Thursday, October 29, 2009

Beware the Overhype of Preseason Picks

If you've kept tabs on this blog, you'll know that yours truly loves opinions. Like elbows, everybody has some. Nothing wrong with them.

But, on occasion, some are just so far out there that your humble blogger can do nothing but shake his head ... and take some exception in this space.

For instance, the preseason hype about where Siena ranks in the hierarchy of college basketball.

The preseason Associated Press poll came out early this week and ranked Siena No. 27 nationally, based on votes received. The ESPN poll ranks Siena at No. 28.

The opinion here is that both might be a little high. Siena, after a terrific season a year ago, was a No. 9 seed in one of four 16-team brackets for the NCAA tournament. That means the NCAA's selection committee rated at least 32 teams higher than the Saints.

Let's see ... mid-30 range nationally. That sounds a little more like it. It sounds like about where Siena should be rated right now.

Still, 27th, or 28th ... not that far off. Maybe a little high, but I won't take particular exception, particularly since the polls are the compilation of voting results, the result of many opinions.

And, then ...

Basketball Times, a publication that has been around for 30 years and claims to be "The Real Voice of College Basketball," recently initiated an on-line presence.

One of its first offerings was its list of the nation's preseason top 15.

Siena checked in at No. 15.

Say, what?

Hard to believe that anyone with any realistic perspective of the nation's best teams would rank Siena as 15th best nationally.

Of course, it's all great publicity for the small, private school in Loudonville, N.Y. Head coach Fran McCaffery has embraced all the preseason recognition, as well he should. Basketball does much to help any school's identity, and for Siena to get mentioned with the big boys of the sport doesn't hurt at all.

But 15th nationally? C'mon, let's get realistic.

My strong opinion on this (and it's based on more than an educated guess) is that Basketball Times' best work is done at the major college level (and, it is very good work, indeed, at the high-major level), but that it doesn't have an insider's working knowledge about leagues like the MAAC and its teams.

To this blogger, that makes its opinion about Siena being the 15th-best team nationally something less than credible.

This blogger's advice? If you want credibility when it comes to opinions/insight related to mid-major level teams, find soures that use writers who regularly attend games of teams at that level and who have regular contact with league administrators, coaches, players and sports information staffs.

Of course, I'd hope that you would recognize this blog as a credible source for MAAC information.

If you want a good preseason overview about the MAAC, then rush out and buy The Sporting News' preseason College Basketball magazine that can be currently found on newsstands around the country. Of course, yours truly wrote the MAAC preview.

There are other credible sources out there, ones with someone involved who has strong connections with the conference, who sees a great deal of games annually. Obviously, my good friend Pete Iorizzo at the Albany (N.Y.) Times Union is one of the best. Most daily newspapers in the towns of the respective MAAC programs do a respectable job covering their home-area conference teams. Some are better than others, but all at least provide work based on first-hand information, strong connections within the league and, mostly, respectful and responsible insight. You can find them easily on the website. If you want credible information, those are the best sources.

Clearly, it has become almost desireable these days for those in the media to rush to identify the next mid-major program capable of challenging the big boys and making a run similar to George Mason's a few years ago when that program advanced to the NCAA tournament's Final Four.

Siena, based on its first-round NCAA tournament victories the past two seasons and the return of a strong cast of standouts, is easy to identify as this year's "sexy" choice as one of the better mid-major programs for the coming season.

But, the 15th best team nationally at any level?

"The Real Voice of College Basketball" isn't sounding real good when it voices that opinion.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dempsey Defends Picking Broncs No. 1

When it comes to a "go-to" guy to talk about just about anything MAAC related, Rider coach Tommy Dempsey has become one of the best because he is nothing but honest, a trait very much appreciated by those of us who write about the conference.

The latest evidence of that is Dempsey's admission that he cast the lone non-Siena vote in the preseason poll designed to predict the upcoming season's order of finish. And, he readily admitted that the team he picked to win the regular-season title this year is his own.

Here's how Dempsey defended his vote, as reported by Pete Iorizzo of the Albany (N.Y.) Times Union:

"I'm not going out of my way to disrespect Siena," Dempsey said. "I would never do that. But the kids have to know that I believe in them. If I go and pick Siena first, what does that say in my own locker room?

"I think Siena’s terrific. I think Fran’s (McCaffery) a terrific coach. I think Niagara’s terrific. I think Joe (Mihalich) is a terrific coach. But I can’t worry about their programs. I have to worry about our own.”

