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.

Manhattan adds former Ball State point guard Zavier Turner

Ball State v Marquette
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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, 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.

Report: Chris Mullin offered, expected to become St. John’s next head coach

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St. John’s has offered Chris Mullin the head coaching job, and he is expected to accept, according to a report from Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports on Sunday evening.

The former Red Storm star became a top target once the university parted ways with Steve Lavin after five seasons. The Hall of Fame small forward was a three-time Big East Player of the Year and led St. John’s to the 1985 Final Four.

This hire will definitely win the press conference, but will similar wins happen on the court, too?

For starters, Mullin, who currently serves as advisory role with the Sacramento Kings, has no head coaching experience. Sure, Big East loyalists will love the move, but will all the points he scored back in the 1980s really resonate with recruits who weren’t alive for his Run TMC days?

Of course, he could make up for that disadvantage with a top-notch coaching staff.

It’s worth noting that Mullin had the chance to jump to the bench back in December. After Michael Malone was fired, it was reported that the Kings’ head coaching job was Mullin’s if he wanted it. However, Mullin turned it down, electing not to begin his coaching career midseason.

Rhode Island’s Danny Hurley reportedly had interest in the vacancy, but signed a six-year deal with the Rams earlier on Sunday. Steve Masiello, who has led Manhattan to back-to-back NCAA tournaments, was also believed to be a candidate.

If he does in fact accept, Mullin will be inheriting a team that graduates D’Angelo Harrison, Sir’Dominic Pointer, Phil Greene IV and Jamal Branch. Aside from bringing in several assistant coaches who can help recruit, Mullin’s top priority will be retaining Chris Obekpa and Rysheed Jordan.

Cady Lalanne’s 23 points, 16 rebounds helps UMass stave off Manhattan in overtime

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A violation led to a fortunate series of events for Manhattan with 5.1 seconds to play, trailing UMass 61-59 on Tuesday afternoon. Tyler Wilson attempted to miss his second free throw so the Jaspers could get an offensive rebound. Instead he missed the rim, a violation, giving UMass the ball, which almost secured the victory for the Minutemen.


The unintended consequence of the violation was that Seth Berger, the in-bounder for UMass, could not run along the baseline as he would if Wilson made the free throw. The result was a missed an errant pass of Trey Davis’ fingers, which set up this.

Manhattan went into overtime with the momentum, and UMass was down ultra-athlete Maxie Esho, who fouled out with 1:47 remaining in regulation. However, like LSU and Harvard in previous years, the Jaspers left Amherst, Massachusetts with a loss, as UMass held on to a 77-68 win to win its third consecutive game in the 11 a.m. time slot of the 24-hour tipoff marathon.

UMass (3-0) never trailed in overtime, as Cady Lalanne’s up-fake gave him an uncontested layup to break a 63-63 tie with 3:30 left. Berger tipped in a Lalanne miss the next time down the floor, making it a two-possession game. From there, it was a free throw contest for the Minutemen, converting all 10 to ice the win.

Lalanne finished with a game-high 23 points and 16 rebounds.

UMass and Manhattan (0-2) entered halftime knotted at 28, but the Japsers held a five-point edge more than midway through the second half. This proved to be the turning point, as the Minutemen began to solve Manhattan’s 2-3 zone, getting the ball inside to Lalanne. This became a point of emphasis for UMass, as the 6-foot-10 Lalanne is arguably the best big man in the Atlantic 10, and Manhattan is still adjusting to a new interior with Rhamel Brown, three-time MAAC Defensive Player of the Year, graduating last spring.

RELATED: Must-watch video of Rich Williams’ buzzer-beating dunk to force overtime

The UMass run started when Jabarie Hinds beat the press up the middle of the floor, ran a hand-off with Derrick Gordon, who lobbed up one of his eight assists. The Gordon-Lalanne alley-oop energized the Mullins Center crowd, and after a defensive stop, Esho, UMass’ other forward, drove by his defender before the defense set up to cut the lead to one. After a Donovan Kates, UMass was patient getting the ball to Lalanne, who was being fronted, for an uncontested dunk, followed two possessions later when an offensive rebound for Lalanne resulted in two free throws, tying the score 51-51.

Ashton Pankey would respond for Manhattan with four straight points, and the two teams would trade the lead back-and-forth three more times until Lalanne connected on four-straight free throws with 30 seconds to go, the latter pair giving UMass what looked like a 61-59 win until the wild finish.

Emmy Andujar went for 21 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals. Five Minutemen scored in double figures — Trey Davis (14), Esho (12), Gordon (12) and Hinds (10) — behind Lalanne’s third double-double in as many games.

Manhattan looks to pick up its first win of the season against a young Binghamton team on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.. UMass will face its toughest opponent to date in Notre Dame at noon on Saturday. Both of those games, like Tuesday’s contest, are part of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament, and will be played at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.