Thursday, July 14, 2011

An Early Look at How They'll Finish

Here's the annual commercial break to advise readers to purchase the upcoming College Basketball Annual issue of The Sporting News.

Although it will hit newsstands everywhere in late September, printing deadlines required an early July submission of league previews.

Your hoopscribe, as I have been doing for more than a decade, provided the preseason look at the MAAC.

I will say, hopefully with full objectivity, that The Sporting News' college hoops preview magazine is the best of its kind out there. It only contracts with correspondents who actually cover leagues they write about. In my case ... well, I've been covereing MAAC basketball in some form or other since 1989.

Anyway, The Sporting News does not permit its writers to duplicate its previews elsewhere. So, you'll have to buy the magazine to read the MAAC insights.

That said, here is a very brief synopsis of how I picked the order of finish for the 2011-12 MAAC regular-season standings ... you'll have to buy the magazine to see my picks for Top player, newcomer, coach and the preseason all-star team:

1) Iona. Mike Glover and Scott Machado are two of the top five players in the league and both are seniors. A strong supporting cast also returns.

2) Fairfield. As much talent as any team, but also much transition in a new coach and two eligible transfers.

3) Loyola. Just about every player of significance returns except graduated point guard Brian Rudolph. Shane Walker and Erik Etherly are a nice inside duo.

4) Rider. Novar Gadson poised for a big senior season and incoming transfer Jeff Jones is eligible and should have a significant impact.

5) Saint Peter's. Four seniors graduated, yet Blaise Ffrench and Chris Burke should step up, other role players return and transfer guard Chris Prescott, now eligible, will provide scoring.

6) Niagara. Antoine Mason is healthy, Marvin Jordan had a nice rookie year, many role players return and recruiting has helped.

7) Siena. Rakeem Brookins should have a big year, but several freshman from the incoming six-person first-year class will need to contribute.

8) Manhattan. Jaspers could finish higher as trio of George Beamon, Mike Alvarado and Rhamel Brown is above average.

9) Canisius. Guard Gaby Belardo is the only significant returnee. Griffs have several incoming transfers who aren't eligible until 2012-13.

10) Marist. The defection of three key players since last season all but ensures the Red Foxes will struggle once again.

1 comment:

Casey said...

Alshwan Hymes and Chris Manhertz are ready to step up for Canisius. If Reggie Groves puts his knee woes behind him, the Griffs could jump a couple of spots in your predictions.