Ryan Rossiter, 6-9 senior center, Siena; Derek Needham, 5-10 sophomore guard, Fairfield; Scott Machado, 5-11 junior guard, Iona; Wesley Jenkins, 6-2 senior guard, Saint Peter’s; Clarence Jackson, 6-3 senior guard, Siena.
Nick Leon, 5-11 senior guard, Saint Peter’s; Ryan Bacon, 6-7 senior forward, Saint Peter’s; Jamal Barney, 6-3 senior guard, Loyola; Mike Ringold, 6-7 junior forward, Rider; Justin Robinson, 6-0 senior guard, Rider; Julius Coles, 6-5 senior forward, Canisius.
Anthony Nelson, 6-1 senior guard, Niagara; Alejo Rodriguez, 6-8 senior forward, Iona; Yorel Hawkins, 6-5 senior forward, Fairfield; Greg Loggins, 6-7 senior forward, Canisius; Novar Gadson, 6-7 junior forward, Rider.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
That honor went to Siena's 6-9 senior center Ryan Rossiter, who had 22 double-doubles last season.
SOME THOUGHTS: Rossiter received seven of the coaches’ votes as the preseason’s top player to three for Needham. Your blogger, in a preview done for The Sporting News, went the other way in naming Needham as the conference’s top player. But, it’s one or the other. If someone wants to argue that Rossiter deserves the preseason honor, I won’t mount much of a debate. Rossiter is clearly the MAAC’s best big man right now, was a double-double machine last season and will likely need to even contribute more this season. Needham, though, is a rare talent the likes of which this conference doesn’t often see. He ranks with the top guards your blogger has seen since the mid-1980s,, in no particular order, Marc Brown, Doremus Bennerman, Randy Woods, Doug Overton, Keydren Clark, Luis Flores, Jerry Jones, and Jared Jordan. That's a small and elite group, and Needham fits right in.
Otherwise, not much to argue, just a couple of nit-picks. Early reports are that Iona’s Dion Glover will have an impact, as will Loyola's Erik Etherly, a transfer from Northeastern.
If you’re looking for some players who could easily crack the top three teams for post-season honors, which is really the only balloting that is truly meaningful … if Fairfield’s senior forward Greg Nero is healthy he’s most certainly an all-league performer. If Hawkins, another Fairfield performer, picks up where he left off before a mid-season injury a year ago, he’ll also contend for a higher all-star designation. And, your blogger will agree with the coaches that both Etherly and Glover will emerge as two of the better players in the conference.