MAAC Monday returns today, and after breaking away from advanced stats in last week's first segment to a rather favorable reaction, we will do so once again before reprising stat leaders and power rankings as the first third of the 18-game conference season is largely in the books, save for two teams that have yet to play a sixth game. As always, any and all statistics reflected within MAAC Monday were gleaned from either the individual stat pages of each school's website, or from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference website.
This past Wednesday, Siena made official the much-publicized news that Nico Clareth would be leaving the program at the conclusion of the spring semester, leaving the enigmatic and mercurial junior guard with one season of eligibility remaining. Clareth's departure came just 24 hours before the Saints' road trip to Iona and Manhattan; the two teams picked to finish first and second in the MAAC preseason poll, and has left a young roster in need of not only an emotional leader, but one searching for a momentum boost for their current 5-14 record.
"It's a work in progress," head coach Jimmy Patsos assessed after Siena's 72-61 loss to Manhattan Saturday night, two days after a hard-fought 71-69 setback against Iona. "We have seven or eight guys, but we continually have one or two guys that aren't into the fight. I don't know if it's emotionally not into the fight, physically not into the fight, or whether they're just not playing well that night. We just haven't had everybody on board, into the fight for 40 minutes the whole year. We need everybody on board for the fight. In other words, we're short a guy every night."
A scoreless evening from junior Ahsante Shivers, who committed six turnovers against Manhattan's pressure defense, compounded the Saints' woes, but in his stead, freshman Jordan Horn picked up the slack with 19 points against the Jaspers after scoring 12 in the loss to Iona. When asked if the inspired basketball from the youth in his program was attributed to the need to step up to fill the void left by Clareth, Patsos dismissed the notion that his expatriate all-MAAC talent had an effect on the emergence of the freshman core, instead highlighting the bond his new wave of role players has begun to fortify.
"I don't think it's without Nico; Nico was an inspirational, emotional leader, too," he said. "I told you, he's a family member. I'm not turning my back, I'm not blaming him for anything. They're getting more minutes, but they are getting together as a group. We're moving forward. We're just trying to get better, and we need everybody to come out against Marist (Thursday night). We just have to play a little harder for 40 minutes."
Siena gets a rematch with the Red Foxes, hoping to avenge a conference-opening loss suffered at McCann Arena on December 29, before traveling to Quinnipiac and Monmouth in the Saints' first set of opportunities to gain ground in the standings. Although just 1-5 in league play and the No. 10 seed for the MAAC Tournament if the season ended today, there is optimism that the one-time flag-bearer in the MAAC can right the ship, with a former championship-winning head coach offering a positive endorsement.
"I think Siena's a terrific team," Manhattan's Steve Masiello shared, steadfast in his belief that the Saints are not as dead in the water that some fans and skeptics believe them to be. "I think Jimmy does one of the best jobs. His teams, over the years, he's one of those guys that's always gotten more with less. He's very good with his team. Last year, they were in the conference championship, but he always gets so much out of what he has, and this group he has is a tremendous group of young, talented kids who are bought in, playing hard, doing the things he asks. They defend, they change defenses, and Jimmy doesn't get nearly enough credit for those things."
