Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

St. Peter’s: A serious challenger in the MAAC

February 24, 2017 Columns No Comments

After his team was thoroughly dismantled about a week ago, Marist coach Mike Maker played tribute to his opponent.

“He is one of the best coaches around, his school is fortunate to have him and I think the MAAC conference is fortunate as well,” Maker said.

Maker was referring to John Dunne, whose St. Peter’s club had defeated the Red Foxes 71-46 at Yanitelli Center. Several days later, St. Peter’s celebrated Senior Day with a resounding 74-55 victory over Fairfield. It was St. Peter’s fourth straight conference win to push their MAAC record to 12-6. The western New York swing to Niagara and Canisius will finish the regular season this weekend. The final stop before the tournament in Albany, a tournament observers feel, St. Peter’s is good enough to win.

In head-to-head meetings with conference regular season champion Monmouth, the series was a split. On January 2, St. Peter’s scored a 71-61 victory over the Hawks at Yanitelli Center. The rematch on February 3rd in West Long Branch saw the Hawks needing overtime to post a 71-70 victory. The two teams could be on a collision course.

St. Peter’s head coach John Dunne (Ray Floriani photo)

Dunne does not look ahead, preferring the time-worn coach speak of “taking it a game at a time and worrying about what we have to do.” What they do is employ a half court grind-it-out 63-possession pace, the most pedestrian in the MAAC. It works. The Peacocks are fourth in offensive efficiency at 108, while leading the conference with an eye-popping 94 defensive efficiency. They get a lead, they do not allow you a great deal of possessions to battle back.

While the defense has been a staple of success in Jersey City, the offense is no slouch. The efficiency is bolstered by a 53 percent effective field goal percentage and excellent care of the ball with a turnover rate of just 17 percent. St. Peter’s will often use four out and one inside on offense. 39 percent of their points come from beyond the arc. They do have an excellent inside presence in 6-8 senior Quadir Welton, who averages 11.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, both team highs. Senior Travis Wyche is the other double-digit scorer at 10.9 points per game. Contributions also come from redshirt junior guard Nick Griffin, senior guard Chazz Patterson, redshirt senior guard Cavon Baker, sophomore guard Antwon Portley and sophomore forward Samuel Idowu.

Patterson was called by Maker “the best defender in the conference.” The 6-3 senior played outstanding defense on Monmouth stalwart Justin Robinson in the St. Peter’s victory back in January. A very balanced team, it is not surprising if the leading scorer comes off the bench, as Baker (20 points) did in that win over Marist.

The only bump in the road was late January-early February. A three game losing streak with OT losses at Iona and Monmouth was followed by a two-point loss at home to Canisius. Following those setbacks, St. Peter’s went on their current win streak.

With the solid defense and offensive balance, St. Peter’s has a team that cannot be undersold in Albany. Dunne keeps the approach very practical. As he said after that Marist game, “We know there isn’t a team we can’t beat in this league. But we know there isn’t a team that can’t beat us if we do not maintain our focus.”

Comment on this Article:

Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 18, 2018

January 18, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about big road wins for a few teams, including a couple of bluebloods that looked destined for losses, as well as an unsettled Big Ten beyond one team, an SEC where you shouldn’t pay attention to bracketologists, and the problems with a proposed earlier start to the college basketball season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 11, 2018

January 11, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about several big pieces of news away from game play, one of which puts a lot in perspective. We also talk about the lack of dominant teams and how this has shown up in the results, especially this past weekend.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 4, 2018

January 4, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we start with a big game in the Big East, then move on to the sudden lack of undefeated teams, a big injury in the ACC, and a powerhouse that looks vulnerable in a stacked conference they have long ruled.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – December 8, 2017

December 8, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about a bizarre finish to an early-season tournament game, the Pac-12’s early struggles, Florida teams going in different directions and two northeast teams trending less relevant even as they excite fans at a famous arena.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – November 22, 2017

November 22, 2017 by

In our pre-Thanksgiving podcast, we look at a key injury that is likely to be devastating for his team and an under-the-radar 4-0 week, then move on to some early SEC impressions and a couple of teams that just continue to win.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.