Dempsey went on to say that he's not concerned about whether Siena uses his vote as bulletin-board fodder and additional motivation.

"They don't need to be motivated by us," Dempsey said. "They know they have the bull's-eyes on their backs. They know everybody is coming to get them. I think we're 3-3 in our last six games against them. Their kids will be plenty motivated when we come in to town on (Dec.) 23rd."

What's wrong with Dempsey's pick, and his subsequent comments?

Absolutely nothing. His team has four very good starters returning, including the preseason pick for the conference's Player of the Year in 6-6 guard Ryan Thompson. The team also has a strong transfer, Jhamar Youngblood from Monmouth (where he was the Northeast Conference's Rookie of the Year as a freshmen) coming in to complete a strong starting five. Depth there is solid.

Rider is, in everyone's opinion, one of the conference's top three teams this season.

Dempsey used the preseason coaches' poll to let his team know what he thought of it, to instill a dose of confidence.

What's wrong with that? Dempsey is just being honest, and that's always the best policy.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rider's Thompson Leads All-Star Picks

A Rider player, senior guard Ryan Thompson, is the conference's top individual according to the coaches' preseason poll, but Siena has the greatest collection of talent.

Thompson was picked as the conference's preseason Player of the Year. Siena had two first-team selections and two more picks on the second team, the only MAAC team with more than two players among the preseason's top 10.

Including the top 15 (the league released three preseason all-star teams), Niagara (two first-teamers), Rider (two third-teamers, along with Ryan's first-team honor) and Canisius (two third-teamers) are the only other team with multiple all-stars.

Here's the list of preseason all stars:


Ryan Thompson, Rider
Edwin Ubiles, Siena
Ronald Moore, Siena
Tyrone Lewis, Niagara
Bilal Benn, Niagara


Greg Nero, Fairfield
Jamel Barney, Loyola
Wesley Jenkins, Saint Peter's
Alex Franklin, Siena
Ryan Rossiter, Siena


Greg Logins, Canisius
Frank Turner, Canisius
Darryl Crawford, Manhattan
Novar Gadson, Rider
Mike Ringold, Rider

Some observations ...

- Siena's Franklin could easily wind up as a post-season first-team pick.
- Not much argument here over Thompson's position as the preseason Player of the Year over Ubiles. The Siena standout is part of a more-balanced attack, and Thompson's numbers are likely to be better.
- If Ubiles does indeed earn first-team status at the end of the season, he would become the 14th player in MAAC history to be a first-team honoree in three seasons.
- Most glaring omission? Saint Peter's junior forward Ryan Bacon

Siena Picked 1st, But Not Unanimously

There's a definite eye-brow raiser in this year's selections for the men's order of finish, as voted on by conference coaches.

Of course Siena, which lost one starter from the team that has gone to the second round of the NCAA tournament the past two seasons, is an overwhelming pick to finish first.

But, not a unanimous choice. The Saints only received nine of the 10 first-place votes. The voting results were released today (Tuesday) at the conference's annual media day in New York City.

Rider, picked to finish third overall, received the other first-place vote.

Here's the predicted order of finish, with points received based on 10 points for a first-place vote and one for a last-place prediction:

1. Siena (9 first-place votes) 88
2. Niagara 87
3. Rider (1) 82
4. Fairfield 67
5. Loyola 45
5.. Saint Peter's 45
7. Canisius 43
8. Manhattan 40
9. Iona 30
10. Marist 12

And, a little editorializing ...

Yes, it is indeed a shock that Siena did not receive all 10 first-place votes. League officials do not reveal the voting breakdown, so your guess as to Rider's supporter is as good as any.

A number of internet message boards are reporting that the Broncs' Tommy Dempsey voted for his own team as the preseason favorite.

Again, the MAAC does not release that information publicly. But, as a former "news hound," I know reporters have a way of finding out these things.

If Dempsey did indeed vote for his own team, it's understandable. His Broncs beat Siena in the regular season, and have lost just one starter from a year ago. Rider most-definitely will be in contention again this year, after a third-place finish a year ago.

Dempsey's vote is probably his way of confirming to his own players his level of confidence in their abilities. of course, I can't speak for Dempey's intent. Maybe he does indeed truly think the Broncs are the MAAC's best team.

