Sunday, January 8, 2012

Men's Report: Niagara's Green A Find

Here's another in the series looking at conference men's teams through the eyes of their respective head coach.

Niagara is now 1-4 in league play and 6-11 overall. The leading scorer for Joe Mihalich's team is Juan'ya Green, who currently averages 19.1 points per game. Green entered the game against Siena, a 72-60 loss, as the nation's leading scorer among freshmen. Green, though, only scored 11 against the Saints and the Purple Eagles made only 3-of-21 three-point attempts against Siena's zone defense.

"We play four guards," said Mihalich, about the Siena game. "We aren't going to beat anybody shooting 3-for-21 from three."

Niagara's top players eventually figure to be Green, and another freshman, 6-5 Josh Turner.

"Turner is showing signs for us," said Mihalich. "He's a talented kid, but still rusty. He couldn't even practice with us in the first semester (due to eligibility issues), and he didn't play at all last year when his prep school closed down. He's rusty, but every once in a while he shows how talented he is.

"Green has been terrific. I don't keep track, but every once in a while someone will bark it out that he's either the leading, or second-leading freshman scorer in the country, and I'm not even sure that scoring is the best part of his game. He's also a great passer.

"To do well at this level you have to get guys who could play somewhere else (a higher level). Iona has three guys who could play in any league in the country. Fairfield has at least two. Juan'ya is a guy who could play at a lot of different places, and that's what makes him different. He had a foot injury between his junior and senior year, but still played on the AAU circuit and didn't look as good as he is. We're just fortunate that a lot of schools that were interested maybe backed off a little, got someone else or whatever ... and he ends up being a Purple Eagle."

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