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MAAC Notebook

December 5, 2002 Conference Notes No Comments



Metro Atlantic Notebook

by Mike DiPiazza

Freshman Shine For Saints

When the horn sounded on Siena’s season last year as they lost to eventual national champion, Maryland, in the first round of the NCAA tournament, the biggest question the Saints faced was who would replace the sweet shooting Dwayne Archbold.

Archbold went off for 111 points for Siena in their surprising sweep through the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC)championship. For the 2002-03 season, the Siena faithful wondered who would fill the void of the talented 6-foot-5 shooting guard? Would it be Prsoper Karangwa, who has a history of lapses? Surprisingly enough, it has been freshman Michael Haddix who has been the Saints’ most consistent player. Through Siena’s first four games, in which they are 3-1, Haddix has averaged a team leading 15.8 points per game, while Karangwa is second with 11.5 points.

His .706 percent for field goals is also good for best on the team, while he hovers around the top on just about every statistical category.

Despite a recent loss to Toledo, 59-55, Haddix led all scorers with 21 points in a win over Northern Iowa. Haddix’s dominance in the 69-58 victory for Siena prompted Northern Iowa coach Greg McDermott to praise the talented freshman.

“He was the difference in the game,” McDermott said. “He is well beyond his years.”
While Siena has also seen tremendous output from freshman Antoine Jordan, who leads the team in free throw percentage, Siena coach Rob Lanier has been very pleased with Haddix.

“He’s been reliable for us,” Lanier said. “When you practice hard every day you deserve that.” Lanier then added, “They (the freshmen) are catching on quickly.”

The Hallows Train Arrives in New Rochelle

While Rob Lanier is impressed with his freshmen class, things a little further down the New York State Thruway are going just as smooth for Jeff Ruland, as his young crop of freshmen have Iona off to a 4-1 start.

Compared to their 0-6 start last year, with a much more experienced team, the Gaels have received tremendous output from their four freshmen, who make up just about half of the Gaels nine-man rotation. Ruland has four players from the storied New York City Catholic League (CHSAA), three from the same team, and the burly coach has relied heavily on them.

Considered Ruland’s finest recruiting class, thanks to a connection at one of the city’s most prestigious high school basketball programs in All Hallows in the Bronx, Iona snatched three standouts in starting point guard Marvin McCullough, while Ricky Soliver and Kiril Waschmann come off the bench.

“The young guys are good,” Ruland said.

In the Gaels most recent win against Wagner, Iona veteran Greg Jenkins dislocated his shoulder. Jenkins went in for an MRI Wednesday afternoon, and the results aren’t good – Jenkins has a torn labrum. There’s no word on when he’ll be returning, if at all.

Consequently, the loss of Jenkins leaves a gapping hole in Iona’s already depleted lineup. Against Wagner, Waschmann saw only six minutes of action, however with Jenkins out for the Gaels match up against Fairfield Thursday night, Ruland said that Waschmann would see more action.

“I feel bad for him (Greg),” Ruland said. “We’ll need him back for the meat of our schedule. Now Kiril will see more minutes.”

After the Gaels contest with Fairfield, they travel to Akron, followed by a 12 day lay off for final exams.

Between the Boroughs

In an inner-borough battle for Bronx bragging rights, the preseason MAAC favorites Manhattan Jaspers gloated all the way back to their Riverdale campus from Rose Hill after smashing Fordham, 85-57. The Jaspers were lead by junior forward Dave Holmes, whose 24 points were a career-high, as Manhattan has now won three of their last four against the Rams and are currently 3-0.

The Jaspers return to the court Saturday, Dec. 7, when they play in the first of three at Madison Square Garden against Yale. Fellow conference opponent Marist will make an appearance when the Red Foxes square off against Georgia Tech in the second game.

More than Expected

St.Peter’s freshman guard Keydran Clark nearly tied a school record when he scored 48 points in an overtime loss to Northern Arizona. Despite low expectations for the program this year, Clark’s 48 points were the highest a Peacock has scored since Rich Rinaldi did so in 1971.

Less than Expected

Despite being tabbed second behind Manhattan in the preseason coaches poll, the Niagara Purple Eagles have done nothing to live up to their predictions. The Purple Eagles are 0-3 this season, which includes a romping by neighboring Canisius 89-69. Niagara lost to Marshall to start the season, followed by a 94-69 loss to Central Florida.

Griffs start the Season Flying

With the Koessler Center renovated and ready for a new season of Canisius basketball, the Golden Griffs have taken a liking to their redecorated home. With three straight home games to start the season, Canisius took the first two, after dropping a 70-63 decision to St. Joseph’s University. Despite the loss, the Griffs are a surprising 4-1 to start the season.

     

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