Friday, July 2, 2010

A Sneak Preview of the League Preview

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.


Dolores said...

I don't see how Siena is fourth with two POY candidates and the best imcoming recruiting class in the MAAC.

I'd say Fairfield, Siena, Iona and St. Peter's.

MTS said...

Fairfield has to replace a 1st team all-MAAC player who averaged 16 and 10 last year. They also have to replace the 6th man of the year in Mike Evanovich (7.6 PPG - 3.1 RPG 2.0 in 19.6 mins last year).

While it isn't like graduating Ubiles, Franklin and Moore it still are important pieces missing.

Who knows how effective Yorel Hawkins and especially Greg Nero will be coming off major injuries last year.

Fairfield is the favorite but they have plenty of questions as well.

Also no player on Iona or St. Peter's has even won a MAAC tournament game. Hard to SPC to beat teams struggling to get out of the 60's every game with a PG Nick Leon who turns the ball over as much as he does.

I think the key for Siena is solid PG and OD Anosike making a big sophomore jump if that happens Siena can win the league for a fourth straight time.

My $.02 good summer discussion.

Steve Amedio said...

Thanks for the comments, guys.
It's all very subjective.
So, any discussion is appreciated.
It's just my opinion that Fairfield has the best pieces in place, as of right now.
But, who knows how injuries and/or player development, will affect things?
Keep reading, and keep commenting.

Troy said...

Siena winning the league this year .. Not gonna happen .. they have more questions than Fairfield .. Siena is just as young as the rest of the MAAC and as inexperience .. Siena depended on the big three too much last season .. Fran McCaffery didnt give any of his bench much playing time .. Siena will struggle at points this season .. Steve's assessment is 100% accurate.