Monday, February 8, 2016

MAAC Monday: Strength of schedule for 4-9 seeds, stat leaders, power rankings

"MAAC Monday" returns after a Super Bowl Sunday that began with Marist scoring an upset over Siena and ended with Fairfield returning to the .500 mark following a win over two-time reigning champion Manhattan that tied the Stags with the Jaspers in the league standings. Going into today's action, only one game separates fourth from ninth on the leaderboard, and in our opening segment, we will sort out each of those six teams and the road they face on the way to a potential first-round bye in Albany, attempting to gain a clearer perspective on where each team might finish by looking at their respective strengths of schedule. After that, we will refresh our traditional stat leaders and power rankings. Until then, here is a look at how the six teams in the middle shape up, beginning with Manhattan, who holds the tiebreaker for fourth at the present moment, by virtue of their win against MAAC leader Monmouth:

Manhattan (currently #4 seed, 6-6 MAAC)
Remaining schedule: Thursday 2/11 vs. Quinnipiac (5-7 MAAC)
Saturday 2/13 at Marist (2-11 MAAC)
Monday 2/15 at Monmouth (11-2 MAAC)

Wednesday 2/17 at Saint Peter's (6-6 MAAC)
Sunday 2/21 at Quinnipiac (5-7 MAAC)
Tuesday 2/23 vs. Saint Peter's (6-6 MAAC)
Friday 2/26 vs. Iona (11-3 MAAC)
Sunday 2/28 at Rider (6-8 MAAC)

Total MAAC record of remaining opponents: 52-50 (.510)

Saint Peter's (currently #5 seed, 6-6 MAAC)
Remaining schedule:
Monday 2/8 vs. Quinnipiac (5-7 MAAC)
Friday 2/12 vs. Niagara (4-10 MAAC)
Sunday 2/14 vs. Canisius (6-8 MAAC)
Wednesday 2/17 vs. Manhattan (6-6 MAAC)
Thursday 2/18 at Quinnipiac (5-7 MAAC)
Sunday 2/21 vs. Monmouth (11-2 MAAC)

Tuesday 2/23 at Manhattan (6-6 MAAC)
Saturday 2/27 vs. Fairfield (7-7 MAAC)

Total MAAC record of remaining opponents: 50-52 (.485)

Fairfield (currently #6 seed, 7-7 MAAC)
Remaining schedule:
 Saturday 2/13 at Quinnipiac (5-7 MAAC)
Monday 2/15 vs. Marist (2-11 MAAC)
Thursday 2/18 at Canisius (6-8 MAAC)
Saturday 2/20 at Niagara (4-10 MAAC)
Wednesday 2/24 vs. Siena (9-5 MAAC)
Saturday 2/27 at Saint Peter's (6-6 MAAC)
Total MAAC record of remaining opponents: 32-47 (.405)


Canisius (currently #7 seed, 6-8 MAAC)
Remaining schedule:
Thursday 2/11 at Siena (9-5 MAAC)

Sunday 2/14 at Saint Peter's (6-6 MAAC)
Thursday 2/18 vs. Fairfield (7-7 MAAC)
Saturday 2/20 vs. Marist (2-11 MAAC)
Thursday 2/25 vs. Niagara (4-10 MAAC)
Sunday 2/28 at Iona (11-3 MAAC)

Total MAAC record of remaining opponents: 39-42 (.481)

Rider (currently #8 seed, 6-8 MAAC)
Remaining schedule: Friday 2/12 vs. Monmouth (11-2 MAAC)
Sunday 2/14 vs. Niagara (4-10 MAAC)
Friday 2/19 vs. Siena (9-5 MAAC)

Tuesday 2/23 at Marist (2-11 MAAC)
Friday 2/26 at Monmouth (11-2 MAAC)
Sunday 2/28 vs. Manhattan (6-6 MAAC)

Total MAAC record of remaining opponents: 43-36 (.544)

Quinnipiac (currently #9 seed, 5-7 MAAC)
Remaining schedule:
 Monday 2/8 at Saint Peter's (6-6 MAAC)

