They are on a 14-game win streak with a 16-2 record in league play. The conference regular season title is secured. For Monmouth, they push on in search of a few goals that eluded them a year ago.
King Rice’s Hawks were defeated by Iona in last year’s MAAC championship game and consequently, fair or not, were not on the board Selection Sunday. This season, they appear ready to force a different outcome in the conference tournament in Albany.
The Hawks, in MAAC play, show a gaudy 110 offensive efficiency. They push the ball at a fast 75-possession rate, and on defense, excel with a 96 efficiency on that side of the ball.
An effective field goal percentage of 51 percent coupled with an excellent 16 percent turnover rate is the mark of an efficient offense, that cares for the ball and finishes possessions without losing the ball to a miscue. It is a difficult combination for opposing defenses.
On defense the Hawks do not force a great deal of turnovers. Their defensive TO rate is a respectable 20 percent. Their bread and butter is a conference-leading 47 percent eFG defense. An offense can get shots off against Monmouth, but there’s a good chance they will be closely contested.
On offense, 31 percent of the Monmouth points are beyond the arc. This is a team that will judiciously utilize the three, as six teams in the MAAC put the long range shot to more use. Individually, the Hawks have two outstanding players using a little over half the team’s possessions. Senior guard Justin Robinson, Rice’s marquee player and the MAAC’s leading scorer at 21.4 ppg., utilizes 27.9% of the possessions, while sophomore swingman Micah Seaborn checks in at a 23.9 percent usage rate.
Do not assume this is a two-man team. In total, the Hawks are a team first and foremost. They are sound on both ends of the floor – efficient on offense, sound on defense. It adds up to a team that is certain to be a tough “out” in Albany.