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.
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.
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 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.
Manhattan adds former Ball State point guard Zavier Turner
Manhattan added a point guard to its roster Friday night, as former Ball State guard Zavier Turner will be making the move from the MAC to the MAAC. The news was first reported by ESPN.com, and after sitting out the 2015-16 season Turner will have two seasons to play under Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello.
The 5-foot-9 Turner enjoyed a productive freshman season at Ball State, averaging 12.1 points and 3.7 assists per game and winning MAC Freshman of the Year honors. His scoring dropped down to an average of 8.7 points per contest last season, and Turner shot 35.9 percent from the field and 31.9 percent from beyond the arc.
While Manhattan has to account for the loss of Rashawn Stores at the point, they do return rising senior Shane Richards and rising juniors Tyler Wilson and Rich Williams when it comes to players who factored into last season’s run to the NCAA tournament. Turner can’t help them in games next season but he can offer a challenge in practice, and the year in residency will help him get acclimated to Manhattan’s pressure defense.
In addition to Turner, the Jaspers add three freshmen in guard Tom Capuano and forwards Vincent Eze and Akintoye Ojo.