Baron’s Brigade comes to the KAC, Ubiles gets D-League honor, Oher’s little brother and the MAAC Press Break

Juan'ya Green (Courtesy: NU athletics)

The comings and goings of Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference men’s basketball.

Niagara’s Green named mid-major freshman of the year

BOSTON – Niagara men’s basketball freshman sensation Juan’ya Green has been named CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Freshman of the Year.

Green became the first freshman and second Purple Eagle in program history to earn Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Rookie of the Year honors this season. Green, who was named to the MAAC All-Rookie, MAAC All-Third Team and the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Freshmen All-America team, orchestrated the nation’s third youngest team on both ends of the court.

The Philadelphia native led the Purple Eagles in scoring, assists, steals, field goals and free throws while starting in every game during his freshman campaign.

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Canisius names Jim Baron coach

Jim Baron, a winner of 390 career games that includes eight 20-win seasons, two NCAA Tournament berths and 11 postseason appearances, has been named the 23rd head coach in Canisius College men’s basketball history, Canisius College Director of Athletics Bill Maher announced today.

Baron, who signed a five-year contract, will be formally introduced at a 3 p.m. press conference in the Koessler Athletic Center on Tuesday, April 3.

“I am extremely pleased to introduce Jim Baron as our men’s basketball coach,” Maher said.  “In naming Jim to this position, we have hired a man who has a proven track record of building successful basketball programs and developing young men. He is excited to return to Western New York to lead the Canisius College basketball program.

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High status athletics have a high price

Canisius College did more than hire a proven coach upon bringing Jim Baron into the fold. The Griffs overhauled the culture within their basketball program by pledging a financial commitment comparable to some of the bigger spenders in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

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MAAC among NCAA stat leaders

Edison, N.J. Several individuals and teams either led the nation or ranked in the top five according to the final NCAA statistics report for the 2011-12 men’s basketball season.

Siena College junior forward OD Anosike led the nation in rebounds per game, pulling down 12.5 boards per game for the Saints.  He also recorded 23 double doubles this past season, ranking him second on the NCAA leaderboard.  As a team, Siena came in third for personal fouls per game, as the Saints were called for just 13.9 violations per contest over 31 games played.

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CAA gives up BracketBusters

Colonial Athletic Association commissioner Tom Yeager said he was well aware that signing a new agreement with NBC Sports would likely mean the end of the CAA’s involvement in the ESPN-sponsored BracketBusters, beginning in 2013. “We are disappointed but we understand the business,’’ Yeager said. He said that the benefits of signing with NBC outweighed the risks of losing a spot in BracketBusters.

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Trio joins Loyola for 2012-12

BALTIMORELoyola University Maryland Head Men’s Basketball Coach Jimmy Patsos announced the addition of three student-athletes to the Greyhounds’ 2012-13 freshman class, Jarred Jones (Havre de Grace, Md./John Carroll School), Eric Laster (Smyrna, Del./Polytech H.S.) and Sean Tuohy Jr. (Memphis, Tenn./Briarcrest Christian H.S.).

The trio will join fellow incoming freshmen Josh Forney (Baltimore, Md./St. Frances Academy) and Will Rassman (Takoma Park, Md./Gonzaga College H.S.), who signed with Loyola in the fall.

“We’re excited to have Jarred, Eric and S.J. join our program,” Patsos said. “With Jarred, we are bringing in another player who knows what it takes to be successful in the Baltimore Catholic League, one of the top high school conferences around, and Eric certainly had a terrific senior year in Delaware. S.J. comes from a highly successful high school program, and he is a pass-first guy who has also been on excellent teams.”

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Siena’s Hymes named CollegeInsider.com mid-major Freshman All-American

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – Siena Basketball freshman guard Evan Hymes added another honor to an already star-studded rookie season. The Saints’ floor general has been named to the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Freshman All-American Team.

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Ubiles named D-League rookie-of-the-year

Edwin Ubiles needed a mulligan.

A four-year standout at Siena, who concluded his college career in 2010, Ubiles sat out what was to be his rookie season after having surgery to fix a stress fracture in his right tibia.

He split the fairway with his next drive, capturing 2012 NBA Development League Rookie of the Year honors as a member of the Dakota Wizards. The award recognizes the first-year professional who most significantly contributed to his team’s success during the course of the season.

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Manhattan’s Bob Byrnes to receive MBWA Distinguished Service Award

RIVERDALE, N.Y.The Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association (MBWA) will present Manhattan College Athletic Director Bob Byrnes with the organization’s 2012 Distinguished Service Award. Byrnes, who is in his 24th year as athletic director at his alma mater, will be joined by fellow Distinguished Service Award honorees Wagner College Athletic Director Walt Hameline and long-time Baruch College head men’s basketball coach Ray Rankis. Byrnes, Hameline and Rankis will be presented with their awards during the 79th NIT/MBWA All-Met Haggerty Awards Dinner on April 26 at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown, N.Y.

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Glover selected to play in Portsmouth Invitational

PORTSMOUTH, VA – Iona College men’s basketball senior forward Mike Glover has been invited to the 60th Annual Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in Portsmouth, VA.  The three day tournament runs tomorrow (Apr. 11) through Saturday (Apr. 14) at Churchland High School.

