Thursday, July 12, 2012

One Blogger's Choice for MAAC's Best Point Guards

A recent entry on a league-related fan board not so long ago offered some insight on the league's all-time best point guards.

And, that got your blogger to thinking: why not try to identify the top players in the MAAC's 31-year history by position?

Why not, indeed?

So, here we go. Initially we were going to make it a Top 5 list at each position, but a couple of positions were just too closely contested to stop at five, so we've made it at Top 6 ... a "Super Six" at each position, if you will.

As a qualifier, your blogger has covered the MAAC in some form or another since 1989, or 23 of the league's 31-year existence. Even before that, though, I covered college hoops dating back to the mid-1970s and saw a number of MAAC teams annually even before "covering" the league exclusively.

The selections are purely my own, based on a number of factors but most of them related to the so-called "eye-ball" test ... as in these players were the best that I've seen.

Mostly, I just considered individual talent and not team results. And, as is the case with any selections such as these, the exercise is purely subjective. There are bound to be some differences of opinion and your comments and thoughts, which you can provide in the comment section, are welcomed appreciated.

We will start at the point guard spot.

The ratings are in no particular order. Just the top six players at each spot, but if there is a singular standout, he'll be identified. For now, men's players only. Later this summer or early in the fall, we'll do the same for women players.

TOP POINT GUARDS (Alphabetical order):

- DOREMUS BENNERMAN, 5-foot-11, Siena (1990-91 through 1993-94): One of just two Siena players over 2,000 career points (2,109). His point total is still sixth-best in MAAC history and he is just one of 11 MAAC players with more than 2,000 career points. He also currently stands 11th in league history in career assists (577) and fourth in free-throw percentage (.859). The career numbers are remarkable since he spent his freshman year as basically a back-up to Marc Brown. Bennerman's value? Siena finished 25-8 in his senior season (1993-94) and went to the semifinal round of that year's NIT. He has the still-standing record for points scored in NIT play in one season (174, that included a 51-point outburst). Siena's post-Bennerman year, with all four other starters back, resulted in an 8-19 finish.

- MARC BROWN, 5-10, Siena (1987-88 through 1990-91): Some might not consider Brown since only his last two seasons were played in the MAAC (Siena came aboard for the 1989-90 season), but anyone who saw "Biz" (as in "Showbiz") play can use the "eye-ball" test to identify him as one of the best to ever play in a MAAC game. Career-wise his 2,284 points would be fourth-best all-time on the MAAC list and his 796 career assists would be third. As a sophomore he took Siena to its first NCAA appearance (the program's final pre-MAAC season) in 1989 and, there, directed the Saints to an 82-80 victory over Stanford in a year the Cardinal were ranked No. 13 overall nationally entering the contest.

KEYDREN CLARK, 5-foot-8, Saint Peter's (2002-03 through 2005-06): Because of his scoring exploits, some might identify him as a shooting guard, but he did run the point for the Peacocks throughout his career. His 3,058 career points ranks him 2nd all-time in the MAAC and 6th all-time for any Division I player in NCAA history. He led the nation in scoring as a sophomore and a junior and finished second as a senior. His 25.9 point-per-game average is the highest in MAAC history, his career total for three-pointers (435) is the league's all-time best and his 501 career assists is 17th all-time in league history. Not bad for a player who, partially because of his height, was basically overlooked as a college recruit. It says here that Clark is the MAAC's all-time best point guard ... but Brown isn't far behind.

JARED JORDAN, 6-foot-2, Marist (2003-04 through 2006-07): An avowed non-shooter (6.8 points, 11.7 points per game) his first two seasons, he became more of an offensive threat his last two seasons (16.1, 17.2). And, he remained a brilliant passer, enough to lead the NCAA in assists both years to become the first player to lead all Division I players in assists in consecutive seasons since current NBA Nets' coach Avery Johnson did it in the late 1980's. Jordan's career assist average (6.95) is still No. 1 among all MAAC players, and his 813 assist total ranks No. 3 in the league. And, he did finish with 1,544 career points. It was enough for him to be a second-round draft pick of the Dallas Mavericks in 2007.

SCOTT MACHADO, 6-foot-1, Iona (2008-09 through 2011-12): Might have been the conference's most-gifted pure passer of all time (with apologies to Jordan, Brown and former Siena player Ronald Moore). His 6.66 assist-per-game average is second-best all-time in the MAAC, and his 9.9 assist-per-game average this past season led the country. Also, enough of an offensive threat himself to average 12.5 points per game or better his last three seasons. Surely one of this past season's top players not to be drafted, he is currently on the Houston Rockets' summer league team. There were flaws in his game early at Iona, but few players worked harder to correct them.

DOUG OVERTON, 6-foot-3, La Salle (1987-88 through 1990-91): The second-best player at La Salle his first three years (to Lionel Simmons) and, maybe, to Randy Woods when he was a senior ... but, no MAAC player to date lasted longer in the NBA. Overton played 11 full NBA seasons and was more than a "bit" player, averaging more than 18 minutes per game in six of those years. And, he wasn't exactly shabby as the proverbial second-fiddle to Simmons at La Salle. His 1,795 career points is 25th-best in MAAC history, his 671 career assists is fifth-best all-time and no player in league history had a higher career winning percentage (78 percent).

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