NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheet: Getting to know Iona


Read through the rest of the Cheat Sheets here.

Conference: MAAC

Coach: Tim Cluess

Record: 20-13, 11-7

Rankings and Ratings:

– Kenpom: 97
– RPI: 103
– AP/USA Today: N/A

Seeding?: Our Dave Ommen had the Gaels as a No. 15 seed in Monday’s bracket projection.

Names you need to know: Lamont ‘Momo’ Jones (23.3 ppg, 3.6 apg), Sean Armand (16.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.0 apg), David Laury (13.2 ppg, 10.6 rpg)

Stats you need to know: Iona is the 11th fastest team in the country. They are the 20th most efficient team offensively and outside the top 250 in defensive efficiency.

Tendencies: If you couldn’t figure it out from above, the Gaels are going to run and shoot and score and play the minimal amount of defense. They’re going to be in high-scoring, entertaining games. And if, in the tournament, those threes are dropping, they are going to be a thorn in somebody’s side.

Big wins, bad losses: The Gaels beat Denver, Wake Forest and Georgia early in the season, but had a stretch late in the year where they lost six out of seven, with all six losses coming by less than three points in a combined five overtimes.

How’d they get here?: That losing streak dropped Iona to the No. 4 seed in the MAAC tournament, but they beat Canisius and top seed Niagara before taking out Manhattan.

Outlook: The Gaels are talented. Their roster is littered with transfers from larger conferences — namely Jones, who started for two years at Arizona — and they can score with the best of them. The problem? Well, they don’t defend all that well, which is one of the reasons their record is as bad as it is. The other reason? Luck. A couple bounces go their way, and the Gaels win the MAAC. Worth consideration for an upset pick with the right matchup.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.