Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Blogger's Picks for MAAC's All-Time Power Forwards

Here's the continuation of the series selecting the top MAAC men's players of all time.

Up now (in alphabetical order) ...


- O.D. ANOSIKE, 6-foot-7, Siena (2009-2010 to present): He is the only still-active player on the all-time list, and a portion of the opinion here is based on "projection," i.e., where he'll finish among the all-time leaders. But, he has already done plenty, including leading the nation in rebounding (12.52 per game) this past season. He already has career totals of 834 points and 712 rebounds, and doesn't even need to approach last year's numbers to become the ninth player in conference history with more than 1,000 points and rebounds. He was nearly an unstoppable force inside this past season, and his 17 consecutive double-doubles ranks second all-time among all MAAC players. His 23 double-doubles on the season was the second-highest total nationally (only Thomas Robinson of Kansas, with 27, had more).

- KEITH BULLOCK, 6-foot-7, Manhattan (1989-90 through 1992-93): One of the most-influential players in his program's history. Manhattan has just one winning record overall (15-13 in 1982-83) in its first 10 MAAC seasons. And, then, the Jaspers went 25-9 and 23-7 in Bullock's final two seasons, including a trip to the NCAA tournament in 1993 after  Bullock scored 30 points in the MAAC tournament's championship game. Statistically, he is one of eight players in MAAC history with more than 1,000 career points (1,992, 12th all-time) and rebounds (1,012, 8th), and his 47.9 field-goal accuracy is 45th best of all time in the conference.

- ALEX FRANKLIN, 6-foot-5, Siena (2006-07 through 2009-10): A somewhat undersized and unheralded power forward recruit, he scored 20 points in his first career game, at Stanford, and built on that. His career totals of 1,730 points and 926 rebounds rank 20th and 11th, all time, in conference history. His 56.7 field-goal accuracy ranks as 5th-best all time in the MAAC. He was a key figure (earning the MAAC's Player of the Year award in 2010) in Siena's best three-year run and the second-best MAAC three-year stretch in history, as his final three seasons produced a 46-8 conference and a 77-26 overall mark and three straight trips to the NCAA tournament.

- ANTHONY JOHNSON, 6-foot-8, Fairfield (2006-07 through 2009-10): There might be players with more gaudy statistics, but Johnson makes this list as an eye-ball selection as much as anything. Physically,a well-built 245-pounder, he was as good a power forward as the MAAC has ever seen, and his 1,292 career points and 853 career rebounds (15th-best in MAAC history) would attest. And, those numbers would have been better were it not for junior season blood clot issues that forced him to miss 11 games. Otherwise, he'd have been among the top 10 career conference rebounders. He was the MAAC's Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, a year in which he led the conference in double-doubles (17) and nearly averaged double figures in both points (16.1) and rebounds (9.8).

- JUAN MENDEZ, 6-foot-7, Niagara (2001-02 through 2004-05); Just an unstoppable inside force right from the start (9.9 points, 6.1 rebounds as a freshman), he finished with career totals of 2,210 points (4th-best in MAAC history), 1,053 rebounds (5th), a field-goal percentage of 53.1 (7th) and 1.38 blocks per game (25th). He is one of 107 players in NCAA Division I history to put up more than 2,000 career points and 1,000 rebounds. As a senior he averaged 23.5 points, 10.6 rebounds and led the Purple Eagles to their first NCAA tournament appearance in 35 years. Considered by many the best Canadian player on a U.S. college team in the first decade of the 21st century, and he played several years in Canada's national program.

- MARIO PORTER, 6-foot-6, Rider (1998-99 through 2001-02): First player in Rider history to accumulate career totals of more than 1,700 points (1,782) and 700 rebounds (706). Those totals rank 26th and 27th all-time in MAAC history. His 49.3 percent field goal accuracy is 32nd all time. And, is 1.9 steals-per-game average is 25th best ever in the league. Those numbers are indicative of his overall versatility. He was the MAAC's Player of the Year for the 2001-02 season with averages of 20.1 points and 8.5 rebounds and helped the Broncs to a 13-5 conference record that season that earned the program a share of the regular-season MAAC championship.

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