Monday, June 11, 2018

MAAC Monday: Returning scoring by percentage, and how important it really is

Our offseason MAAC Monday content, which will be spaced out over the course of the next several weeks, begins today with a look at returning offense through the lens of percentage of total points from the previous season. We will also take a closer look at just how crucial continuity is in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference by looking at similar numbers from the previous three seasons and where each school finished in the final regular season standings. With that said, here are the preliminary figures for 2018-19, and if there are any roster changes we did not take into account, please inform us so that we can update our totals accordingly:

2018-19 returning scoring, by percentage, among MAAC schools from highest to lowest:
1) Rider (94.7 percent)
2) Marist (87.0)
3) Saint Peter's (72.4)
4) Quinnipiac (72.0)
5) Monmouth (65.9)
6) Canisius (65.3)
7) Siena (55.2)
8) Niagara (50.4)
9) Fairfield (49.5)
10) Iona (49.0)
11) Manhattan (25.2)

2017-18 returning scoring by percentage among MAAC schools from highest to lowest, followed by eventual regular season and postseason finishes:
1) Niagara (86.9 percent, finished 3rd in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament quarterfinals and lost in CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament first round)
2) Manhattan (75.7, 5th in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament quarterfinals)
3) Marist (59.6, 11th in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament first round)
4) Fairfield (56.6, 6th in regular season, MAAC Tournament runner-up)
5) Iona (46.0, 4th in regular season, MAAC Tournament champion, lost in NCAA Tournament round of 64)
6) Canisius (43.8, 2nd in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament quarterfinals and lost in College Basketball Invitational first round)
7) Monmouth (38.0, 8th in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament first round)
8) Saint Peter's (35.1, 9th in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament semifinals)
9) Rider (31.4, MAAC regular season champion, lost in MAAC Tournament quarterfinals and lost in National Invitation Tournament first round)
10) Quinnipiac (30.9, 7th in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament semifinals)
11) Siena (27.5, 10th in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament first round)

2016-17 returning scoring by percentage among MAAC schools from highest to lowest, followed by eventual regular season and postseason finishes:
1) Marist (89.9 percent, finished 10th in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament first round)
2) Monmouth* (88.7, MAAC regular season champion, lost in MAAC Tournament semifinals and lost in National Invitation Tournament first round)
3) Siena (81.8, 4th in regular season, MAAC Tournament runner-up)
4) Saint Peter's# (80.7, 2nd in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament semifinals, CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament champion)
5) Fairfield (69.5, 5th in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament quarterfinals and lost in CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament first round)
6) Manhattan& (62.5, 11th in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament first round)
7) Canisius (58.0, 7th in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament quarterfinals and lost in CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament first round)
8) Rider (54.8, 6th in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament quarterfinals)
9) Niagara (54.3, 9th in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament quarterfinals)
10) Quinnipiac+ (52.6, 8th in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament first round)
11) Iona (39.0, 3rd in regular season, MAAC Tournament champion, lost in NCAA Tournament round of 64)
* - Monmouth's total includes Zac Tillman, who redshirted during 2016-17 season.
# - Saint Peter's total includes Cameron Jones, who redshirted during 2016-17 season.
& - Manhattan's total includes Rich Williams and Matt Maloney, who redshirted during 2016-17 season.
+ - Quinnipiac's total includes Aaron Robinson, who redshirted during 2016-17 season.

2015-16 returning scoring by percentage among MAAC schools from highest to lowest, followed by eventual regular season and postseason finishes:
1) Fairfield* (82.5 percent, finished 5th in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament semifinals and lost in CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament first round)
2) Rider (72.5, 8th in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament quarterfinals)
3) Iona (70.2 percent, 2nd in regular season, MAAC Tournament champion, lost in NCAA Tournament round of 64)
4) Monmouth (69.3 percent, MAAC regular season champion and tournament runner-up, lost in National Invitation Tournament second round)
5) Siena# (64.2, 3rd in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament semifinals and lost in College Basketball Invitational first round)
6) Canisius (50.4, 7th in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament quarterfinals)
7) Manhattan (48.7, 6th in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament quarterfinals)
8) Marist (47.2, 11th in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament first round)
9) Niagara (41.7, 10th in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament first round)
10) Saint Peter's (36.4, 4th in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament quarterfinals)
11) Quinnipiac (34.0, 9th in regular season, lost in MAAC Tournament first round)
* - Fairfield's total includes Amadou Sidibe, who redshirted during 2015-16 season.

This coming season will mark the third time in the last four years that the majority of MAAC schools will return half of their offensive productivity from the previous campaign, with the only exception being last season, when only four teams had an incumbent mark greater than 50 percent. The departure of household names such as Justin Robinson, Jordan Washington, and Siena's four seniors after the 2016-17 season made last year seem as though it were a down year for the MAAC on paper, yet four teams still managed to receive postseason invitations, down just one from the season before.

