Tag: Ashton Pankey

Steve Masiello

Resume issue provides valuable lesson for Manhattan

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In the aftermath of his leading Manhattan to the NCAA tournament and giving Louisville all it wanted before falling in the round of 64, Steve Masiello was considered by many to be a rising star in the coaching profession. His work turning around the Manhattan program ultimately resulted in South Florida offering him its head coaching position and he accepted, with designs of pulling off a similar turnaround.

But because of the fact that he’d yet to complete his undergraduate coursework at Kentucky, despite the fact that his resume stated that he’d graduated, Masiello was no longer in line for that job and his coaching future hung in the balance. After completing his degree requirements Masiello was reinstated as head coach at Manhattan, which had placed him on leave following the discovery.

And in a story written by Scott Gleeson of USA Today, Masiello stated that the situation was “the best thing that could have happened” to him.

“It reprogrammed me from an accountability standpoint,” Masiello told USA TODAY Sports. “I am now proud to say I graduated. And I try to graduate 100% of my players. My job is to impact people’s lives. If this doesn’t get people’s attention — to do the little things — then I don’t know what will. Forget about money or other jobs. I almost lost my career because of a mistake I made when I was 21. Now I’m 36. I’m not trying to spin that, but I tell my players what you do now matters.”

As Masiello stated, his situation is one that can be used as a learning experience for both he and his players. And after reaching the NCAA tournament a season ago, the Jaspers are capable of making a return trip in spite of some key personnel losses.

Gone from last season’s team are key seniors and leading scorers George Beamon, Michael Alvarado and Rhamel Brown, and their contributions won’t be accounted for easily. But with returnees such as Ashton Pankey, Emmy Andujar and Shane Richards back, and Cincinnati transfer Jermaine Lawrence granted immediate eligibility, Manhattan shouldn’t be ignored when assessing the MAAC race in 2014-15.

In addition to Manhattan, bitter rival Iona should also be a contender with A.J. English and David Laury III back on campus, and a Siena team that returns every key member from a rotation that won the CBI will be heard from as well.

2013-2014 MAAC Preview: Manhattan, Canisius, Iona at the top

Steve Masiello
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Billy Baron (GoGriffs.com)

All month long, CBT will be rolling out our 2013-2014 season preview. Check back throughout the day, as we’ll be posting three or four preview items every day.

To browse through the preview posts we’ve already published, click hereTo see the rest of the Conference Previews we’ve published, click here. For a schedule of our previews for the month, click here.

Last season was supposed to be the year that Manhattan, in Steve Masiello’s second year at the helm, made their move in the MAAC. They were coming off a 21-13 record in Masiello’s first year, and George Beamon, the leading scorer in the league in 2011-12, was returning for his senior season. An ankle injury to Beamon derailed Manhattan as they got out to a 6-15 start, yet they rebounded by making it to the MAAC championship nearly beating Iona. With a healthy Beamon back for a fifth year, Ashton Pankey, a Maryland transfer who sat out last season, now eligible, and two time defensive player of the year Rhamel Brown returning in the frontcourt, the Jaspers are the favorite to win the MAAC and return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004.

Many point to Iona, Manhattan’s bitter rival, as the primary challenger. Understandably so as the Gaels have been to the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons and return two of the league’s top players in Sean Armand and David Laury. While they will no doubt challenge, Canisius is poised to have a big year with Billy Baron returning for his senior season. Factor in guard Chris Perez, who is using his final year of eligibility after graduating from Stetson this past May where he earned All-Atlantic Sun Second Team, and Canisius has the top backcourt in the league.

Two programs that may be on the uptick are Rider and Marist. The Broncs surprised everyone last year finishing second in the league, and return two of the top players in Anthony Myles and Daniel Stewart. Marist, meanwhile, struggled for much of last season finishing with a 10-21 record, which proved to be the demise of Chuck Martin. In comes Jeff Bower, an assistant at Marist from 1986-1995 and former general manager of the New Orleans Hornets, to try and right the ship. He steps into a program that returns Adam Kemp and Chavaughn Lewis who both earned Third Team All-MAAC honors last season.

In their first season in the MAAC, Quinnipiac will be instantly competitive as they return Ike Azotam and Ousamane Drame in the frontcourt.

While they don’t figure to contend right away, Siena, under first year coach Jimmy Patsos, will be a story to watch all season. Patsos successfully transformed Loyola (Maryland), formerly of the MAAC, into one of the league’s top programs.


In: Monmouth and Quinnipiac
Out: Loyola (Maryland)

source: Getty Images
Sean Armand (Getty Images)


Baron (17.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 5.0 apg) has the ability to fill it up like a shooting guard, go off the dribble like a two-guard, and has the handle of a point guard. As Canisius’ starting point guard for the second season, Baron will look to lead Canisius to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996.


  • Antoine Mason, Niagara: Losing Juan’ya Green and Ameen Tanksley to Hofstra makes Mason, a First Team All-MAAC player from last season, the focal point for first year coach Chris Casey.
  • Sean Armand, Iona: One of the best shooters in the country at any level, Armand was one of just ten players to drill 100 or more three-pointers last season.
  • George Beamon, Manhattan: Arguably the top player in the MAAC, the Jaspers will go as far as Beamon takes them, and that may be to the NCAA Tournament.
  • Chavaughn Lewis, Marist: After averaging just a shade over 8 ppg midway through the non-conference schedule, Lewis ripped up the MAAC averaging nearly 20 ppg in league games.



1) Manhattan
2) Canisius
3) Iona
4) Rider
5) Marist
6) Quinnipiac
7) Fairfield
8) Siena
9) St. Peter’s
10) Niagara
11) Monmouth