Just a reminder to pick up The Sporting News' College Basketball annual when it eventually hits newsstands/grocery stores/pharmacies, etc., some time in mid September.
This reminder was prompted by your hoopscribe's annual reception of the contract to produce the MAAC preview for the magazine, which I certainly believe to be the best of its kind available.
A little history ... The publication had existed under the Street & Smith banner for more than 40 years, and yours truly has some S&S publications dating back to the mid-to-late 1960s to prove it. A few years ago S&S merged with The Sporting News, and administrators opted to retain The Sporting News' identity under the belief that it was the more-identifiable of the two publications.
Your hoopscribe has been doing the MAAC preview for first S&S and, then, The Sporting News for the past 12 or 13 years. And, of course, I have been involved covering the MAAC in some form since 1989. So, the hope is that the material I pass along for publication is as insightful as any you'll find anywhere.
Of course, you'll find much, much more about the MAAC ... and expanded season previews on every program, both men's and women's ... right here on "Keepin' Track of the MAAC." News/insights/features can pop up on this site at any time since it's a year-round operation. The formal team-by-team previews will begin in late September/early October.
The deadline for the MAAC preview to be submitted to The Sporting News is mid-July.
Shortly after that I'll share, here, the order of my predicted final standings and, maybe, my choice for Player of the Year.
Hint: I'll be picking either Fairfield or Iona to finish first.
Although no national magazines publish extensive women's previews of the MAAC, I'll also share my predicted order of finish for the ladies.
Hint: Pretty strong likelihood that I'll be picking Marist to finish first.
Interested readers will also have access to extensive men's and women's conference previews, which I also produce, that are published in the MAAC's annual media guides that are available on line through the conference's website, www.maacsports.com. Deadline for that material is usually mid-September and the guides become available for reading to coincide with the conference's annual media day in late October.
So even though summer is here, complete with 90-degree temperatures today in upstate New York, basketball season isn't that far away.
And all the material to help you get ready to follow your favorite conference teams will be available in coming months.
In the meantime, I'll be busy keeping up to speed on all the MAAC programs. And, I hope, you'll be getting ready to read.
And, as additional "program notes," you can view the Off-Season Report series right now. It's a individual look at every men's and women's team in the conference. Five men's and four women's off-season reports are up with more to follow in coming weeks.
After that, we'll do a team-by-team report/analysis of this past year's recruiting, looking at new players joining conference teams.
And, at some point, we'll check in with the conference's new head coaches and share their thoughts.
Again, thanks for reading.