Thursday 2/11 at Manhattan (6-6 MAAC)
Saturday 2/13 vs. Fairfield (7-7 MAAC)
Monday 2/15 at Iona (11-3 MAAC)
Thursday 2/18 vs. Saint Peter's (6-6 MAAC)
Sunday 2/21 vs. Manhattan (6-6 MAAC)

Friday 2/26 at Marist (2-11 MAAC)
Sunday 2/28 at Siena (9-5 MAAC)
Total MAAC record of remaining opponents: 53-50 (.515)


Strengths of schedule among teams currently seeded 4-9 (from lowest to highest)
Fairfield (.405)
Canisius (.481)
Saint Peter's (.485)
Manhattan (.510)
Quinnipiac (.515)
Rider (.544)

Analysis: On paper, it appears Fairfield has the easiest road to the No. 4 seed, assuming Monmouth, Iona, and Siena all finish clear of their competition. However, the Stags have only two of their remaining games on their home floor at Webster Bank Arena, and are just 4-6 away from Bridgeport. On the bright side, though, that road record is actually the best among the six teams fighting for the final two first-round byes. (Only Monmouth has a road record over .500 among MAAC teams) Both Rider and Saint Peter's have most of their remaining contests at home, with the Peacocks getting six of their last eight at the Yanitelli Center, where they start a four-game homestand tonight against Quinnipiac. On the other side of the coin, the numbers are not very kind to Manhattan down the stretch. The Jaspers have only three home games left on their slate, and are 2-9 outside of Draddy Gymnasium this season. However, if there is one thing that Steve Masiello's teams have done well over the years, it is buck statistical trends. Trips to Rider and Saint Peter's actually augur well for Manhattan when you consider that Masiello has lost only once in the state of New Jersey in his entire career. At 6-6 in the conference and still in the top half of the standings for the moment, the reigning champions are not going down without a fight, but will be tested rather sternly as February comes to a close.

Another team that has made a living out of success in the month of February is Quinnipiac, a group that was written off after a slow start to conference play. Tom Moore's club has rattled off three straight wins since then, though, and has more than its share of winnable games the rest of the way. It has been suggested that the Bobcats can sneak into the picture in much the same vein Siena did two years ago with a similar late-season surge, and with their physical style and aggressive rebounding, Quinnipiac will certainly be a tough out for whomever ends up drawing them at the Times Union Center. Canisius remains a wild card of sorts, as Jim Baron continues to get more out of his roster than people give him credit for. The Griffs' opening and closing acts in their final six games, which come against Siena and Iona, respectively, will be the most telling gauge for a team that is 4-3 away from Buffalo in league play.

Scoring Leaders (* denotes inactive players)
1) Khallid Hart, Marist (21.4 PPG)
2) A.J. English, Iona (21.0)

3) Justin Robinson, Monmouth (20.5)
4) Shane Richards, Manhattan (18.1)
5) Marcus Gilbert, Fairfield (17.6)

*Marquis Wright, Siena (17.3)
6) Brian Parker, Marist (16.8)
7) Matt Scott, Niagara (16.5)
8) Jordan Washington, Iona (15.9)
9) Tyler Nelson, Fairfield (15.8)

10) Brett Bisping, Siena (15.6)

Rebounding Leaders
1) Brett Bisping, Siena (9.4 RPG)
2) Kahlil Thomas, Rider (8.0)
3) Quadir Welton, Saint Peter's (7.8)
4) Matt Scott, Niagara (7.2)
5) Isaiah Williams, Iona (7.0)
6) Abdulai Bundu, Quinnipiac (6.9)
7) Deon Jones, Monmouth (6.7)
8) Jordan Washington, Iona (6.5)
9) Rich Williams, Manhattan (6.3)
10) Donovan Smith, Quinnipiac (6.3)

Assist Leaders
1) A.J. English, Iona (6.3 APG)
2) Tyler Wilson, Manhattan (5.8)

3) Jerome Segura, Fairfield (5.4)
4) Trevis Wyche, Saint Peter's (4.8)
*Marquis Wright, Siena (4.6)
5) Teddy Okereafor, Rider (4.4)
6) Malcolm McMillan, Canisius (4.2)
7) Justin Robinson, Monmouth (3.7)
8) Lavon Long, Siena (3.4)
9) Tyler Nelson, Fairfield (3.2)
10) Giovanni McLean, Quinnipiac (3.1)

