Tag: Monmouth Hawks

Archie Miller

Report: Dayton/Iowa one of four Advocare Invitational matchups

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The field for the 2015 Advocare Invitational (formerly the Old Spice Classic) includes five teams that reached the NCAA tournament last season, including two in Notre Dame and Wichita State who met in the Sweet 16 with the Fighting Irish winning. Wednesday it was reported by ESPN.com that the matchups have been determined, with the two teams sitting on opposite sides of the bracket.

The lone quarterfinal matchup with two NCAA tournament teams is the one between Dayton and Iowa, with both teams expected to make a return trip in 2016.

Archie Miller’s Flyers, who won games over Boise State and Providence before falling to Oklahoma in the Round of 32, lost just Jordan Sibert from last season’s rotation and will be much deeper than the seven-man outfit that nearly reached the Sweet 16. Dayton will be one of the early favorites in the Atlantic 10, and while Iowa may not have those expectations in the Big Ten they should be a tournament team despite the loss of Aaron White. Mike Gesell and Adam Woodbury are among the returnees for the Hawkeyes, who lost to Gonzaga in the Round of 32.

The Flyers and Hawkeyes are on the same side of the bracket as Notre Dame, which will open with Monmouth. The Fighting Irish were one possession away from knocking off Kentucky in the Elite Eight, and they’ll have to account for the loss of first-round draft pick Jerian Grant and second-round pick Pat Connaughton as they look to defend their ACC title. Demetrius Jackson leads the returnees for a team that should at the very least return to the NCAA tournament.

Monmouth is a team that should be in the mix in the MAAC, with their top three leading scorers from a season ago back on campus. The Hawks also add guards Je’lon Hornbeak and Micah Seaborn to the rotation, and they’re two players capable of having an immediate impact.

Wichita State is the most noteworthy team on the opposite side of the bracket, with the Shockers taking on a young USC team in their opener. Ron Baker and Fred Van Vleet return for the Shockers, who added a talented front court player in former Cleveland State forward Anton Grady this offseason. The Trojans struggled mightily last season, but the hope is that a healthy Jordan McLaughlin and the addition of players such as Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu will help spark a turnaround.

Xavier, which like Notre Dame and Wichita State reached the second weekend of the NCAA tournament, will face Alabama in the other quarterfinal on that side of the bracket. While Chris Mack has some key seniors to replace in Matt Stainbrook and Dee Davis, a good portion of last year’s rotation is back and the Musketeers should be a contender in the Big East. As for Alabama, this will be the first season of the Avery Johnson era, so it will be interesting to see what the Crimson Tide are able to do.

Monmouth guard Micah Seaborn expected to be eligible this season

King Rice
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Monmouth’s perimeter rotation, which was already going to be deep in 2015-16, will have another player to call upon as they look to be a factor in the MAAC race.

6-foot-5 guard Micah Seaborn, who sat out last season as a non-qualifier, is expected to be eligible to compete for the Hawks this upcoming season. According to Josh Newman of the Asbury Park Press, Seaborn needed to complete 24 credits in order to be declared eligible to play with the guard stating on Twitter Saturday that he’ll be able to suit up for King Rice’s team.

Seaborn completed his high school career at Prime Prep in Dallas, Texas, and he’s one of two guards the Hawks will add who sat out last season. The other is Je’lon Hornbeak, who played two seasons at Oklahoma before transferring to Monmouth in 2014.

Hornbeak was able to join his teammates on a trip to China this spring, something Seaborn missed out on due to his need to shore things up academically. Adding these two to a perimeter rotation that will be led by veterans Justin Robinson and Deon Jones, the Hawks’ top two scorers from a season ago, gives Monmouth a nice boost.

The question for the Hawks as they look to compete with likes of Iona, Manhattan and Siena in what should be an entertaining MAAC race, will be whether or not the front court can make its mark. With Brice Kofane, the team’s leading rebounder last season, out of eligibility they’ll need more production from centers Zac Tillman (4.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg) and Chris Brady (4.0, 3.0).

MAAC announces change to conference tournament format

Hampton v Manhattan
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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