Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mid-Season Report Card: Women's Stars Selected

Mid-season honor time for the women ...

First team:

- Lily Grenci, Siena (15.3 points, 7.6 rebounds). Leads the league in scoring, No. 4 in rebounds.

- Corielle Yarde, Marist (15.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists). No. 2 in scoring, No. 2 in assists, No. 6 in rebounding.

- Miriam McKenzie, Loyola (15.2 points, 8.1 rebounds). No. 2 in scoring, No. 3 in rebounding.

- Katie Sheahin, Loyola (14.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 3.6 steals). League's most-versatile player; Top eight in the league in points, rebounds, assists and steals. Ranks 15th nationally in steals.

- Taryn Johnson, Fairfield (13.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, 53.3 FG percentage):  No. 2 in rebounding, No. 1 in FG%, and in top 30 nationally in that statistic.

Player of the Year

Contenders: A case can be made for any of the five, although Loyola's record to date (a far-below-expected 3-6) will hurt the candidacy of its two players. Siena's sub-.500 record (4-5) will also hurt Grenci's hopes. Johnson is having a very nice year, particularly in league play. But, Yarde was the preseason pick and has done nothing to hurt her chances.

The pick: Yarde of Marist. She is the only player in the league to be leading her team in scoring, rebounding and assists. And, Marist remains the MAAC's best team with its 8-0 league record.

Rookie of the Year

Contenders: Like the men, another strong year for first-year players, among them Iona's tandem of Damika Martinez and Aleesha Powell, Siena's Tehresa Coles, Loyola's Kara Marshall  and Canisius' Kayla Hoohuli ... and, that's probably the all-rookie team roster right now.

The pick: This one is as clear cut as any award thus far ... Martinez of Iona. Her scoring average is second in the conference, and no freshman has ever finished higher than fifth in the women's scoring statistics. She is also the top rebounding freshman in the league, as well as the freshman leader for FG%.

Coach of the Year

Contenders: Marist's Brian Giorgis, for keeping his team unbeaten in a season of personnel turnover and injuries unlike any his program has had before; Iona's Tony Bozzella; Fairfield's Joe Frager. Those three teams are the only ones with better-than-.500 records in conference play thus far.

The pick: Whew ... might be the toughest of any selection, men or women. All three have strong cases to be made. And, this individual race will ... and, should ... go right down to the final game of the regular-season. But, until now ... we'll go with Iona's Bozzella. Not only was his team not expected to be this strong (picked for fifth in the preseason poll), but he lost Player of the Year candidate Kristina Ford for seven games earlier this season with a knee injury. His team not only survived, but excelled with the focus of the offense falling to freshmen Damika Martinez and Aleesha Powell.


MidMajorFan said...

I think after this weekends result COY will be a contest between Frager and Giorgis. Both defeated Bozella's team handily at Iona this weekend.

Stags and Red Foxes separating themselves from the pack at the midway point.

Steve Amedio said...

To MidMajorFan --
Can't say I disagree. My pick, though, made before Iona's loss to Fairfield. Ask me now, and I'm likely to lean towards Giorgis. Since last year Marist lost Allenspach/Caron ... league PofY and terrfic PG, respectively; Then came transfer loss of 6-4 Oliver, an emerging standout; and, then, an early season knee injury to effective PG Best ... And Marist rolls on.