Field Goal Percentage Leaders
1) Kahlil Thomas, Rider (.581)
2) Chris Brady, Monmouth (.565)
3) Javion Ogunyemi, Siena (.528)
4) Jordan Washington, Iona (.521)
5) Brian Parker, Marist (.518)
6) Trevis Wyche, Saint Peter's (.516)
7) Xavier Lundy, Rider (.509)
8) Deyshonee Much, Iona (.503)
9) Zane Waterman, Manhattan (.487)
10) Lavon Long, Siena (.485)

Free Throw Percentage Leaders
1) Tyler Nelson, Fairfield (.897)
2) Justin Robinson, Monmouth (.865)
3) Shane Richards, Manhattan (.857)
4) Je'lon Hornbeak, Monmouth (.852)
5) Khallid Hart, Marist (.832)
6) Malcolm McMillan, Canisius (.823)
7) A.J. English, Iona (.821)
8) Micah Seaborn, Monmouth (.813)
9) Antwon Portley, Saint Peter's (.809)
10) Giovanni McLean, Quinnipiac (.805)

Three-Point Field Goal Percentage Leaders
*Marquis Wright, Siena (.548)
1) Deyshonee Much, Iona (.492)
2) Ibn Muhammad, Iona (.424)
3) Justin Robinson, Monmouth (.420)
4) Thomas Capuano, Manhattan (.418)
5) Daniel Harris, Quinnipiac (.407)
6) Kassius Robertson, Canisius (.406)
7) RaShawn Stores, Manhattan (.403)
8) Isaiah Lamb, Marist (.403)
9) Khallid Hart, Marist (.394)
10) Micah Seaborn, Monmouth (.393)

Power Rankings
1) Monmouth (19-5, 11-2 MAAC)
Last Week:
 1

Last Game: Friday 2/5 vs. Fairfield (W 91-67)
Next Game: Tuesday 2/9 at Marist, 7 p.m.

2) Iona (14-9, 11-3 MAAC)
Last Week:
 3

Last Game: Sunday 2/7 at Niagara (W 75-61)
Next Game: Saturday 2/13 vs. Siena, 2 p.m.

3) Siena (16-9, 9-5 MAAC)
Last Week:
 2

Last Game: Sunday 2/7 at Marist (L 79-73)
Next Game: Thursday 2/11 vs. Canisius, 7 p.m.

4) Fairfield (13-11, 7-7 MAAC)
Last Week: 4
Last Game: Sunday 2/7 vs. Manhattan (W 80-70)
Next Game: Saturday 2/13 at Quinnipiac, 2 p.m. 

5) Manhattan (9-12, 6-6 MAAC)
Last Week:
7

Last Game: Sunday 2/7 at Fairfield (L 80-70)
Next Game: Thursday 2/11 vs. Quinnipiac, 8 p.m.

6) Saint Peter's (8-13, 6-6 MAAC)
Last Week:
5

Last Game: Friday 2/5 at Siena (L 69-52)
Next Game: Monday 2/8 vs. Quinnipiac, 7 p.m.

7) Canisius (11-14, 6-8 MAAC)
Last Week:
 8

Last Game: Sunday 2/7 vs. Rider (W 67-61)
Next Game: Thursday 2/11 at Siena, 7 p.m.

8) Rider (10-15, 6-8 MAAC)
Last Week:
 6

Last Game: Sunday 2/7 at Canisius (L 67-61)
Next Game: Friday 2/12 vs. Monmouth, 7 p.m.

9) Quinnipiac (8-13, 5-7 MAAC)
Last Week:
 9

Last Game: Thursday 2/4 vs. Marist (W 79-53)
Next Game: Monday 2/8 at Saint Peter's, 7 p.m.

10) Niagara (6-19, 4-10 MAAC)
Last Week: 10
Last Game: Sunday 2/7 vs. Iona (L 75-61)
Next Game: Friday 2/12 vs. Saint Peter's, 7 p.m.

11) Marist (5-17, 2-11 MAAC)
Last Week:
 11

Last Game: Sunday 2/7 vs. Siena (W 79-73)
Next Game: Tuesday 2/9 vs. Monmouth, 7 p.m.

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