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MAAC Notebook

January 10, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



Metro Atlantic Conference Notebook

by Kevin Reilly

Manhattan on the Move

The Manhattan College Jaspers are on a roll, with a five game win streak at that. The victories have come against some neighborhood teams, which makes it that much sweeter. They have moved up into the Top 100 in the all-important RPI and Sagarin rankings after starting around 250.

Since mid-December’s debacle at Draddy where they ran in to a buzzsaw named Keydren Clark (the MAAC’s leading scorer as a frosh for St. Peter’s), Coach Bobby Gonzalez’ gang has run off a quintet of impressive victories against the likes of Hofstra, St.John’s, Iona, Marist and Siena.

The victories against St.John’s and Iona gave them their second consecutive Holiday Festival trophy and along with it bragging rights for supremacy in NYC college hoops circles. The Marist win was big because it was on national television and also their first win in Poughkeepsie in a very long while. The triumph at Draddy Gym over Siena established the Kelly Green as the odds-on-choice to lead the MAAC this winter.

Even though most of the attention given this squad is to NYC native and former Rutgers recruit Luis Flores (22 ppg), this has been a team effort and along with it a few growing pains. The upfront trio of David Holmes, Jared Johnson and Jason Benton have all shot above the 50% mark. The frosh duo of Kenny Minor and Jason Wingate have gotten on the job training in the backcourt.

The player to watch on this team is newcomer Mike Konovelchick. This kid is an athletic 6-5 swingman who has all the tools. He can stick the three and likes to play defense. That’s a great combination. He already has been honored as MAAC Rookie of the Week. You gotta like a guy who helped shut down St.John’s Marcus Hatten and then scores 22 at Marist in an ESPN game.

A Well-Kept Secret

Marist head coach Dave Magarity is on the verge of his 300th win. It should come real soon. This is his 17th year on the Poughkeepsie, NY campus. Previously he spent a handful of years as the head man at St. Francis(PA) where at 27 years old he was hired as the youngest coach in the nation at the time.

From viewing Magarity over the past several years as a fan, a writer and a student of the game this guy comes across as a coach you would want your own child to play for. He’s tough but fair and seems to have a great relationship with his players. Also, the fact that he has been at the same school for 17 years speaks volumes in itself.

A little known fact about Magarity is that he holds the distinction of being named Coach of the Year in three leagues (ECAC Metro, NEC and MAAC). The kid from Philadelphia has found a home up the New York State Thruway. In fact, his own daughter transferred home from Boston College and now stars for the Marist women’s squad.

     

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