Tag: Iona Gaels

Hampton v Manhattan

MAAC announces change to conference tournament format

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For conferences in which at-large bids to the NCAA tournament are tough to come by, the conference tournament is an incredibly important event. With that being the case, some leagues have looked give their top teams in the regular season an advantage when it comes to the conference tournament setup.

For some that advantage comes in the form of home court advantage, while others may do things such as advance their top seeds to the semifinals of the event. Thursday afternoon the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, which in the past rewarded its top two seeds with a bye into the semifinals, announced that it has changed the format for its men’s and women’s conference tournaments.

Both tournaments, which are held at the same site (the Times Union Center, Siena’s home court in Albany, New York), will begin on Thursday, March 2 with three first round games in the women’s tournament followed by three games in the men’s bracket. The biggest change comes on Friday, with the top two seeds in both brackets taking the court against the winners of the 8/9 and 7/10 games respectively.

“The vote for the revised format was 9-1-1, with Manhattan opposed and Quinnipiac abstaining,” MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor said in the release.  “The format change has been accepted by the Times Union Center (Albany, NY) which is hosting the 2016 & 2017 championships under a current three-year contract.”

And the winners of those games get a day off ahead of Sunday’s semifinals, which could especially pay dividends for teams that aren’t especially deep. News of a format change was first reported by the Asbury Park Press on Tuesday, and the paper got some comments from Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello.

And it’s safe to say that he isn’t all too thrilled with the timing of this change.

“I can’t recall a time when some changes happen within eight, nine months. Why not wait until the next contract?,” Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello told the Asbury Park Press via phone on Thursday afternoon.

“Basically, to have this changed, I have yet to get an answer why, which is what I find very puzzling. I think maybe people are tired of Manhattan and they don’t want to talk about that elephant in the room, our style and our depth. We’ve been to three title games in three years, back-to-back winners in two. I have a feeling that people didn’t like that because maybe we weren’t supposed to be there.”

The MAAC’s contract with the Times Union Center runs through the 2017 MAAC tournaments. Next year’s MAAC tournament schedule breaks down as follows:

Thursday, March 
Women’s First Round
9:30 a.m. 8 seed vs. 9 seed
11:30 a.m. 7 seed vs. 10 seed
1:30 p.m. 6 seed vs. 11 seed

Men’s First Round
5:00 p.m. 8 seed vs. 9 seed
7:00 p.m. 7 seed vs. 10 seed
9:00 p.m. 6 seed vs. 11 seed

Friday, March 4
Women’s Quarterfinals
12:00 p.m. 1 seed vs. 8/9 winner
2:30 p.m. 2 seed vs. 7/10 winner

Men’s Quarterfinals
7:00 p.m. 1 seed vs. 8/9 winner
9:30 p.m. 2 seed vs. 7/10 winner

Saturday, March 5
Women’s Quarterfinals
12:00 p.m. 3 seed vs. 6/11 winner
2:30 p.m. 4 seed vs. 5 seed

Men’s Quarterfinals
7:00 p.m. 3 seed vs. 6/11 winner
9:30 p.m. 4 seed vs. 5 seed

Sunday, March 6
Women’s Semifinals
11:00 a.m. 1/8/9 winner vs. 4/5 winner
1:30 p.m. 2/7/10 winner vs. 3/6/11 winner

Men’s Semifinals
4:30 p.m. 1/8/9 winner vs. 4/5 winner
7:00 p.m. 2/7/10 winner vs. 3/6/11 winner

Monday, March 7
Women’s Championship 
Semifinal winners, Time TBD

Men’s Championship
Semifinal winners, Time TBD

Report: Former Providence center Paschal Chukwu to visit Syracuse

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Having already visited Kansas, Nebraska and Michigan State, former Providence center Paschal Chukwu is still working through the process of picking a new school. Thursday afternoon CBSSports.com reported that the former Friar will visit Syracuse this weekend.

Also being considered by the 7-foot-2 Chukwu as possible transfer destinations per the report are Iona and Virginia. Chukwu averaged 2.6 points and 2.4 rebound per game as a freshman at Providence.

In regards to the Orange, Jim Boeheim can use another big man for the future. While the Orange welcome back Chinoso Obokoh and Dajuan Coleman and add freshman Moustapha Diagne, Coleman hasn’t played much during his time at Syracuse to to injury problems and Obokoh has played sparingly as well.

Chukwu wouldn’t be eligible to play next season for the Orange due to NCAA transfer rules, but adding another interior piece for the future would help Syracuse. The Orange did lose a scholarship as a result of sanctions handed down by the NCAA earlier this year, but they’d still have room for Chukwu in 2015-16 and beyond.

Heading into the 2015-16 season players such as Diagne, fellow freshman Tyler Lydon and junior Tyler Roberson will be key pieces as Syracuse looks to account for the loss of All-ACC forward Rakeem Christmas. Chris McCullough, who left for the NBA after his freshman season, suffered a torn ACL during the non-conference portion of the 2014-15 campaign.

Former Wake Forest forward to finish career at Iona

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Under head coach Tim Cluess, Iona’s had a lot of success with transfers from either the junior college ranks or another Division I school. Sunday the two-time MAAC regular season champions added a graduate student to its program, as former Wake Forest forward Aaron Rountree III announced that he’ll use his final season of eligibility at Iona.

The 6-foot-8 Rountree was a role player in each of his three seasons at Wake Forest, playing 14.4 minutes per game in 2014-15. Rountree averaged 2.8 points and 2.5 rebounds per contest last season, shooting 42.6 percent from the field for the Demon Deacons under first-year head coach Danny Manning.

With Iona losing an incredibly versatile forward in David Laury III, recent pickups of Jordan Washington and Rountree will help the Gaels account for Laury’s departure from a depth standpoint.

In addition to Washington, Rountree joins junior college transfer Najeal Young and James Madison transfer Taylor Bessick as players who did not suit up for Iona in 2014-15 but will next season. Kelvin Amayo is Iona’s most productive front court returnee, as he averaged 7.9 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest last season, with occasional starter Ryden Hines due to return as well.

Guards A.J. English, Shadrac Casimir and Isaiah Williams will be asked to lead the way for a team that should once again be favored to win the MAAC and make a run at its first NCAA tournament appearance since 2013.