Monday, January 25, 2016

MAAC Monday: Midseason awards, stat leaders, power rankings

In two-man race for Player of the Year honors, Justin Robinson has elevated himself just slightly above preseason favorite A.J. English. (Photo courtesy of Vincent Simone via Big Apple Buckets)

By the end of the week, each Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference team will have reached the halfway point of their conference season, which makes this week's opening segment of "MAAC Monday" a no-brainer. Midseason awards will be doled out in the introduction today, followed by the usual stat leaders and power rankings. Cutting to the chase, if we may, here are our picks for the hardware midway through the MAAC slate:

Player of the Year: Justin Robinson, Monmouth (20.6 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 3.5 APG, 2.1 SPG, 47% FG, 88% FT, 43% 3-pt FG)
The injury to Iona's A.J. English earlier in the season, coupled with Monmouth's captivating start to a season where an NCAA Tournament at-large bid is a strong possibility, has vaulted Robinson to the forefront of the MAAC. The junior point guard has shown his sophomore season was no fluke, and has improved even more from his second to third year than he did last season coming off his freshman campaign. Fresh off a 28-point showing against Marist where he shot 6-for-10 from three-point range, Robinson will seek to keep his career year trending in an upward direction on Thursday when Monmouth travels to Quinnipiac, looking for a season sweep of the Bobcats in a venue they have never won at since leaving the Northeast Conference.

Rookie of the Year: Brian Parker, Marist (16.9 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 3.4 APG, 52% FG, 75% FT)
In a class of talented freshmen, Parker's statistics should not be all that surprising on paper. However, what does astound critics and fans alike is not just how well the Cleveland native is playing, but how efficient he is just a half-season into his career. A 6-2 guard whose build allows Mike Maker to play him as a face-up forward in a smaller lineup, Parker is truly doing a little bit of everything for the Red Foxes to the point where he is no longer just the Robin to Khallid Hart's Batman, but a force to be reckoned with in his own right as he hopes to become Marist's second Rookie of the Year in three seasons.

Defensive Player of the Year: Javion Ogunyemi, Siena (14.1 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.6 BPG, 52% FG, 65% FT)
If the MAAC had a Most Improved Player award like the Big East does, Ogunyemi would be the choice in that category as well. What the junior has done for Siena this season has been nothing short of extraordinary, especially when you consider that his eligibility was not decided until just before the season started. Since rejoining the Saints after his change of heart transfer to and from Boston University, Ogunyemi has made the biggest difference on Jimmy Patsos' front line, helping the Saints return to the top half of the conference after an injury-riddled 11-20 campaign last season.

Sixth Man of the Year: Rich Williams, Manhattan (15.7 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.4 APG, 1.2 SPG, 44% FG, 79% FT, 36% 3-pt FG)
Jordan Washington can and will get consideration for this award if he ends the season having started less than ten games, as will Trevis Wyche, but Williams has exceeded expectations for the Jaspers as they attempt to become just the third team in MAAC history to win three consecutive conference championships. Praised by Steve Masiello as a player who has a "first team impact," Williams' sense for sizing up a game in the opening minutes before making his first appearance on the floor belies his youth, and his athleticism has made him a feared weapon on both sides of the basketball.

Coach of the Year: King Rice, Monmouth
At the present moment, you can make a case for five different coaches. You can argue in favor of Jimmy Patsos and John Dunne for their turnarounds from last season, and the same can be said for Sydney Johnson at Fairfield. In addition, the job that Steve Masiello has done with a Manhattan team that has emerged from injuries early in the season to reclaim their status among the MAAC's elite deserves way more attention and credit than it has received to this point. However, the pick in this category usually rewards winning, (see Joe Mihalich and Tim Cluess in recent years after having won the regular season in 2012-13 and 2013-14, and Kevin Baggett after finishing second last year) and Rice has been nothing short of brilliant while navigating a dream season for Monmouth. With the Hawks' slew of impressive non-conference wins, and the dramatic takedown of Iona ten days ago, not to mention the remarkable effort of his players, Rice is a deserving choice for this honor.

All-MAAC First Team (listed in alphabetical order)
Brett Bisping, Siena
A.J. English, Iona
Marcus Gilbert, Fairfield
Khallid Hart, Marist
Shane Richards, Manhattan
Justin Robinson, Monmouth

All-MAAC Second Team (listed in alphabetical order)
Malcolm McMillan, Canisius
Javion Ogunyemi, Siena
Phil Valenti, Canisius
Jordan Washington, Iona
Isaiah Williams, Iona
Rich Williams, Manhattan

All-MAAC Third Team (listed in alphabetical order)
Deon Jones, Monmouth
Tyler Nelson, Fairfield
Brian Parker, Marist
Matt Scott, Niagara
Quadir Welton, Saint Peter's
*Marquis Wright, Siena
Trevis Wyche, Saint Peter's

MAAC All-Rookie Team (listed in alphabetical order)
Abdulai Bundu, Quinnipiac
Nico Clareth, Siena
Brian Parker, Marist
Antwon Portley, Saint Peter's
Micah Seaborn, Monmouth

Scoring Leaders
*A.J. English, Iona (23.7 PPG)
1) Khallid Hart, Marist (22.5 PPG)
2) Justin Robinson, Monmouth (20.6)
3) Marcus Gilbert, Fairfield (19.1)
4) Shane Richards, Manhattan (17.7)
*Marquis Wright, Siena (17.3)
5) Brian Parker, Marist (16.9)
6) Jordan Washington, Iona (16.8)
7) Malcolm McMillan, Canisius (15.8)
8) Tyler Nelson, Fairfield (15.7)
9) Rich Williams, Manhattan (15.7)
10) Antwon Portley, Saint Peter's (15.1)

