OK, your blogger just sent in the MAAC's season preview to The Sporting News for its College Basketball Annual that will hit newsstands at some point in mid-September.
While it's a labor of love, it most definitely is a "labor." With a reputation as the best of its kind in terms of national newsstand-available preview magazines, The Sporting News justifiably demands the best information. And, in the interest of ensuring the publication does sell, it prohibits writers from duplicating efforts in other places.
But, we'll provide a very brief preview here. If you want the details ... please purchase The Sporting News early and often when it comes out, and not just for the MAAC preview but the best college basketball information of every Division I conference and team that will be out there.
Anyway, here's this correspondent's predicted order of finish, with brief comments:
1) Fairfield. Derek Needham is the best player in the league, and he's got a terrific supporting cast and a terrific head coach.
2) Saint Peter's. Toss-up with Iona, but the Peacocks have a little more experience, plus a returning head coach.
3) Iona. Still relatively youthful, and a new head coach. Those are the only very minor questions.
4) Siena. Ryan Rossiter is the league's top big man, and might be its preseason Player of the Year. Capable of better, but only if its two freshmen come up big.
5) Loyola. Everyone but Brett Harvey is back, including head coach Jimmy Patsos. Shane Walker could be an outstanding big man.
6) Niagara. It needs contributions from its younger players, but never count out a Joe Mihalich team.
7) Canisius. If someone can take over at the point (Gaby Belardo?), it could finish a couple of spots higher.
8) Rider. Four starters back, but was only .500 in the league with Ryan Thomson. Expect a drop without him.
9) Manhattan. The loss of Rico Pickett hurts. Almost no returning offense. George Beamon poised for a break-out.
10) Marist. Can't do worse than last year's 1-17, but still way too young and almost no inside game.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Your blogger will produce comprehensive team-by-team previews just prior to the season. Look for those in early November.