Wednesday, November 16, 2011

MAAC Newcomers Have Early Impact

While the turnover of players at the mid-major level isn't anywhere near what happens at elite program, where far too often key players are one-and-dones, the annual transition remains interesting. Players finish their four years of eligibility and roles change.

Usually, though, its understudies who have paid their proverbial dues before stepping into lead roles.

But the early games of a new season have indicated that a lot of newcomers, mostly on the men's side, will have significant impact on their respective teams this season. Not all the newcomers are freshmen, but they are newcomers nonetheless.

Here's an early look at first-time conference players having big games so far.

- Harold Washington of Canisius, a 6-1 junior guard who came to the Golden Griffins after two seasons at Cecil Junior College in Maryland, is the conference's top scorer thus far, averaging 26.5 points over two games. He had 23 in his Division I debut in a loss at James Madison, followed by 30 in a victory over Longwood College.

- Juan'ya Green of Niagara, a 6-3 guard and a true freshman, had 23 points in his college debut against Central Connecticut. He and sophomore teammate Marvin Jordan who also had 23 points against Central Connecticut, are tied for second among conference scorers to date.

- Rakim Sanders of Fairfield, a senior, is fourth in the league in scoring after producing point totals of 16 in a win over Quinnipiac in is first game playing for a conference team and, ten, 25 (along wit nine rebounds) in a loss to Providence. Sanders, a 6-5 forward played three seasons at Boston College where e accumulated more than 1,000 career points, before transferring to Fairfield.

- Another true freshman, point guard Isaiah Morton of Marist, had double figures in his first two college games, getting 13 against Kentucky and 11 against South Florida.

- Manattan's Roberto Colonette, a 6-7 redshirt freshman, has come off the bench in his first three games, with strong results in two of them ... an 11-point, 8-rebound effort in a win over NJIT and 7 points and 7 rebounds in a victory over Brown. Colonette looked good last preseason before an injury kept him out for all of 2010-11.

The women haven't yet had as many newcomers make an immediate impact, but one who did was 6-2 center Lauren Gatto of Niagara, who had 7 points and 10 rebounds in her team's opener, a loss to Buffalo. Gatto is a sophomore who transferred to Niagara after a season at Illinois-Chicago.

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