Another installment of the series looking at the chances of teams in the upcoming men's conference tournament.
Up now, Marist.
No. 10 Marist (1-17 in MAAC play, 1-28 overall)
SEASON ANALYSIS: Whew ... I guess you could say the wheels fell off this year. The team was never expected to be anything more than a last-place finisher in the conference this year and, then, things got even worse.
Start with three academic suspensions and, then, the defection of one of the suspended players, 6-10 Villanova transfer Casiem Drummond, to an NAIA school. Marist might have been a little better with Drummond. Another academic casualty, Sam Prescott, had a solid first semester of his freshman season. When he had to leave the team for the remainder of the season, the fill-ins were more freshmen. It's good for player development, but it's not the optimum formula for winning games.
Marist is the MAAC's only team without a double-figure scorer. Your blogger hasn't researched this, but there probably aren't more than a half-dozen teams nationally, if that many, without a double-figure scorer.
It all adds up to Marist arguably having the worst single season in conference history.
On top of everything else, Boston College transfer Daye Kaba, a talented reserve with one more year of eligibility, announced he would forego his last season to play professionally overseas a year from now.
HOW MARIST CAN WIN THE MAAC TOURNAMENT: Divine intervention?
OK, let's get serious. The Red Foxes can't win this event. It won one game the entire season. There's a better chance I'll win the lottery than there is of Marist winning four straight games this weekend.
WHY MARIST WON'T WIN THE MAAC TOURNAMENT: Do we need to count the ways? Suffice to say not enough offense, not enough experience, not enough height, not enough talent, not enough of anything.
PREDICTION: Despite the year-long woes, Marist was still playing hard when it lost at Siena on Sunday. It will play hard in its play-in game here, too, before losing to Canisius.
WHAT'S NEXT: The light at the end of the proverbial tunnel might be an oncoming train. Kaba, who could have helped next season, won't be back. Two freshmen looked decent this year. Devin Price looks like he could be an effective point guard, and Candon Rusin is a talented long-range shooter. But, both got shoved into roles this season before their time. Maybe that will make them better a year from now. DeJuan Goodwin is a good role player at guard. Korey Bauer is a role-playing inside performer. There is no "impact" player in the program, not the type that helps teams play at least at a consistent competitive level. The program somehow needs to find one or more. It tried the transfer route (Drummond/Kaba), and that didn't work. Marist is looking at the bottom of the MAAC standings for the foreseeable future.