Back at 100 percent after sprained ankle limited him to four games last year, George Beamon picks up right where he left off with spot on MAAC's preseason first team. (Photo courtesy of Manhattan College)
Much like the predicted top of this year's standings, the all-MAAC first team has mounds of local flavor.
Of the six players honored with this status, four of them represent Manhattan College or Iona College, the programs picked first and second in the conference's preseason poll, respectively; as two of Steve Masiello's Jaspers earned first team distinctions, with two Iona Gaels also recognized.
Representing Manhattan are senior forward Rhamel Brown, the conference's two-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year who was beaten out for a first team spot at the end of last season by Loyola guard Dylon Cormier; as well as senior shooting guard George Beamon, who has made a full recovery from a severe ankle sprain that forced the Long Islander to use a medical redshirt after being restricted to just four games as the Jaspers advanced to the championship game of the MAAC Tournament, where they suffered a narrow three-point defeat to Iona, who celebrated its first league championship since 2006.
The Gaels place two players on the preseason first team for the second time in three years, with senior guard Sean Armand leading the way. Best known as Iona's most lethal weapon from three-point range, the Brooklyn native should be able to display his all-around offensive talent more freely now that Lamont "Momo" Jones has graduated, giving Armand carte blanche to take the bulk of shots from the backcourt. His teammate David Laury joins him among the all-MAAC honorees after a half-season in which the 6-9 forward averaged a double-double per game. A versatile two-way player whose ability to run the floor like a point guard only enhances his talents inside the paint, Laury will be a force to be reckoned with as he enters his junior campaign, his first full season in the Maroon and Gold of the Gaels.
Niagara junior guard Antoine Mason and Canisius senior point guard Billy Baron, who had a career year in returning the Golden Griffins to the postseason while playing for his father, Jim, complete the first team.