Iona is slowly rebuilding an experienced core once again after seeing the majority of its roster turn over following the first of its three straight conference championships, or at least the numbers seem to indicate such. The loss of points and the names that went along with them, though, has not gotten in the way of Tim Cluess' knack for reloading with players that not only fit his system, but produce in greater and more versatile capacities than their previous destinations had seen. The Gaels return 49 percent of their scoring from this past season, but welcome in a pair of highly touted transfers in Robert Morris wing Isaiah Still and Eastern Kentucky guard Asante Gist, the latter of whom is a former star at St. Anthony under the great Bob Hurley, and will be eligible in December as he completes the remainder of his year in residence.

This season marks the third straight year that Marist ranks among the top three in returning production, but the Red Foxes have had little to show for it in the past two campaigns under former head coach Mike Maker, who -- for all his basketball acumen -- was hard-pressed to stop the bleeding on the defensive end. Marist will undergo a total 180 on that side of the basketball this season, as new head coach John Dunne has no doubt already stressed the importance of the same defensive fundamentals that took his Saint Peter's program to a pair of postseason tournaments under his watch in perhaps the most daunting environment in the conference to produce a consistent winner.

The intrigue surrounding Rider as the Broncs return nearly everyone from last year's regular season championship outfit -- while also adding Minnesota transfer Ahmad Gilbert -- will be among the top storylines to watch in the MAAC this season. Head coach Kevin Baggett has received fair -- and in some cases, warranted -- criticism for failing to advance past the quarterfinals of the MAAC Tournament in each of his six years at the helm in Lawrenceville, but the odds are in his favor here. Of the five teams returning more than 80 percent of their offense from the previous season over the last three years, three have made it to at least Sunday in Albany, with Siena nearly winning it all in 2017.

Moving up the New Jersey Turnpike, Shaheen Holloway inherits a steady roster as he begins his head coaching career at Saint Peter's, and should be able to mold the Peacocks' young and hungry backcourt instantly. Look for a season similar to that of Baker Dunleavy's first year at Quinnipiac last season, where the Bobcats showed flashes of competitiveness far ahead of their expectations and ultimately reached the MAAC Tournament semifinals. Even if Saint Peter's does not get that far in March, year one of their new regime should be an overall success. Speaking of Quinnipiac, the return of Cameron Young to an uber-talented stable of guards in Hamden only makes the conference's X-factor even more formidable, and the most likely threat to unseat Iona and Rider among the MAAC's elite. Canisius will be in the lead pack as well, led by probable Preseason Player of the Year Isaiah Reese and reigning Rookie of the Year Takal Molson, but the loss of Jermaine Crumpton will be a significant blow for the Golden Griffins until they have proven they can replace their four-year stalwart and workhorse. The same can be said of Monmouth and how the Hawks must replace Micah Seaborn, but his absence through the second half of last season will end up proving to be a blessing in disguise for King Rice this year. Deion Hammond will play his way into all-MAAC recognition by the end of the season, especially if Ray Salnave becomes the facilitator that everyone in West Long Branch predicts he will be.

Siena may have lost four of its top six scorers from last season, but the good news for Jamion Christian is that he has a cadre of shooters to help make the transition into Mayhem a seamless one. The Saints could very well possess two of the league's top ten marksmen in their own backcourt, as Khalil Richard returns alongside likely starting point guard Kadeem Smithen, who will return for his senior season.

Fairfield and Niagara look poised to take steps back, on paper at least, as the MAAC's top three scorers -- Tyler Nelson, Kahlil Dukes, and Matt Scott -- have all graduated from the two institutions. The Stags, though, are better equipped to sustain the blow of losing Nelson -- their all-time leading scorer -- as Jesus Cruz is in line for a breakout sophomore campaign while Aidas Kavaliauskas gets a full season to show off his passing skills after visa problems delayed his debut last year. Incoming freshman Neftali Alvarez, considered to be Sydney Johnson's best recruit since arriving in the Nutmeg State, will also be counted on to make an immediate impact.

Finally, Manhattan has only five players who saw minutes last season returning to the program this year, which makes Steve Masiello's eighth campaign in Riverdale his most challenging. The Jaspers will likely be viewed as a major underdog to begin the year, but that is exactly how their veteran coach wants it, as it will allow Pauly Paulicap to fly somewhat under the radar while maintaining his game-changing abilities on both sides of the basketball. The biggest key for Manhattan will be how Masiello's six-man incoming class -- which includes redshirt freshman Warren Williams, who will likely pair with Paulicap down low -- handles its collective baptism into the most physical style of play in the MAAC. If they develop ahead of schedule, a season similar to Masiello's 21-win debut in 2011-12 could be in the offing, but if the growing pains persist, it will just as easily be a trying and tumultuous five months.

1 comment:

  1. What does Syd need to accomplish this season to stay on at Fairfield?

    ReplyDelete