Tuesday, November 4, 2014

2014-15 MAAC Women's Basketball Award Predictions

In addition to the preseason coaches' polls being revealed tomorrow in the annual ESPN3 preseason special, the MAAC will announce its preseason men's and women's Players of the Year. We take that a little further tonight, offering our votes not just for one award, but several others as well:

Player of the Year: Joy Adams, Iona (Photo courtesy of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference)

2013-14 Stats: 16.8 PPG, 13.8 RPG, 49% FG, 73% FT, 1.9 APG, 1.8 SPG
While her teammate Damika Martinez has commanded most of the attention and headlines over the past two years, Iona's junior forward and double-double machine has quietly carved out her own legacy in New Rochelle, being every bit the facilitator and offensive sparkplug as she is a terror under the boards on the defensive end. Martinez may be Iona's Tom Brady, quarterbacking the Gaels to three straight postseason appearances and two MAAC Player of the Year Awards, but Adams is the Deion Branch of the maroon and gold, catching passes inside and turning them into points. Both players will be first team all-conference honorees, but this season will be Adams' time to shine.

Sixth Player of the Year: Adily Martucci, Quinnipiac (Photo courtesy of Quinnipiac University)
2013-14 Stats: 3.8 PPG, 1.0 RPG
Don't let Martucci's lack of playing time fool you, as she will almost certainly double her minutes this season as she prepares herself for an increased role as part of Tricia Fabbri's "Gold Rush" of reserves in Hamden. With Brittany McQuain's graduation, Nikoline Ostergaard will most likely slide into the starting five alongside Samantha Guastella up front, with the backcourt of Gillian Abshire, Jasmine Martin and Maria Napolitano all returning to the Bobcats as well. Expect Martucci's high energy and deceptively strong outside shooting to make a bigger difference in games than one may envision, especially as the year wears on for one of the most overlooked contenders in recent memory.

Defensive Player of the Year: Tehresa Coles, Siena (Photo courtesy of 4 Guys In Blazers)
2013-14 Stats: 10.8 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 41% FG, 73% FT, 1.7 APG, 2.1 SPG
With Leanne Ockenden no longer around, this award becomes a little more up for grabs than it had been over the last two seasons, opening the door for Coles; one of the more defensively sound competitors in the MAAC, to steal (no pun intended) the honors here. The senior's 65 thefts and 178 rebounds were far and away the best on the team last year for Ali Jaques, and with a younger roster blending with some of the Saints' more experienced pieces, Coles' exploits away from the ball will be what keeps Siena in contention.

Coach of the Year: Tricia Fabbri, Quinnipiac (Photo courtesy of Craig D'Amico)
The winningest coach in Bobcats history, Fabbri (pronounced FAB-ree and not Fa-BREE, as some others have said in the past) made sure everyone in the MAAC knew who she was when she guided last season's league newcomers to within inches of a conference championship when Quinnipiac nearly slayed the giant Marist last March in Springfield. A brilliant basketball mind who not only gets the most out of her players, but also maximizes her roster's depth to preserve everyone on her bench to where they contribute their best whenever they are on the floor, the instantly likable Fabbri will prove that last year was no fluke, as her Bobcats are once again a contender in the MAAC.

2014-15 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference First Team
Joy Adams, Iona
Madeline Blais, Marist
Sydney Coffey, Marist
Jasmine Martin, Quinnipiac
Damika Martinez, Iona
Meghan McGuinness, Niagara

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