MAAC Monday returns with the first in a four-part look at the four factors and how each Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference team is performing in each department, beginning with effective field goal percentage, before the familiar stat leader and power ranking segments. As always, any statistics reflected within MAAC Monday were gleaned from the individual stat pages of each school's website.
For those who have no idea what effective field goal percentage entails, we'll give you a crash course. It is essentially an adjusted shooting rate that takes three-point field goals into account and rewards their makes, with every three-pointer having a value of an extra half-field goal attempt.
For example, a team who shoots 6-of-10 from the floor and makes two three-point field goals among their six made baskets would have an effective field goal percentage of .700, as the two threes would constitute an additional field goal to the six that were made.
Monmouth, the lone unbeaten team in MAAC play at the present moment, has made 328 field goals on the year. Of those 328, 116 of them were three-pointers, so that would account for an additional 58 made field goals when calculating effective field goal percentages, giving the Hawks a total of 386 effective field goals in their 748 attempts. Here is a breakdown of where each team stands in the offensive end of this metric:
Effective field goal percentages, from highest to lowest:
1) Canisius (.548)
2) Fairfield (.522)
3) Iona (.518)
4) Monmouth (.516)
5) Manhattan (.495)
6) Marist (.495)
7) Quinnipiac (.488)
8) Niagara (.471)
9) Siena (.471)
10) Rider (.467)
11) Saint Peter's (.464)
Analysis: This is where the arrival of Reggie Witherspoon has made its biggest impact, as he has gotten the Golden Griffins to be smart and disciplined in their shot selection, turning a team who has been inconsistent in managing the reins of their run-and-gun attack into a unit who not only looks for the high-percentage shot, but only takes it if they are confident in its success. The result is a roster that shoots 41 percent from beyond the arc as a team, with leading scorers Kassius Robertson (44 percent from three-point range, where he has taken 64 percent of his shots thus far this season) and Jermaine Crumpton (a MAAC-leading 54 percent) being the prime examples of the resurgent marksmanship.
Not surprisingly, Fairfield is near the top of the charts here, relying on the uptempo offense and backcourt shooting they rode to a postseason appearance a year ago. The return of Jerry Johnson Jr., the Stags' long-range specialist last season, has given Sydney Johnson yet another weapon in an arsenal already possessing the MAAC's leading scorer in Tyler Nelson, not to mention sophomore Curtis Cobb and occasional but still lethal shooters in Jerome Segura and Matija Milin. Expect Fairfield's efficiency to improve as the year goes on, something that will serve the Stags well as we get closer to determining a champion in Albany.
Siena's standing toward the bottom of the league also comes as no shock, considering the Saints were the least reliant upon the three-point shot in the MAAC last season. Rider, just behind Siena in this category, has struggled to replace the proficient exploits of Zedric Sadler from beyond the arc, as no Bronc is shooting better than 33 percent from behind the line thus far.
Defensive effective field goal percentages, from lowest to highest:
1) Rider (.456)
2) Iona (.468)
3) Monmouth (.485)
4) Fairfield (.492)
5) Manhattan (.492)
6) Niagara (.499)
7) Siena (.507)
8) Saint Peter's (.515)
9) Marist (.524)
10) Canisius (.530)
11) Quinnipiac (.551)
Analysis: Rider, already the most efficient defense on the whole in the MAAC, has another reason to justify the meager 0.95 points per possession they surrender. The Broncs' .303 three-point field goal percentage against is far and away the standard-bearing figure in the MAAC, and it equates to Kevin Baggett's team holding opponents to an average of 6-for-20 per game from beyond the arc. Rider's length has always been a problem for opponents, and a great deal of credit this season goes to Xavier Lundy for causing mismatches on the perimeter alongside Jimmie Taylor, who makes up for his shorter frame with an underrated defensive presence on the floor. It is also no coincidence that Taylor's 1.8 steals per game rank tied for second in the conference.
In plain sight, you see the polar opposites between Iona and Canisius within this statistic alone. Both known for their reputed offensive instincts, this is the separator between the Gaels and Griffs. Tim Cluess' team has gotten their defense, particularly their transition defense, to step up and limit the opposition when it comes to spacing the floor. On the contrary, Canisius has had difficulty in preventing shootouts thus far, allowing 80 or more points six times already this season and 101 in their most recent showing, an overtime win against longtime adversary St. Bonaventure.
Quinnipiac had been among the leaders in defensive effective field goal percentage in recent years, so the .551 mark that the Bobcats have yielded through the first two months of the season is undoubtedly leaving Tom Moore perplexed. As the shooting on his own end has improved, so too has that of Quinnipiac's opponents; in direct proportion no less, thereby marginalizing the enhanced production in Hamden. With one more non-conference game preceding the daunting Buffalo trip, Moore will certainly be seeking an increased focus on closing out and making sure the Bobcats are the primary aggressors on both sides of the basketball.
Next week's opening segment continues an in-depth look at the four factors, this time profiling free throw rates in greater detail to show which teams not only get to the foul line more frequently, but also allow their opponents to parade to the charity stripe. Manhattan has been among the leaders in this department on a seemingly annual basis, and the Jaspers will be a focal point of next week's analysis.
