put together one of their best defensive games against Old Dominion, allowing a season low 51 points with a season-high seven blocks in addition to 10 steals. The 10 steals marks the fourth time this year that the team has reached double figures in that category. The Stags have allowed less than 60 points in four games this year, all coming in the
last seven games.
1. Machado, ION – 11.4
2. Thompson, RID – 4.3
3. Jones, ION – 3.6
4. Mitchell, RID – 3.0
7. Price, MAR – 2.8
3-Point FG Pct:
1. Price, MAR – .531
2. Groves, CAN – .471
3. Myles, RID – .462
4. Armand, ION – .444
5. McCabe, MAN – .440
Got any items to add to the Break? Post them here.