For sure, it precipitates some healthy debate. And, it's not as if he's the coach of one of the lower-level teams giving his team an unworthy level of support with a preseason vote.

Dempsey's team is most definitely one of the better ones in the conference this season. Is it the best team in the league? Probably not. But, that's what the games are about.

Otherwise, the top three are pretty much as expected.

Yours truly happens to think that Saint Peter's is the conference's fourth-best team, particularly in light of continuing injury situations at Fairfield and some transition involving newcomers who will contribute at Loyola.

Otherwise, no debate here.

Marist's Fitz Tops Preseason All Stars

Like the women's team poll, individual preseason predictions brought little surprise at the top. Returning two-time conference Player of the Year Rachele Fitz, a 6-foot-1 senior forward for Marist, was selected to win that award for the third straight season.

Here's a look at the women's preseason all-stars:


Rachele Fitz, Marist
Thazina Cook, Iona
Brittane Russell, Canisius
Erica Allenspach, Marist
Tammy Meyers, Rider


Kristina Ford, Iona
Stephanie Geehan, Fairfield
Anda Ivkovic, Iona
Anna McLean, Iona
Ellie Redke, Canisius


Liz Flooks, Niagara
Kaitlin Grant, Loyola
Allie Lindemann, Siena
Micayla Drysdale, Canisius
Lynzee Johnson, Marist

Women's Poll: Marist (who else?) No. 1

To no one's surprie, the Marist women are the unanimous choice to capture an unprecedented sixth straight regular-season conference crown.

The Red Foxes received all 10 first-place votes in preseason balloting conducted by league coaches. Results were released today (Tuesday) at the conference's annual media day in New York City.

Iona, which finished in a tie for fourth in the regular-season standings last year but has a strong returning group, is the unanimous choice for second place.

Canisius is picked for third with Rider tabbed as No. 4.

Here's the predicted order of finish with total points based on 10 points for a first-place vote to one for a last-place finish:

1. Marist 100
2. Iona 90
3. Canisius 75
4. Rider 60
5. Saint Peter's 55
6. Fairfield 51
7. Loyola 42
8. Siena 39
9. Manhattan 26
10. Niagara 12

Some editorializing?

Not many surprises here. Marist, Iona and Canisius appear clear cut as the top three. Beyond that, the next five are well-bunched. Yours truly is a little surprised that Siena is picked for No. 8. After watching some of the Saints' practices of late ... if Siena finishes eighth, it will be the league's best eighth-place team ever.

Friday, October 23, 2009

MAAC Gets Some National Notice

Your blogger has noticed the MAAC getting some mention nationally of late.

Currently on newsstands is USA Today's "College Basketball" preview.

A personal observation is that the publication appears to provide well-researched and solid information about the high-major programs, but not so much with the mid- to low-major programs.

We'll just address the MAAC quickly.

The MAAC preview got all of 11 paragraphs. So much for a "comprehensive" report on the conference from this publication. If you want that, rush out and buy The Sporting News' preseasion College Basketball Preview magazine. Of course, your blogger's MAAC preview appears in that publication.

While the USA Today's publication's predictions for the upper level of the conference appear to be the majority opinion, this blogger will take exception to a pick of Canisius to finish last this season.

The Golden Griffins were 4-14 and 11-20 last season, but return every player who started a game in 2008-09 as well as adding some strong freshmen players.

Canisius particularly showed signs of life late last season, winning four of its final six games. The only two losses in that stretch were to league champion Siena, including one by four points. The Griffs also lost two games during the season by a point last season, another by two points and another by three points.

All of that would indicate that Canisius is on an upward swing, at least for this season, and yours truly would be absolutely shocked if the Griffs finish last in the MAAC as USA Today's preseason special edition predicts.

A little less of a debate will be caused by the publication's preseason "bracketology" report.

(Just an opinion: Isn't it getting a little ridiculous when NCAA tournament brackets are projected even before a season begins?)

Siena is picked as the MAAC's representative to the NCAA tournament, but is predicted to be a 12th seed in a 16-team bracket.

Siena was a No. 9 seed last season, and is likely to be every bit as good, if not better, than a year ago. Of course, the Saints' non-league schedule might not be quite as strong as a year ago (although it is still very good), which could affect the team's RPI numbers.

AND, THEN, there's a very nice look, in a nationaly publication, at recent workouts in which former Siena player Jack McClinton was a participant.

