George Beamon

NCAA Tournament Primer: Manhattan Jaspers

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Get to know all of the NCAA Tournament’s automatic bids here.

Conference: MAAC

Coach: Steve Masiello

Record: 25-7 (15-5 MAAC)

Rankings and Ratings:

– Kenpom: 69
– RPI: 71
– AP/USA Today: Not ranked

Seeding?: Likely a 13 seed

Names you need to know: George Beamon (19.4 ppg, 6.5 rp, 1.6 spg); Rhamel Brown (9.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 3.7 bpg); Michael Alvarado (12.3 ppg, 4.1 apg); Emmy Andujar (8.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.2 apg)

Stats you need to know: The Jaspers are 42nd in adjusted defense efficiency according to kenpom.com. Manhattan will represent the MAAC with a balanced attack on offensive and defense, averaging 77.6 points per game (good for 38th nationally) while possessing the conference’s most efficient defense.

Tendencies: Manhattan can and will run deep. Only Beamon and Alvarado record double-digits in scoring. But 11 Jaspers average double figures in minutes per game with seven logging more than 17 minutes a night.

Big wins, bad losses: Out of conference, Manhattan knocked off La Salle to open the season, but dropped games against George Washington and Fordham. The Jaspers also topped Buffalo in overtime. In conference, Manhattan finished out the regular season and the conference tournament winners of 11 of its last 12 games.

How’d they get here?: After taking all St. Peter’s could give them in the first half, the Jaspers pulled away in the second half, before handling Quinnipiac in the semifinals. For the second time in 11 days, Manhattan got the best of its rival Iona.

Outlook: Manhattan is likely going be slotted as a No. 13 seed. I’m sure a lot of high seed will be unhappy about being matched up with the Jaspers.

How do I know you?: Manhattan came very close to making the NCAA tournament last season, falling to Iona in the MAAC final. The Jaspers are experienced and have the talent on offense and defense, and the coach, who can give any high seed a scare.

VIDEO: Marquette’s Henry Ellenson shows off his versatility

Marquette's Henry Ellenson is fouled by Providence's Ben Bentil as he drives to the basket during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
(AP Photo/Morry Gash)
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I’m on record saying that I would consider Marquette freshman Henry Ellenson if I had the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft, and while, at this point, I think that Brandon Ingram is probably going to end up going No. 2 — (Maybe No. 1???) — I still believe that Ellenson is going to be one of the best players from this draft class.

Why?

Well, just take a look at these highlights from the 26-point, 16-rebound performance he had in a win over Providence last night.

Then remember that Ellenson is 6-foot-11:

POSTERIZED: Pensacola State’s Jamal Thomas dunks through block attempt, makes coach go nuts

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A solid poster dunk went down in the junior college ranks last night as Pensacola State sophomore Jamal Thomas finished a dunk through a block attempt against Northwest Florida State.

The 6-foot-3 Thomas used his power and momentum to go through the opposing shot blocker and the play made his head coach, Pete Pena, go nuts with an over-exaggerated fist pump. The video is short, but be sure to watch for Pena’s reaction near the logo at the top right of the screen.