Steve Masiello

Shane Richards
Associated Press

VIDEO: Shane Richards’ shot lifts shorthanded Manhattan

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Thanks to injuries and the departure of Jermaine Lawrence, the beginning of the season has been difficult for Steve Masiello’s Manhattan Jaspers. Entering Wednesday’s game against George Mason, which was coming off of a surprising run to the Charleston Classic title game, with just six available players the Jaspers looked to pick up their first win of the season.

And Manhattan was successful, with a Shane Richards three-point play with 1.1 seconds remaining being the difference in their 69-67 win at Draddy Gymnasium. Below is video of the game-winning play, courtesy of Manhattan Athletics.

Richards (13 points) was one of three Jaspers to reach double figures, with Rich Williams leading the way with 26 points and nine rebounds and Thomas Capuano adding 14 points. What also helped the Jaspers was the fact that they forced 25 George Mason, converting those opportunities into 24 points.

Not sure if Manhattan and George Mason are due to play again next season, but the last two meetings have produced dramatic outcomes. The Patriots won last year’s game in Fairfax on a Jalen Jenkins’ 75-footer as time expired.

Video credit: Manhattan Athletics

Manhattan point guard granted fifth year of eligibility

RaShawn Stores, Kelvin Amayo
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The Manhattan Jaspers have reached the NCAA tournament in each of the last two seasons, and one of the reasons why has been point guard RaShawn Stores. While his averages (6.3 ppg, 3.0 apg) may not jump off the page, the 5-foot-11 Stores has been an important leader for Steve Masiello’s team.

And that’s what makes the head coach’s announcement that Stores has been granted a fifth year of eligibility so important for the Jaspers as they look to make a third straight trip to the tournament.

Stores sat out his freshman campaign for academic reasons, and in those cases an athlete can regain the year lost provided they take care of business in the classroom. Stores has done that, giving Manhattan a valuable piece they know they can rely on in 2015-16.

Other key contributors due back in Riverdale include guards Shane Richards and Rich Williams, with the former being the team’s leading returning scorer with an average of 13.2 points per game last season. With those players back, Manhattan should once again be right in the thick of things in the MAAC.

Manhattan unveils a wild new green court (PHOTO)

Steve Masiello
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College basketball court designs keep going in bold new directions and Manhattan’s new home floor is certainly one of the bravest in recent memory. The green court is going to really stand out on TV and I’m anxious to see how it looks against some visiting team uniforms this season.

The Jaspers announced the new floor for Draddy Gymnasium in a release.

(Manhattan Athletics)

The release is filled with pro-green sentiments from athletics director Noah D. Levre and head coach Steve Masiello.

“The new basketball court design gives us a unique look and helps further the Manhattan College brand … we want to own the color green,” LeFevre said in the release. “How facilities appear matter and I am happy with the way this important component turned out.”

Masiello also likes the new floor and even named it the “Green Monster.” I’m not sure that name will stick, but it’s an idea.

“I can’t tell you how excited we are about the new court, which will add to the Manhattan brand,”Masiello said in the release. “It will be another area in which we separate ourselves in college basketball. It will now make Draddy Gymnasium one of the hardest places to play because of the Green Monster.”

Manhattan is certainly trying to own the color green in the college basketball landscape.