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Rhamel Brown named to CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Defensive All-American Team

RIVERDALE, N.Y. Manhattan men’s basketball sophomore forward Rhamel Brown earned Mid-Major All-America Defensive Team honors from CollegeInsider.com. The 2012 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference ‘Defensive Player of the Year’ set the Jaspers single season blocks record and led the league with 84 rejections. He was one of 21 mid-major players to earn the accolade from CollegeInsider.com.

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Sydney Johnson announces coaching staff change

Martin Bahar, who served as Fairfield University’s director of basketball operations in 2011-12, will take over for Nash as an assistant coach on Johnson’s staff. It will be the second assistant coaching position for Bahar, who also was an assistant under Johnson at Princeton University. Bahar’s also spent time with the men’s basketball program at Georgetown University.

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Sanders and Etherly earn All-Jesuit team honors

Selected to the NABC All-District 1 first team and the USBWA All-District 1 first team. … Named to the All-MAAC first team. … Led Fairfield in both scoring (16.6) and rebounding (8.2). … Led the Stags to a CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament berth, which ended with a defeat in the CIT semifinals/ … Scored 20 or more points 12 times and led the Stags in scoring 23 times.

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Sanders named one of the breakout stars of Portsmouth Invitational

It’s hard to prove consistency in such a short tournament, but Rakim Sanders is doing just that. The Fairfield senior had a great opening night and is doing just the same in night No. 2.

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Machado named AP All-America Honorable Mention

NEW ROCHELLE, NY – Iona College men’s basketball senior point guard Scott Machado was named Associated Press All-America Honorable mention for his performance in the 2011-12 campaign.

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Ron Johnson joins Marist staff

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – Marist College announced the hiring of Ron Johnson as the new assistant coach for the Marist men’s basketball program on Tuesday. Johnson joins the Red Foxes after a decorated coaching career at both the collegiate and high school levels.

“We are excited to have Ron join our family at Marist. He brings a wealth of knowledge and tremendous contacts in recruiting,” Martin said. “I am really looking forward to working with Ron.”

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Marist: Some success, more coming

A sub-.500 usually isn’t considered a notable achievement, but in light of the fact that the Red Foxes finished 1-17 in league play and 1-29 overall just two years ago (2009-10), this past season was one of considerable progress. And, there were plenty of bright spots. For instance, after a 7-7 start the team lost eight games in a row at midseason and could easily have lost its enthusiasm. Instead a cast of youthful players hung in there and won seven of its last 10 games, including a post-season tournament play-in game (a 61-57 victory over Saint Peter’s) before losing to Iona (87-63) in the event’s quarterfinals.

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Chavaughn Lewis named to CollegeInsider.com mid-major freshmen All-America team

BOSTON Marist Men’s Basketball freshman Chavaughn Lewis (Queens, N.Y.) was named on Tuesday to the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Freshmen All-America Team. A MAAC All-Rookie Team member, Lewis was one of 25 student-athletes named to the nationwide squad.

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Niagara grants Langford’s transfer request

NIAGARA UNIV., N.Y. – Niagara men’s basketball junior Ali Langford will transfer from the Purple Eagle program for personal reasons.

“Ali is a first-class guy and a high character kid,” head coach Joe Mihalich said.  “We completely understand his situation and wish him the best. He will always be a part of the Niagara basketball family.”

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Rider lands Conwell-Egan’s Nwaniemka

The first thing Conwell-Egan Catholic coach Rick Sabol noticed about Jamal Nwaniemeka was how athletic he was. Sabol felt like if Nwaniemeka’s work ethic matched his athleticism, he would have a good chance at landing a Division I scholarship.

Turns out it did.

Nwaniemeka, a 6-foot-2 guard, averaged 24.4 points per game last season, leading the Philadelphia Catholic League in scoring. Next season, he’ll play for Tommy Dempsey at Rider University after signing his National Letter of Intent this week.

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St. Peter’s loses Fulton

On a sad note, freshman shooting guard, Lamin Fulton, one of the bright spots from this past season, has apparently decided to seek a transfer according to Internet sources. Fulton made a solid contribution to the program, especially for a freshman, and by all appearances was a great kid. Fulton’s transfer, plus the prior departure of 6’11” center Gaetano Spera, has taken the luster off what had been a solid 2011 freshman recruiting class.

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St Peter’s: Some improvement likely

There’s got to be a morning after, so to speak, and this past season was it for the Peacocks. On the heels of capturing the 2010-11 conference tournament and a bid to the NCAA’s, the program lost four significant starters and, then, head coach John Dunne dismissed another key role player for disciplinary issues prior to the season. If that wasn’t bad enough, two key front-court players were lost for the year to injury by the mid-way point. Yes, indeed, the bottom dropped out. For the entire season all Saint Peter’s got was a non-league win over a moribund Binghamton squad, two wins over the conference’s last-place Canisius team and, inexplicably, two victories over Siena, the MAAC’s sixth-place team. The season included two eight-game losing streak, including an active one with a season-ending setback to Marist in the play-in round of this season’s conference tournament.

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Siena’s non-league schedule close to complete

There is room for one more game on the schedule. Siena is trying to land a home contest against La Salle of the Atlantic 10. The Saints would return the game to Philadelphia in 2013-14.

However, La Salle might not be available because of a possible televised game against Drexel.

If that’s the case, Siena could try to schedule a guarantee game against a major-conference team on the road, which would help pay for the summer overseas trip the Saints are allowed to take every four years.

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