There was an interesting piece on ESPN's website recently that sought to identify the top 20 of mid-major level head coaches at recruiting.
The list was very kind to the MAAC, including three of its current coaches and one former coach.
Here's who ESPN picked from the MAAC:
No. 7 on its list is Steve Masiello of Manhattan. ESPN said: "He was always known as one of the top recruiters when he worked for Rick Pitino, and he still works like an assistant, despite his move up. He doesn't settle, and tries to fight programs a notch higher for kids.
No. 17 is Jimmy Patsos, currently at Siena who had been at Loyola for the previous nine seasons. ESPN said: "He has an electrifying personality and got it done at Loyola (Md.). Now, he'll have Siena to sell, and that could be scary for those who will go up against him.
No. 17 on the list is Tom Moore of Quinnipiac. ESPN said: "He was regarded as one of the nation's top recruiters in his days with Jim Calhoun at UConn, and has carried it over to Quinnipiac, where he's gotten a few guys who should have gone to a higher level.
The former MAAC coach on the list is Paul Hewitt, at No. 13, who coached three seasons at Siena and is now head coach at George Mason. ESPN said: "He assembled a ton of talent at his previous stop at Georgia Tech and knows what it takes to recruit players at the highest level. He is smart, well-liked and also has a program that is easy to sell.
No. 1 on the list is Pat Skerry of Towson, about whom ESPN says "works the transfer wire."
If that's the criteria, then how did Iona's Tim Cluess get left off the list? Cluess, in his time with the Gaels, has proven to be particularly adept at bringing in players from the NYC area who, first, went away to larger schools before opting to return home. For sure, the MAAC has never had a coach so successful at bringing in quality transfer players, and the result is that Iona has been the conference's representative to the NCAA tournament in each of the past two seasons.
For that matter, how is Joe Mihalich, formerly of Niagara, left off the list?
Niagara, mostly because of its geographic location, isn't an easy place to which to attract players. But, Mihalich was successful enough at bringing in talent that his team captured this past season's regular-season title. And, Mihalich, in just a few short months at Hofstra, appears to be assembling a strong nucleus there, too.