Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: MAAC Conference Wrapup

by Ray Floriani

JERSEY CITY, NJ - Iona edged St.Peter’s on Sunday at Yanitelli Center. The game drew the MAAC regular season to a close. The following is a final regular season tempo free breakdown of the MAAC, with conference games only factored in.

The offensive and defensive efficiencies are subtracted to give us the efficiency margin on the far right. Naturally, a figure in the positive is desired. Pace is the average number of possessions a team uses per game.


Siena, the class of the conference, has the impressive numbers to back it. The defensive numbers in the MAAC are noteworthy especially those of St.Peter’s. The offensive efficiency was not too great in Jersey City but when you hold opponents to an 88 DE you will win games.

Last season Chucky Martin arrived at Marist with th dribble drive motion offense. This season Marist was the most pedestrian team in the conference. Little worked this season for a painfully young Marist squad.

A 9-9 mark is not bad but many expected more of Rider. A quick look shows the defense was too generous and the efficiency margin, one of the poorest in the conference.

Conference tournament is March 5-8 at the Times Union Center in Albany.

Dinneen Hall
St. Peter's College

The St.Peter’s-Iona game was a 59 possession (Iona 56 St. Peter’s 62) contest , with the efficiencies and four factors as follows:



At Stake. A lot, namely third place. The winner would secure third in the MAAC standings. Beyond the pride of a higher finish was the knowledge that tournament favorite Siena would not (possibly) be faced until the final game.

With all that in mind, these two teams got together in an intense, defensive struggle with 7 ties and 4 lead changes, that was not decided until the final possession.

Interestingly Iona ,which took 40% of their attempts from three point range (19 three point attempts of 47 total tries), got the game winning points due to a penetration. Sophomore guard Scott Machado was fouled going to the basket with 5 seconds left and converted both shots. St.Peter’s countered with a drive by Eddie Leon who was stripped of the ball by Iona’s Jermel Jenkins.

One of the discernible differences was in rebounding where St.Peter’s had an edge. That was offset by Iona’s defense. St.Peter’s led 27-24 at the half but shot 7 of 26 (27%) the final twenty minutes. The Gaels were only slightly better at 8 of 22 (36%) but they knocked down three treys (st>peter’s had one) and that slight margin was enough in a very close finish.

Numbers. Jenkins led Iona (21-9 overall) with 13 points. Machado was the other double figure scorer for the Gaels with 10. St.Peter’s (16-13) had two players hit doubles with Ryan Bacon and Wesley Jenkins both scoring 12 points.

The MAAC. St.Peter’s wanted that third seed but what they are getting is not too bad. The Peacocks will face Rider at 2:30 on Saturday in Albany. The two teams split this year and Rider struggled this weekend getting waxed by Siena on Friday and barely surviving Canisius (both at home).

Iona draws Niagara in a 10 pm game on Saturday. Gaels coaches and players all said the right thing but deep down the 10 pm contest is a coaching nightmare. Awaiting is a Niagara team that played fairly well down the stretch.

“We had a tough weekend at Fairfield and St.Peter’s. We finished 12-6 (MAAC) and 21-9 that’s what I’m most proud of.” - Iona coach Kevin Willard

“I’m disappointed we didn’t get the win and finish third but I’m proud of my team. We are playing with passion.” - St. Peter’s coach John Dunne

Kyle Smith (l) and Jermel Jenkins (r) of Iona
interview with Sean Brennan of the Daily News

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