The mention occurs in this week's issue of Sports Illustrated (the NBA preview issue) as part of a feature on Idan Ravin, an independent trainer who is known in basketball circles as "The Hoops Whisperer."

The story is actually an exerpt from the book "The Art of the Beautiful Game: The Thinking Fan's Tour of the NBA" written by SI staffer Chris Ballard.

Within the excerpt published by SI is much about Ravin's work this past summer with McClinton (who played on season at Siena before transferring to Miami) and former Pitt standout Sam Young as they prepared for workouts with pro teams prior to the NBA draft.

McClinton, a second-round draft pick of the San Antonio Spurs, was waived by that franchise just prior to the start of preseason camp.

More Trivia: Top Women's Awards

More trivia, this time on the women's side.

Name the only players to win the women's version of Player of the Year twice.

Name the only three coaches to be the conference's Coach of the Year five times, and name three others who have won that award at least three times.

Answers ...

- The only two-time women's Player of the Year winners are Marist's Rachele Fitz, Siena's Gunta Basko and Melanie Halker, and Manhattan's Sheila Tighe.

Fitz, though, could become the first three-time award winner. Now entering her senior season she has won the award the past two years.

- The five-time Coach of the Year winners include Siena's Gina Castelli, who is still in charge of that program; and Dianne Nolan, formerly at Fairfield; and, Mike Granelli, formerly at Saint Peter's.

- Other multiple winners of the top coaching award are current Marist coach Brian Giorgis (four times), and retirees former Niagara coach Brill Agronin (three times) and former La Salle coach John Miller (three times).

Miller and Giorgi are the only coaches to gain the award in three consecutive seasons. Miller won it in 1987, '88 and '89. Giorgis won it in 2004, '05 and '06.

Trivia Time: Name Top MAAC Coaches

A few posts back we identified the 13 players to have been named to as a MAAC first-team post-season all star on three occasions.

Now, we'll ask (and will identify) if you know the only coach in the conference history to be named Coach of the Year three times.

(Note: We'll give some credit for this question/answer to Peter Morton, a friend who is the co-proprietor of the Ocean Woods Resort in Kennebunkport, Me. Peter is a former college assistant coach at Delaware many years ago, and is one of my favorite college hoops conversationalists).

Also ... do you know the only two coaches to win that honor in back-to-back seasons?

And ... do you know what five coaches have been honored at least twice?


- Former Saint Peter's coach Ted Fiore is the only three-time Coach of the Year honoree, having been named in 1987, in 1989 (co-coach with Speedy Morris of La Salle) and 1991.

- The two only two coaches to win the award in back-to-back seasons are Iona's Tim Welsh, 1997 and 1998; and, Speedy Morris of La Salle, 1988 and 1989.

- The only two-time winners are Fiore, Morris, Welsh, Niagara's Joe Mihalich and Bobby Gonzalez of Manhattan.

NEXT UP: Trivia time for the women.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Batteries Charged, Preseason Tid-Bits

October 15th has come (and gone), which means college basketball season is upon us. That date was the first college teams were allowed to hold official practices in preparation for the upcoming season.

Yours truly didn't get to an early practice, instead taking the weekend for a mini-vacation to southern Maine, an annual trip where early Christmas shopping is done, many lobsters are devoured and, surprisingly, some time was spent on beautiful Goose Rocks Beach (just north of Kennebunkport) where the temperature, one day, hit a tropical 60 degrees.

What that does have to do with hoops? Nothing, except that your blogger got to recharge his batteries. Time,now, to reconnect with our favorite sport ... I'm headed over to watch the Siena women practice shortly. Talk about being a basketball junkie.

But, as the season approaches I'll be trying to highlight some preseason tidbits that catch my interest.

Here are three ...

1) Bobby Bevilacqua, known as "Bobby Drinks," is writing a season-long blog about his senior campaign with the Canisius basketball team. You can find it on the Canisius website ( by hitting athletics, then men's basketball.

Bevilacqua's initial entry is well-written and gives a little insight to how some drills are run in practice, some things players do in their spare time, and a short rundown on new faces in the program.

The blog promises an "insider's look" at the program. Don't expect "dirt," but do expect some stories about what actually goes on in the life of a college player and his team. If the first entry is any indication, then this should be interesting reading throughout the season.

2) Sports Illustrated's NBA Preview issue is on the newsstands and SI figures that former Rider standout Jason Thompson will be the starting power forward for the Sacramento Kings this season.