1) Matt Scott, Niagara (21.8 PPG)
2) Kahlil Dukes, Niagara (20.8)
3) Tyler Nelson, Fairfield (20.6)
4) Brian Parker, Marist (18.3)
5) Cameron Young, Quinnipiac (17.9)
6) Jermaine Crumpton, Canisius (16.0)
7) Isaiah Reese, Canisius (15.9)
8) Nico Clareth, Siena (15.1)
9) Nick Griffin, Saint Peter's (14.5)
10) Frederick Scott, Rider (14.4)
11) Rich Williams, Manhattan (14.3)
1) Marvin Prochet, Niagara (8.4 RPG)
2) Matt Scott, Niagara (7.8)
3) Frederick Scott, Rider (7.8)
4) TK Edogi, Iona (7.3)
5) Tyere Marshall, Rider (6.8)
6) Cameron Young, Quinnipiac (6.3)
7) Zane Waterman, Manhattan (6.2)
8) Abdulai Bundu, Quinnipiac (6.0)
9) Quinn Taylor, Saint Peter's (5.9)
10) Isaiah Reese, Canisius (5.9)
1) Stevie Jordan, Rider (6.5 APG)
2) Rich Kelly, Quinnipiac (5.6)
3) Rickey McGill, Iona (5.1)
4) Austin Tilghman, Monmouth (5.0)
5) Isaiah Reese, Canisius (4.6)
6) Malik Johnson, Canisius (4.5)
7) Kahlil Dukes, Niagara (3.6)
8) Zavier Turner, Manhattan (3.6)
9) Zach Lewis, Iona (3.2)
10) Roman Penn, Siena (3.1)
Field Goal Percentage Leaders
1) Pauly Paulicap, Manhattan (.598)
2) TK Edogi, Iona (.557)
3) Tyere Marshall, Rider (.541)
4) Frederick Scott, Rider (.517)
5) Chaise Daniels, Quinnipiac (.513)
6) Isaiah Reese, Canisius (.493)
7) Prince Oduro, Siena (.483)
8) E.J. Crawford, Iona (.482)
9) Dimencio Vaughn, Rider (.481)
10) Brian Parker, Marist (.481)
Free Throw Percentage Leaders
1) Isaiah Reese, Canisius (.930)
2) David Knudsen, Marist (.914)
3) Kahlil Dukes, Niagara (.896)
4) Tyler Nelson, Fairfield (.892)
5) Nico Clareth, Siena (.867)
6) Jermaine Crumpton, Canisius (.836)
7) Roman Penn, Siena (.831)
8) E.J. Crawford, Iona (.814)
9) Zavier Turner, Manhattan (.791)
10) James Towns, Niagara (.783)
11) Isaiah Lamb, Marist (.780)
Three-Point Field Goal Percentage Leaders
1) Jacob Rigoni, Quinnipiac (.500)
2) Jan Svandrlik, Iona (.491)
3) Louie Pillari, Monmouth (.490)
4) Schadrac Casimir, Iona (.476)
5) Kahlil Dukes, Niagara (.439)
6) Rich Williams, Manhattan (.409)
7) Spencer Foley, Canisius (.406)
8) Ryan Funk, Marist (.405)
9) Deyshonee Much, Iona (.404)
10) Malik Johnson, Canisius (.396)
1) Stevie Jordan, Rider (2.1 SPG)
2) Isaiah Reese, Canisius (2.1)
3) Dimencio Vaughn, Rider (1.6)
4) Jesus Cruz, Fairfield (1.6)
5) Aaron Walker, Jr., Manhattan (1.6)
Blocked Shot Leaders
1) Pauly Paulicap, Manhattan (2.3 BPG)
2) Chaise Daniels, Quinnipiac (1.4)
3) Dominic Robb, Niagara (1.3)
T-4) Selvedin Planincic, Canisius (1.1)
T-4) Marvin Prochet, Niagara (1.1)
1) Iona (11-7, 5-1 MAAC)
Last Week: 1
Last Game: Sunday 1/14 vs. Rider (W 91-64)
Next Game: Friday 1/19 at Monmouth, 7 p.m.
2) Canisius (11-8, 5-1 MAAC)
Last Week: 3
Last Game: Sunday 1/14 vs. Monmouth (W 94-79)
Next Game: Friday 1/19 at Manhattan, 9 p.m.
3) Rider (11-7, 4-2 MAAC)
Last Week: 2
Last Game: Sunday 1/14 at Iona (L 91-64)
Next Game: Thursday 1/18 at Saint Peter's, 7:30 p.m.
4) Manhattan (9-9, 4-2 MAAC)
Last Week: 5
Last Game: Saturday 1/13 vs. Siena (W 72-61)
Next Game: Friday 1/19 vs. Canisius, 9 p.m.
5) Niagara (11-8, 4-2 MAAC)
Last Week: 6
Last Game: Sunday 1/14 vs. Saint Peter's (W 73-70)
Next Game: Thursday 1/18 at Quinnipiac, 7 p.m.
6) Saint Peter's (8-9, 2-4 MAAC)
Last Week: 4
Last Game: Sunday 1/14 at Niagara (L 73-70)
Next Game: Thursday 1/18 vs. Rider, 7:30 p.m.
7) Quinnipiac (6-12, 3-3 MAAC)
Last Week: 7
Last Game: Friday 1/12 at Rider (L 78-60)
Next Game: Thursday 1/18 vs. Niagara, 7 p.m.
8) Monmouth (5-12, 1-4 MAAC)
Last Week: 8
Last Game: Sunday 1/14 at Canisius (L 94-79)
Next Game: Friday 1/19 vs. Iona, 7 p.m.
9) Marist (4-13, 2-3 MAAC)
Last Week: 11
Last Game: Saturday 1/13 vs. Fairfield (W 95-89)
Next Game: Thursday 1/18 at Siena, 7 p.m.
10) Siena (5-14, 1-5 MAAC)
Last Week: 10
Last Game: Saturday 1/13 at Manhattan (L 72-61)
Next Game: Thursday 1/18 vs. Marist, 7 p.m.
11) Fairfield (6-11, 1-5 MAAC)
Last Week: 9
Last Game: Saturday 1/13 at Marist (L 95-89)
Next Game: Saturday 1/20 vs. Niagara, 1 p.m.