Tuesday, November 4, 2014

2014-15 MAAC Men's Basketball Award Predictions

Just as we did on the women's side earlier today, we do the same for the men in advance of the MAAC preseason award show tomorrow night:

Player of the Year: A.J. English, Iona (Photo courtesy of Big Apple Buckets)
2013-14 Stats: 17.2 PPG, 4.3 APG, 3.9 RPG, 1.0 SPG, 41% FG, 77% FT, 35% 3pt FG
Last year's unquestioned breakout star in his first full season as a Gael, (a broken hand sidelined him halfway through his rookie year) English established himself as the latest in an already illustrious line of point guards mentored by Tim Cluess since he arrived in New Rochelle. An exceptional ball handler with an equally potent scoring flair, English could come close to averaging 20 points per game this season, possibly attracting professional scouts to the Hynes Center during his junior campaign.

Rookie of the Year: Schadrac Casimir, Iona (Photo courtesy of the Connecticut Post)
At only 5-9, Casimir (whose first name is pronounced Cedric) may not look like much physically, but his 26 points per game while at a high school powerhouse in Stamford's Trinity Catholic; the alma mater of former UConn sharpshooter Craig Austrie, should make his transition into the uptempo Iona attack rather seamless, having already drawn comparisons to Louisville star and current New Orleans Pelican Russ Smith from his coach at South Kent Prep.

Sixth Man of the Year: Shane Richards, Manhattan (Photo courtesy of Manhattan College)
2013-14 Stats: 8.3 PPG, 41% FG, 77% FT, 42% 3pt FG
Richards, a rare breed of player who has preferred entering a game off the bench as opposed to starting, has already drawn rave reviews from those close to the Manhattan program during the offseason, and has proven he can do more than just knock down a three in the corner. Of course, the junior swingman will still be considered a deep threat as long as he is able to drill shots from all over the Draddy Gym floor, but if he is able to translate his versatility in practice into a game setting, he will become a nightmare for opposing teams.

Defensive Player of the Year: Emmy Andujar, Manhattan (Photo courtesy of the New York Daily News)
2013-14 Stats: 8.6 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 53% FG, 68% FT, 2.2 APG, 1.2 SPG
The Jaspers no longer have Rhamel Brown in the paint, but the stage is set for Andujar, who has thrived on the big stage in each of his first three years in Riverdale; particularly against archrival Iona, to maintain the aggressive tone on defense that has become Manhattan's most recognized characteristic. A two-way player that is just as valuable tracking down a loose ball as he is streaking down the floor for a layup, the Jaspers' defensive intensity begins and ends with their homegrown talent, one of Steve Masiello's first recruits upon replacing Barry Rohrssen in 2011.

Coach of the Year: John Dunne, Saint Peter's (Photo courtesy of the Jersey Journal)
In many ways, it seems like 2011 all over again for Dunne, who rode a late-season hot streak to guide the Peacocks to the NCAA Tournament after upsets of Iona and Fairfield in the MAAC semifinals and championship game, respectively. Very few have been able to consistently get the most out of what is perceived to be the least as much or as well as Dunne has in his first eight years in Jersey City, and with an experienced roster featuring four incumbent starters returning to the Yanitelli Center this season, do not be surprised to see Saint Peter's involved in the championship hunt late in the year.

All-Conference Honorees:
First Team: 
A.J. English, Iona (preseason Player of the Year)
Marvin Dominique, Saint Peter's
Ousmane Drame, Quinnipiac
David Laury, Iona
Rob Poole, Siena

Second Team: 
Emmy Andujar, Manhattan
Deon Jones, Monmouth
Chavaughn Lewis, Marist
Desi Washington, Saint Peter's
Isaiah Williams, Iona

Third Team: 
Brett Bisping, Siena
Khallid Hart, Marist
Zaid Hearst, Quinnipiac
Ashton Pankey, Manhattan
Jimmie Taylor, Rider

Honorable Mentions:
Marcus Gilbert, Fairfield
Zach Lewis, Canisius
Andrew Nicholas, Monmouth
Rich Williams, Manhattan
Marquis Wright, Siena


  1. Where is Lavon Long from Siena?

  2. Not a bad job of guessing, other than way too much NYC bias. Isaiah Williams ahead of Zaid Hearst? Ashton Pankey, Manhattan 3rd team he avg 7 points and 4 boards. Luckily the MAAC coaches got it right