In the opinion of this humble blogger, Rider coach Tommy Dempsey ranks with Loyola's Jimmy Patsos among the best in the MAAC when it comes to offering honest answers and/or insight when asked about specific issues.
So, when Dempsey used the forum of a recent conference call of coaches to make a point about the omission of two of his players from the conference's post-season all-star teams, you know he meant it.
Rider's lone selection among the 15 players picked for one of the three all-star squads was junior guard Ryan Thompson.
Said Dempsey: "If (Harris) Mansell or (Mike) Reingold don't make an all-star team, then it's a heck of a statement about how good Ryan Thompson is. If we only have one all-league player in a year where we go 12-6 (in conference play) ... if he's our only all-league player, then he must have certainly had a special year."
This blogger admires Dempsey's support of his players.
But, sorry coach, I'll respectfully disagree.
Mansell, who battled an elbow problem for much of the season, averaged 12.2 points per game (17th best in the MAAC) while Reingold averaged 11.3 (20th). Every player among the 15 selected had higher scoring averages except one. That was Siena point guard Ronald Moore, who led the MAAC in assists and assist-to-turnover percentage.
Reingold averaged 6.4 rebounds, 11th in the MAAC, and shot 52.5 percent from the field (7th).
Mansell made 2.2 3-pointers per game (5th) and made 79.4 percent of his free throws (7th).
Let's take nothing away from them. Both are very good MAAC players, the likes of which are necessary to the success of winning programs.
And, if there were a fourth team for conference all stars then they would have been justifiable candidates.
But one of the first three teams?
Considering those who made those teams ... Mansell and Reingold are both very close, but not quite.