Sunday, November 29, 2015

Fordham 87, Manhattan 64: 5 Manhattan Observations

A handful of observations from the Jasper side after Manhattan's 87-64 loss to Fordham in the Battle of the Bronx at Rose Hill Gymnasium:

  • Manhattan is by no means broken, but they have bent beyond their normal standard.
    The physical effects of playing with seven men Saturday night and six before that on Wednesday against George Mason appeared to take a toll on the Jaspers in the second half, and it is something Steve Masiello admitted was tough to watch, and even tougher because the circumstances his team is enduring are beyond his and his players' control. "Right now, we're wearing ourselves down," he conceded. "It's tough because nights like tonight make it tough."
  • Rich Williams backed up his career night with a strong encore.
    Much like Wednesday night, the contributions from the junior guard were appreciated additionally in a game where Shane Richards was held to just nine points on 2-of-14 shooting. Three days removed from a 26-point showing against George Mason, Williams again paced the Manhattan scoring efforts, this time going for 24 points and five rebounds at a 10-for-19 clip from the field. In his last two games, Williams has shot 54 percent, flipping the script from a 25 percent start in the Jaspers' first two contests against Saint Mary's and Bucknell.
  • Tyler Wilson continued his understated good start to the season.
    Forced into a greater role than he is accustomed to as a result of Manhattan's injuries, the junior ended the night with 13 points, which matched his combined total from the first three games of the season. More importantly, his season-high eight assists extended his streak of having six or more helpers in every game so far this year, and also raised his average to seven per game. Wilson's ability to get to the free throw line 14 times, making nine of them, also conjured memories of former Jasper point guard and current assistant coach Michael Alvarado, who made a living on his knack to draw fouls in addition to being a prolific scorer and passer.
  • Zane Waterman...
    Will not be suspended for Friday's game at Siena, as per a Manhattan official. Waterman's flagrant-2 foul on Fordham's Mandell Thomas with 10:35 remaining in regulation was grounds for an automatic ejection for the sophomore forward, but since the foul was not the direct result of a fight, he will not receive a one-game suspension.
  • Could a 23-point loss really end up being a blessing in disguise?
    Steve Masiello mentioned in his postgame press conference (click here for a full transcript of quotes) that he hoped his players would remember how this game turned out. "We've got to take it and let this be the fuel for us," he proposed, citing the 2013 MAAC championship game against Iona as an example (he had the 60-57 final score from that game on the scoreboard in practice during the ensuing offseason). "The one thing I do like is, let us get angry about this. I think it's great. I don't shy away from that, because this is going to be our motivation come January and February."

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