Here's what the magazine says about Thompson: "Jason Thompson has a lot of versatility. Though he was foul-prone last year ... give him credit for that because it happened from competing on every play."

Thompson has been strong in the preseason, including a 20-point, 20-rebound effort against the Golden State Warriors on Oct. 17, which was preceded by a 19-14 game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Oct. 15. In his most recent game, he had 15 and 5 against the Phoenix Suns on Oct. 20.

And, Thompson is also among the ranks of bloggers. You can find his blog by going to, clicking on the Kings' page and, then, connecting too the blog called "JTTheKid."

There, he offers some general insights about his team and the upcoming season. And, in his most-recent entry, he gave some space to his alma mater, writing ...

"Lastly, I want to give a shout out to everybody at Rider University. Last season when we (the Kings) played the Sixers (in Philadelphia), Rider University Athletics changed the game with how much support they gave me - thank you!

"I want to try and get my followers up to 10,000, so I need your help! Please follow me, if you’re not already, and RT (his brother, current Rider senior Ryan Thompson)! Also, I may host some Ustream videos while I’m on the road this year, so look out."

3) The Sporting News' College Basketball Preview issue hit the newsstands recently, and it's required reading.

Yours truly wrote the page-long preview on the MAAC, something I've been doing for the last nine or 10 years.

Until last season, though, my MAAC previews were published in Street & Smith's College Basketball preview issue. That magazine was one of the best of its kind when it came to season previews. I've got old issues dating back to the late 1960's someplace in my basement.

Two years ago, though, it merged with The Sporting News. Most of the S&S writers now do preview work for The Sporting News. Of course, I'm a little biased here, but my perception is that it's still the best of its kind on the market for season previews.

Its entire group of writers all cover college basketball regularly and all view the leagues they write about regularly. In my case, I see every MAAC team play at least twice annually and that doesn't count all the other televised games I watch

So, go out and buy The Sporting News' College Basketball annual. It truly will be money well spent if you want some good preseason reading.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Saint Peter's, ESPN share Hoops History

This November 17th, the Saint Peter's men's basketball team will be part of television history. The Peacocks will play in a 6 a.m. game, hosting Monmouth, with the contest to be televised live as part of ESPN's 24-hours of College Basketball Tip-off Marathon.

The game will mark the first time that ESPN has televised a live college basketball game in the 6 a.m. time slot.

The Peacocks very nearly held an historical distinction related to ESPN for another reason.

For that, one has to recall the 1979-80 season when, to use a basketball phrase, ESPN "tipped off" its college basketball coverage.

That was the initial season for ESPN, its first season of televising college basketball.

Jimmy Carter was president back then. The Bee Gees, Donna Summer and Earth, Wind & Fire dominated the popular music industry. The "Deer Hunter" was 1979's top movie. McDonald's introduced the Happy Meal ...

And, ESPN's first televised college basketball game came on Dec. 1, 1979 when Valpariso played at Notre Dame.

Three days later, on the evening of Dec. 4, Saint Peter's College hosted Holy Cross at the Yanitelli Center. It was the second game ever televised by ESPN.

Back then the MAAC hadn't yet been formed. Saint Peter's, then a member of the ECAC, became one of the MAAC's charter members when the league came into existence for the 1981-82 season.

Back then ESPN was hardly the worldwide leader in sports coverage that it is today. Very few homes, had cable TV in those days. Jersey City, N.J., where Saint Peter's is located, did not have a cable package that included ESPN at that time.

ESPN was hardly the first-rate operation back then that it is today. Saint Peter's administrators at the time recall that ESPN's broadcast truck broke down on the way to the game and had to be towed several miles to be placed outside the Yanitelli Center in order to televise the contest.

Neither the game's participants, nor the near sell-out crowd on hand were aware of that. They just showed up to play in and watch a good basketball game, to watch a very good Saint Peter's team play against a Holy Cross unit that still had national-level aspirations and was led by Ronnie Perry Jr., one of college basketball's best players that season.

"I did not know the game was on ESPN until we came out for warm-ups and I saw the ESPN banner and recognized Bucky Walters (the game's color commentator)," said John Krotulis, a freshman reserve for the Peacocks that season who is now a controller for a regional trucking company.

