Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: At the MAAC Men's Quarter-Finals

by Ray Floriani

ALBANY, NY - The men’s first round games on Friday were the fifth and sixth of the day at the Times Union Center. The women’s quarterfinals proceeded and the men got their tournament rolling at 7:30.

Albany Times Union Arena

The first game saw a mild surprise with ninth seeded Manhattan knocking off eight seed Loyola 94-79. In a 71 possession (Manhattan 72 Loyola 69) game:


As noted in the women’s rundown no team hit 100 for offensive efficiency. This game was an aggressive wide open contest with a lot of offense and at many times, token defense.

Rico Pickett of Manhattan had 23 at the half and finished with a game high 33 points. On the other end Shane Walker, a 6-10 Loyola sophomore, had two at halftime and went on a tear to finish with a team pacing 26 points.

Both teams had high free throw rates as evidence of the physicality and frequent trips to the line. Manhattan shot 38 of 46 while Loyola went 21 of 30.

Jaspers also had a slight edge 17-14 on the offensive glass. Loyola shot the ball better but that 25% turnover rate did the offense in. For a wide open affair, Manhattan did very well caring for the ball with just 9 turnovers.

The efficiency numbers saw Pickett, a junior guard, with a 30 in 34 minutes for an impressive .882 eff/min metric.

Walker had an efficiency of 31 and an excellent .969 eff/min rating. Pickett shot 10 of 18 from the floor and was 3 of 8 from three. To put it very kindly, his shot selection was ‘liberal’.

The nightcap saw Canisius end the Marist campaign at 1-29 with a 72-54 decision. The numbers in a 61 possession (Canisius 62 Marist 60) game:


As they have done through the long season, Marist battled gamely. It was a two possession game until the Griffs hit a last second trey to go into the break ahead 34-26. That shot basically took its toll as the Red Foxes ended their long season.

Once again, youth (a 26% TO rate) and lack of consistent inside play doomed Marist. The offensive rebound disparity as well as that from the foul line illustrate some of the interior problems Chucky Martin’s Marist club has faced all season. Canisius shot 13 of 25 (52%) from two point range, another sample of evidence regarding Marist’s interior problems.

Canisius was very impressive in the TO rate category. That’s the difference. Tom Parrotta has the ball in the hands of an excellent senior lead guard, Frank Turner, one turnover in 37 minutes. Martin is relying on mostly first and second year players. Whom he hopes will only get better.

“I am foaming at the mouth.” - Manhattan guard Rico Pickett regarding a quarterfinal meeting with top seed Siena.

“We wanted to come to the (MAAC) tournament to play our best. To us it’s a new season” - Manhattan coach Barry Rohrssen

Darryl Crawford, Manhattan College
answers reporters questions

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