Rebounding Leaders
1) Brett Bisping, Siena (8.7 RPG)
2) Quadir Welton, Saint Peter's (7.8)
3) Kahlil Thomas, Rider (7.7)
4) Isaiah Williams, Iona (7.2)
5) Deon Jones, Monmouth (7.1)
6) Matt Scott, Niagara (6.8)
7) Rich Williams, Manhattan (6.8)
8) Abdulai Bundu, Quinnipiac (6.6)
9) Javion Ogunyemi, Siena (6.5)
10) Jordan Washington, Iona (6.5)

Assist Leaders
*A.J. English, Iona (6.0 APG)
1) Tyler Wilson, Manhattan (5.8 APG)
2) Jerome Segura, Fairfield (5.6)
3) Trevis Wyche, Saint Peter's (4.8)
*Marquis Wright, Siena (4.6)
4) Malcolm McMillan, Canisius (4.5)
5) Teddy Okereafor, Rider (4.4)
T-6) Lavon Long, Siena (3.5)
T-6) Justin Robinson, Monmouth (3.5)
8) Brian Parker, Marist (3.4)
9) Tyler Nelson, Fairfield (3.4)
10) Giovanni McLean, Quinnipiac (3.2)

Field Goal Percentage Leaders
1) Chris Brady, Monmouth (.563)
2) Kahlil Thomas, Rider (.547)
3) Jordan Washington, Iona (.537)
4) Trevis Wyche, Saint Peter's (.533)
5) Brian Parker, Marist (.522)
6) Javion Ogunyemi, Siena (.520)
7) Lavon Long, Siena (.486)
8) Deyshonee Much, Iona (.485)
9) Xavier Lundy, Rider (.479)
10) Zane Waterman, Manhattan (.478)

Free Throw Percentage Leaders
1) Je'lon Hornbeak, Monmouth (.898)
2) Justin Robinson, Monmouth (.879)
3) Tyler Nelson, Fairfield (.868)
4) Shane Richards, Manhattan (.835)
5) Khallid Hart, Marist (.824)
6) Micah Seaborn, Monmouth (.813)
7) Malcolm McMillan, Canisius (.801)
8) Marcus Gilbert, Fairfield (.798)
9) Giovanni McLean, Quinnipiac (.794)
10) Rich Williams, Manhattan (.791)

Three-Point Field Goal Percentage Leaders
*Marquis Wright, Siena (.548)
1) Deyshonee Much, Iona (.489)
2) RaShawn Stores, Manhattan (.431)
3) Justin Robinson, Monmouth (.429)
4) Isaiah Lamb, Marist (.422)
5) Marcus Gilbert, Fairfield (.419)
6) Jerry Johnson, Fairfield (.417)
7) Khallid Hart, Marist (.414)
T-8) Thomas Capuano, Manhattan (.400)
T-8) Micah Seaborn, Monmouth (.400)
10) Kassius Robertson, Canisius (.397)

Power Rankings
1) Monmouth (15-5, 7-2 MAAC)
Last Week:
Last Game: Sunday 1/24 vs. Marist (W 83-72)
Next Game: Thursday 1/28 at Quinnipiac, 7:30 p.m.

2) Siena (13-7, 6-3 MAAC)
Last Week:
Last Game: Sunday 1/24 at Canisius (W 99-78)
Next Game: Tuesday 1/26 at Niagara, 7 p.m.

3) Iona (10-9, 7-3 MAAC)
Last Week: 2
Last Game: Sunday 1/24 at Fairfield (L 98-91)
Next Game: Friday 1/29 vs. Manhattan, 7 p.m.

4) Saint Peter's (8-9, 6-2 MAAC)
Last Week:
Last Game: Friday 1/22 at Iona (L 64-58)
Next Game: Monday 1/25 vs. Manhattan, 7 p.m.

5) Manhattan (8-10, 5-4 MAAC)
Last Week: 5
Last Game: Thursday 1/21 vs. Monmouth (W 78-71)
Next Game: Monday 1/25 at Saint Peter's, 7 p.m.

6) Fairfield (11-9, 5-5 MAAC)
Last Week:
Last Game: Sunday 1/24 vs. Iona (W 98-91)
Next Game: Friday 1/29 vs. Canisius, 7 p.m.

7) Canisius (10-11, 5-5 MAAC)
Last Week:
Last Game: Sunday 1/24 vs. Siena (L 99-78)
Next Game: Friday 1/29 at Fairfield, 7 p.m.

8) Rider (7-13, 3-6 MAAC)
Last Week:
Last Game: Sunday 1/24 vs. Quinnipiac (W 75-52)
Next Game: Thursday 1/28 at Saint Peter's, 8 p.m.

9) Niagara (5-15, 3-6 MAAC)
Last Week:
Last Game: Friday 1/22 vs. Canisius (L 70-61)
Next Game: Tuesday 1/26 vs. Siena, 7 p.m.

10) Quinnipiac (5-12, 2-6 MAAC)
Last Week:
Last Game: Sunday 1/24 at Rider (L 75-52)
Next Game: Thursday 1/28 vs. Monmouth, 7:30 p.m.

11) Marist (4-14, 1-8 MAAC)
Last Week:
Last Game: Sunday 1/24 at Monmouth (L 83-72)
Next Game: Thursday 1/28 vs. Niagara, 7:30 p.m.


  1. Does being good have anything at all to do with leading your team to Ws ? First two teams ; #3Iona 3 players , #4Siena 2 ,#5Jaspers 2 , #6 Canisius 2 . First place Monmouth 1 player , #2 SPU 0 . ???

  2. Fairfield's 4 freshmen are very, very good.