Tim Cluess

NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheet: Getting to know Iona

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Read through the rest of the Cheat Sheets here.

Conference: MAAC

Coach: Tim Cluess

Record: 20-13, 11-7

Rankings and Ratings:

– Kenpom: 97
– RPI: 103
– AP/USA Today: N/A

Seeding?: Our Dave Ommen had the Gaels as a No. 15 seed in Monday’s bracket projection.

Names you need to know: Lamont ‘Momo’ Jones (23.3 ppg, 3.6 apg), Sean Armand (16.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.0 apg), David Laury (13.2 ppg, 10.6 rpg)

Stats you need to know: Iona is the 11th fastest team in the country. They are the 20th most efficient team offensively and outside the top 250 in defensive efficiency.

Tendencies: If you couldn’t figure it out from above, the Gaels are going to run and shoot and score and play the minimal amount of defense. They’re going to be in high-scoring, entertaining games. And if, in the tournament, those threes are dropping, they are going to be a thorn in somebody’s side.

Big wins, bad losses: The Gaels beat Denver, Wake Forest and Georgia early in the season, but had a stretch late in the year where they lost six out of seven, with all six losses coming by less than three points in a combined five overtimes.

How’d they get here?: That losing streak dropped Iona to the No. 4 seed in the MAAC tournament, but they beat Canisius and top seed Niagara before taking out Manhattan.

Outlook: The Gaels are talented. Their roster is littered with transfers from larger conferences — namely Jones, who started for two years at Arizona — and they can score with the best of them. The problem? Well, they don’t defend all that well, which is one of the reasons their record is as bad as it is. The other reason? Luck. A couple bounces go their way, and the Gaels win the MAAC. Worth consideration for an upset pick with the right matchup.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.


Mountain West admits official error, won’t change result of Boise State-Colorado State

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After reviewing video for a second straight day, the Mountain West has determined that Boise State should have beaten Colorado State on Wednesday night, but that due to an NCAA rule the outcome of the game cannot be changed.

Boise State’s James Webb III hit a one-handed, banked-in three at the end of overtime in Colorado State’s Moby Arena, breaking an 84-all tie, but after officials reviewed the play on the video monitor, they waived off the basket. Webb got the shot off in time, but the clock operator did not start the clock on time. After using stopwatch technology embedded in the video monitor, the referees determined that it took 1.3 seconds from the time that Webb caught the pass until the time that he got the shot off.

There were 0.8 seconds left when Boise State took the ball out of bounds.

On Thursday, the league announced that the referees followed the correct protocol to make the call.

They released a video that the referees used to make the decision, but upon further analysis — and amid a push on social media — it was determined that there was a difference between the “rate at which the embedded digital stopwatch advanced and the rate at which the game clock regressed during the instant replay review.”

In other words, the referees made the correct call with the evidence they had available, but the conference provided them with flawed evidence.

Boise State lost 97-93 in double-overtime.

The loss came four days after officials botched a call at the end of San Diego State’s win over New Mexico.

Akron reveals special bobble heads for LeBron, high school teammates

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When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.

LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.

Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).

All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.