"Since Jersey City did not have cable TV at the time, most people (there) did not know anything about ESPN. The only reason I knew of ESPN was because my hometown had just gotten cable TV and I thought it was pretty cool that there was a channel dedicated to all sports programming."

Saint Peter's top players back then were Kevin Rogers, William Brown, Mark Murphy, Jim Brandon, Cliff Anderson and Mark Schroback.

Schroback, now a teacher at High Tech High School in North Bergen, N.J., was a starter at guard and had the unenviable task of guarding Perry in the contest.

Perry was held in relative check and Saint Peter's, which had lost the first game it played that season (to Division III-level Jersey City State College), upset the Crusaders, 73-62.

"We all played our role that game," said Schroback. "That's how we upset them in that game. I just remember it was a great game. The place was packed. We ran our offense to the letter and we played tough defense the whole game.

"ESPN? I just remember that they were there. It wasn't any big deal. A lot of our games were televised on local outlets back then, and this just seemed like another one of those televised games, just another little TV station."

But, it wasn't. That was the start of something big for ESPN. The "Worldwide Leader in Sports" is now a multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company. Over the years it has televised more than 8,200 college basketball games.

The Holy Cross of Saint Peter's game on Dec. 4, 1979, was No. 2 on that list.

It was also the start of something big for the Peacocks, at least in that season which turned out to be one of the best in the program's history.

Saint Peter's finished 22-9 in 1979-80. Besides the season-opening setback to Jersey City State, other losses included two to the Jeff Ruland/Glen Vickers led Iona team, an overtime setback at Canisius, a loss at Vermont and losses to Georgetown, Villanova and Rutgers.

A 20-8 regular-season mark was enough to get the program to the NIT, which was still highly regarded. There Saint Peter's beat Connecticut and Duquesne before a season-ending 67-62 defeat at UNLV.

"As I look back ... we had some pretty talented players," said Krotulis. "I know the game has changed, but we had a group of very good athletes who played a Princeton style. We just blended well together.

"The key for us really was that win over Holy Cross. At the time, we considered them a major power, but all of a sudden everything clicked for us. That game kind of springboarded us. Everything that coach Dukiet (who passed away this summer) was trying to teach us just clicked ... the plays, the style, the offensive and defensive schemes ... everything came together."
Schroback remembers driving to a North Bergen establishment after the game to watch a replay.

"A friend of mine actually taped the game and gave me a copy," added Schroback. "I was looking for it recently and found it. But, I couldn't watch it. It's on a reel-to-reel tape and I haven't been able to play it."

Clearly, things have changed since then. Reel-to-reel has given way to considerably more modern recordning technology, and ESPN has grown far beyond anyone's expectations from those early days.

But, Saint Peter's is a coincidental partner again, creating history with ESPN, serving as the host team Nov. 17 for the first live telecast of a college game in the 6 a.m. slot ... 30 years after being host for the second game ever telecast by the all-sports network.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Must-See MAAC TV Package of Games Set

There will be plenty of conference basketball to watch this season, with televised games starting with ESPN's College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon in mid-November through televised MAAC tournament games in March.

This blogger always enjoys sitting back with some muchies and a cold beverage (soft drink variety, of course) and watching good MAAC basketball.

Here are some highlights (full schedule below) ...

Three MAAC schools will be part of ESPN's second annual College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon, consecutive live basketball games to celebrate the start of the season, as part of 12 live games over 24 hours of coverage on Tuesday, Nov. 17. Saint Peter's, Niagara and Siena are all hosting games that day. Saint Peter's and Niagara will host games at 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., respectively, the first time ESPN has televised live college basketball games in those time slots.

Eight men's basketball games will air on ESPNU over the regular season. Additionally, a "wildcard" game will air on ESPN2, along with a second game on ESPNU, on Friday, Feb. 12. Those games will be selected in late January. Host teams that will be considered for those games are Canisius, Iona, Loyola, Niagara and Rider.

The MSG Network will once again be the primary carrier for the Pepsi Max MAAC Basketball Game of the Week. The network will carry eight regular-season men's games as well as the men's quarterfinal and semifinal games of the conference's post-season tournament played at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y.

Three regular-season women's games will also air on ESPNU and two regular-season women's games will air on the MSG network. MSG will also televise the women's semifinals and the championship game of the league's post-season tournament.

As part of television coverage ESPNU will broadcast three men's and women's doubleheaders this season. They will be on Friday, Jan. 15 when Loyola hosts Manhattan for a 4:30 p.m. women's game and 7 p.m. for the men's game.

