Senior forward David Laury leads an Iona team who fell three points short of MAAC championship repeat into a season where Gaels will seek redemption. (Photo courtesy of Big Apple Buckets)
Over just four seasons in New Rochelle, Tim Cluess' resume reads a lot like that of former Yankees manager and newly enshrined Hall of Famer Joe Torre.
Four seasons and four postseason appearances, including two trips to the NCAA Tournament and an unforgettable 2013 MAAC championship run, are the headlines on Cluess' body of work, one that will write a new chapter on November 14, when Iona will commence its 2014-15 season with a return game against former Rutgers coach Gary Waters, now the head man at Cleveland State. The contest is one of two renewals from last year that the Gaels will start their ledger with this season, the second being a November 18 trip to Wofford, against whom Iona won their home opener last November.
From there, Cluess' team will participate in The Roundball Showcase, traveling to Wake Forest (November 21) and North Texas (November 23) before hosting Delaware State (November 26) and closing the eleventh month of the year on the 30th against Mike Anderson and Arkansas in Fayetteville.
MAAC play begins for Iona on December 7, when the Gaels journey into West Long Branch to take on Monmouth prior to Rider visiting the Hynes Center three days later to open a two-game homestand that concludes with Indiana State returning a 2012-13 BracketBuster contest on December 13 in New Rochelle. A three-game road swing to George Mason, (December 20) Massachusetts (December 30) and Siena (January 4) takes Iona into 2015 and the resumption of MAAC play, with three straight at home coming up soon after against the likes of Quinnipiac, Canisius and Fairfield on January 6, 10, and 13, respectively.
Three on the road await the Gaels after that, headlined by the western New York pilgrimage to Niagara (January 16) and Canisius (January 18) before taking on Rider on January 22 inside Alumni Gym. Home dates with Niagara (January 25) and Saint Peter's (January 31) ensue before Fairfield welcomes Iona into the WebsterBank Arena on February 2 before Siena (February 6) and Marist (February 8) come to New Rochelle.
Another three games away from home follow on the docket, beginning with the first renewal of the hottest rivalry in New York college basketball when Iona takes on reigning MAAC champion Manhattan, who defeated the Gaels in Springfield last March, on Friday, February 13 inside Draddy Gym. Quinnipiac (February 15) and Marist (February 20) are next to welcome the Maroon and Gold before Monmouth comes to the Hynes Center on February 22 as the final tuneup before the second round of the Gaels-Jaspers rivalry on February 27 in New Rochelle.
Iona closes the regular season on March 1, when the Gaels travel to Jersey City to face Saint Peter's.