1) Tyler Nelson, Fairfield (20.2 PPG)
2) Kassius Robertson, Canisius (17.5)
3) Justin Robinson, Monmouth (17.5)
4) Khallid Hart, Marist (17.2)
5) Jordan Washington, Iona (17.1)
6) Zavier Turner, Manhattan (17.1)
7) Matt Scott, Niagara (16.8)
8) Jermaine Crumpton, Canisius (16.5)
9) Kahlil Dukes, Niagara (15.8)
10) Marquis Wright, Siena (15.6)
1) Amadou Sidibe, Fairfield (10.9 RPG)
2) Kahlil Thomas, Rider (9.8)
3) Brett Bisping, Siena (9.3)
4) Quadir Welton, Saint Peter's (8.0)
5) Norville Carey, Rider (7.3)
6) Zane Waterman, Manhattan (7.2)
7) Matt Scott, Niagara (6.8)
8) Jordan Washington, Iona (6.8)
9) Dominic Robb, Niagara (6.7)
10) Chaise Daniels, Quinnipiac (6.3)
1) Stevie Jordan, Rider (5.8 APG)
2) Justin Robinson, Monmouth (5.3)
3) Marquis Wright, Siena (4.8)
4) Jerome Segura, Fairfield (4.6)
5) Rickey McGill, Iona (4.4)
6) Phil Winston, Quinnipiac (4.0)
7) Malik Johnson, Canisius (3.9)
8) Kiefer Douse, Canisius (3.3)
9) Sam Cassell Jr., Iona (3.3)
10) Brian Parker, Marist (3.2)
Field Goal Percentage Leaders
1) Amadou Sidibe, Fairfield (.621)
2) Chris Brady, Monmouth (.616)
3) Jordan Washington, Iona (.597)
4) Lavon Long, Siena (.553)
5) Jermaine Crumpton, Canisius (.539)
6) Kahlil Thomas, Rider (.538)
7) Chaise Daniels, Quinnipiac (.530)
8) Kiefer Douse, Canisius (.518)
9) Zane Waterman, Manhattan (.505)
T-10) Brett Bisping, Siena (.490)
T-10) Quadir Welton, Saint Peter's (.490)
Free Throw Percentage Leaders
1) Kahlil Dukes, Niagara (.952)
2) Zavier Turner, Manhattan (.910)
3) Jon Severe, Iona (.893)
4) Tyler Nelson, Fairfield (.867)
5) Mikey Dixon, Quinnipiac (.839)
6) Phil Valenti, Canisius (.829)
T-7) Chris Barton, Niagara (.800)
T-7) Justin Robinson, Monmouth (.800)
9) Kassius Robertson, Canisius (.786)
10) Khallid Hart, Marist (.754)
Three-Point Field Goal Percentage
1) Jermaine Crumpton, Canisius (.543)
2) Je'lon Hornbeak, Monmouth (.515)
3) Zavier Turner, Manhattan (.500)
4) Jon Severe, Iona (.459)
5) Calvin Crawford, Manhattan (.438)
6) Kassius Robertson, Canisius (.437)
7) Nick Griffin, Saint Peter's (.431)
8) Kahlil Dukes, Niagara (.431)
9) Ryan Funk, Marist (.427)
10) EJ Crawford, Iona (.423)
1) Monmouth (10-2, 2-0 MAAC)
Last Week: 1
Last Game: Tuesday 12/20 vs. Princeton (W 96-90)
Next Game: Wednesday 12/28 at North Carolina, 7 p.m.
2) Iona (8-4, 1-1 MAAC)
Last Week: 2
Last Game: Thursday 12/22 vs. Towson (L 76-69)
Next Game: Wednesday 12/28 at Delaware, 7 p.m.
3) Fairfield (6-4, 1-1 MAAC)
Last Week: 4
Last Game: Wednesday 12/21 vs. Boston College (W 89-83)
Next Game: Friday 12/30 at Penn, 4 p.m.
4) Rider (8-4, 1-1 MAAC)
Last Week: 3
Last Game: Thursday 12/22 at UMass (L 78-67)
Next Game: Wednesday 12/28 at NC State, 7 p.m.
5) Canisius (8-5, 1-1 MAAC)
Last Week: 5
Last Game: Thursday 12/22 at St. Bonaventure (W 106-101)
Next Game: Monday 1/2/2017 vs. Siena, 2 p.m.
6) Saint Peter's (5-6, 1-1 MAAC)
Last Week: 7
Last Game: Friday 12/23 at St. Francis Brooklyn (W 65-58)
Next Game: Wednesday 12/28 at Notre Dame, 7 p.m.
7) Manhattan (5-8, 0-2 MAAC)
Last Week: 9
Last Game: Thursday 12/22 vs. Eastern Kentucky (W 81-54)
Next Game: Monday 1/2/2017 at Marist, 7 p.m.
8) Siena (4-8, 1-1 MAAC)
Last Week: 6
Last Game: Thursday 12/22 at Hofstra (L 84-64)
Next Game: Thursday 12/29 vs. Vermont, 7 p.m.
9) Quinnipiac (4-7, 1-1 MAAC)
Last Week: 8
Last Game: Wednesday 12/21 vs. Drexel (L 91-74)
Next Game: Thursday 12/29 at Brown, 7 p.m.
10) Niagara (4-9, 1-1 MAAC)
Last Week: 11
Last Game: Wednesday 12/21 at LIU Brooklyn (W 75-66)
Next Game: Monday 1/2/2017 vs. Quinnipiac, 7 p.m.
11) Marist (4-9, 1-1 MAAC)
Last Week: 10
Last Game: Friday 12/23 at Holy Cross (L 68-59)
Next Game: Saturday 12/31 at Iona, 1 p.m.