On Friday, Jan. 29 Canisius will host televised games featuring a women's 4:30 p.m. meeting with Marist, followed by a men's contest with Niagara at 7 p.m.

And, Rider will host a doubleheader on Friday, Feb. 26 with a 4:30 p.m. women's game with Siena and a 7 p.m. men's contest also against Siena.

The Pepsi Max MAAC Television network will also air a men's/women's doubleheader on Monday, Feb. 1 at Iona with the women's game at 5 p.m. featuring Fairfield, followed by the 7 p.m. Iona-Canisius men's game.

Saint Peter's will also host a Pepsi Max TV doubleheader on Monday, March 15 when it hosts the Niagara women at 5 p.m. and the Rider men at 7 p.m.

Additionally, MAAC teams will be in television action throughout the season for non-conference play. Highlighting the list of those appearances will be the opening round of the Old Spice Classic when Iona meets Florida State University at 9 p.m. contest on ESPNU on Nov. 26.

Other local, regional and/or national games are currently being finalized for more conference and non-conference games. Check in here for details when those games are set.

Here's the complete list of MAAC games to be televised, as of now:

Nov. 17: Monmouth at Saint Peter's, 6 a.m.; Drexel at Niagara, 8 a.m.; Northeastern at Siena, noon, all on ESPN.

Nov. 26: Iona vs. Florida State in the Old Spice Classic, 9 p.m., ESPNU.

Nov. 27: Iona vs. either Alabama or Baylor in the Old Spice Classic, 5 or 7:30 p.m., ESPN2 or ESPNU.

Nov. 29: Iona vs. TBA in the Old Spice Classic, time to be determined, either on ESPN2 or ESPNU.

Jan. 8: Loyola at Fairfield, 9 p.m., ESPNU.

Jan. 15: Manhattan at Loyola women, 4:30 p.m.; Marist at Loyola men, 7 p.m., ESPNU.

Jan. 22: Iona at Manhattan, 9 p.m., ESPNU.

Jan. 29: Marist at Canisius women, 4:30 p.m.; Niagara at Canisius men, 7 p.m., ESPN U.

Jan. 30: Siena at Marist, 4 p.m., MAAC TV.

Jan. 31: Manhattan at Saint Peter's, 2 p.m., ESPNU.

Feb. 1: Fairfield at Iona women, 5 p.m.; Canisius at Iona men, 7 p.m., MAAC TV.

Feb. 5: Marist at Manhattan, 9 p.m., ESPNU.

Feb. 7: Canisius at Saint Peter's, noon, MAAC TV.

Feb. 8: Fairfield at Siena, 7 p.m., ESPNU

Feb. 12: Wild card game to be determined, 7 p.m., ESPNU; Wild card game to be determined, 8 p.m., ESPN2.

Feb. 14: Loyola at Iona, 2 p.m., MAAC TV.

Feb. 15: Niagara at Saint Peter's women, 5 p.m.; Rider at Saint Peter's men, 7 p.m., MAAC TV.

Feb. 26: Siena at Rider women, 4:30 p.m.; Siena at Rider men, 7 p.m., ESPNU.

Feb. 28: Niagara at Fairfield, noon, MAAC TV.

March 6: MAAC tournament women's semifinals 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., MAAC TV.

March 6: MAAC tournament men's quarterfinals at 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., MAAC TV.

March 7: Women's Championship game, noon, MAAC TV.

March 7: Men's semifinals at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., MAAC TV.

March 8: Men's Championship game, 7 p.m., ESPN2.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Trivia Answer: 13 are 3-time 1st-teamers

Without further adieu ... here's the trivia answer to the query about MAAC players who have been first-team post-season conference all-stars in three consecutive season.

Players who achieved that rare honor from current conference teams, in no particular order, are: Luis Flores, Keith Bullock and Tim Cain of Manhattan, Keydren Clark of Saint Peter's, Mike Powell of Loyola, Steve Burtt Sr. of Iona, Marcus Faison of Siena, Jerry Johnson of Rider, Juan Mendez of Niagara and Michael Meeks of Canisius.

Others from former MAAC-affiliated teams are Lionel Simmons and Doug Overton of La Salle, and Kevin Houston of Army.

There could be another player joining that select group this season. Siena's senior forward Edwin Ubiles is already a two-time first-team pick.