Postgame interviews: Canisius 67, Rider 61 – Baron’s brother ejected

By Nick Veronica

Only 792 people paid to watch Canisius and Rider play basketball on Super Bowl Sunday, making for an intimate atmosphere at the Koessler Athletic Center. Fans who voiced their displeasure could be heard from one end of the gym to the other, which led to referees taking the unusual step of asking security to remove particularly boisterous fans from the game.

One fan who was sent home early happened to be Ed Baron, the brother of Canisius head coach Jim Baron.

In his press conference, Jim Baron essentially said the insults fans yell at him everywhere Canisius plays are much worse than anything his brother said Sunday.

“It’s a game, what do you want? What do you expect?” Baron asked. “Go to a tennis match where you can be quiet. Go to golf, shhh, quiet. They got signs for quiet. This is a basketball game.

“You go to the other places, they’re screaming at me, they’re cursing at me,” Baron added. “They’re appalling to me. Monmouth, I was gonna punch somebody in the face sitting right behind me. I looked at the guy, guy was an idiot. I’m like, what are you talking about? We just beat your team up here. Who the hell are you? This guy sitting right over here, old guy, must’ve been about 75, I think when I stared him down, I think I made his heart, like, quiver.”

[Immediate reactions: Canisius 67, Rider 61]

The referees Sunday were Jeffrey Anderson, Ron Tyburski and Andrew Maira. Anderson came over to a fan before the second half started and reminded him he could be kicked out at any time. Ninety seconds into the half, Maira threw him out. Half an hour later, Ed Baron received the same fate.

Baron attends most, if not all, of Canisius’ games and sits in an aisle seat about ten rows behind the team’s bench. He isn’t shy about voicing his displeasure when calls go against Canisius but usually means well.

Skip to 8:06 on the video above for Jim Baron’s answer about the fans and refs. Here’s the full quote:

“Eh, I don’t wanna … it is what it is. We move forward. I don’t know. People are just, they’re into the game. You come here, this is what … what do you expect? You know? We go, you go to the other places, they’re screaming at me, they’re cursing at me. They’re appalling to me. Monmouth, I was gonna punch somebody in the face sitting right behind me. I looked at the guy, guy was an idiot. I’m like, what are you talking about? We just beat your team up here. Who the hell are you? This guy sitting right over here, old guy, must’ve been about 75, I think when I stared him down I think I made his heart, like, quiver. Because I looked at him like I was gonna … [he said] ‘You asshole!’ Like, come on. … It’s a game, what do you want? What do you expect? Go to a tennis match where you can be quiet. Go to golf, shhh, quiet. They got signs for quiet. This is a basketball game. Alright, thanks guys.”

Canisius players Keifer Douse and Kassius Robertson

The Griffs pressed Rider a lot Sunday, and that’s something Kassius Robertson wants to see a whole lot more of. Robertson and Keifer Douse also discussed his Douse’s new role starting for Jamal Reynolds and how that’s alleviating some of the burden from Reynolds’ shoulders.

Rider coach Kevin Baggett

The MAAC has an interesting schedule with 11 teams. It seems like every team gets rolled at least once when it’s their turn to play a lot of games in a row. Sunday was Rider’s turn. Baggett talked about that and more.

Canisius picked 6th in MAAC preseason poll, Niagara 11th; Valenti and Blackman to 3rd team

griffsniagaramaac

By Nick Veronica

Canisius was picked sixth in MAAC preseason poll, which was announced Wednesday night. Niagara was picked by the conference’s 11 coaches to finish last for the second consecutive season.

Canisius looks to build on last season’s 11-9 conference record, which earned the Griffs the fifth seed in the conference tournament. Niagara’s low ranking was expected with such a large roster turnover.

Canisius forward Phil Valenti and Niagara forward Emile Blackman were both named to the MAAC’s preseason Third Team. Blackman finished 11th in the conference in scoring last season at 13.5 ppg. Valenti averaged 9.4 points per game in 24 games, missing all of February with an ankle injury.

Iona was picked to win conference while its star guard A.J. English was named the league’s preseason player of the year.

Preseason rankings:

Voting:

Rank Team (1st-place votes) Points
1. Iona (10) 119
2. Monmouth 105
T3. Manhattan (1) 91
T3. Rider 91
5. Siena 84
6. Canisius 67
7. Quinnipiac 49
8. Fairfield 42
9. Saint Peter’s 37
10. Marist 23
11. Niagara 18

Preseason teams:

First Team
G Marcus Gilbert, Fairfield, Sr.
G Schadrac Casimir, Iona, So.
G A.J. English, Iona, Sr. (unanimous)
G Justin Robinson, Monmouth, Jr.
G Teddy Okereafor, Rider, Sr.

Second Team
G Isaiah Williams, Iona, Sr.
G Shane Richards, Manhattan, Sr.
G Khallid Hart, Marist, Jr.
G Deon Jones, Monmouth, Sr.
G Marquis Wright, Siena, Jr.

Third Team
F Phil Valenti, Canisius, Jr.
G RaShawn Stores, Manhattan, Sr.
G Emile Blackman, Niagara, R-Jr.
G Jimmie Taylor, Rider, Jr.
F Brett Bisping, Siena, R-Jr.

Preseason Player of the Year
G A.J. English, Iona

MAAC rearranges tournament schedule to help top seeds

By Nick Veronica

maaclogoThe men’s and women’s MAAC basketball tournaments will feature a slightly different format in 2016, giving the top two seeds an added day of rest between the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds.

The quarterfinals will now open Friday for teams seeded first and second, which gives them Saturday off before the semifinals on Sunday, assuming they win. Teams seeded third and fourth have Friday off but will have to win Saturday and Sunday to advance to Monday’s final.

The previous format had play-in games on Thursday, with the quarterfinal round opening for everyone Saturday. Here’s a look at the games that will be affected, using last year’s bracket. (The times of the games will change; full schedule below.)

new_maac_tournament_bracket

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2015 All-MAAC team announced; Canisius’ Lewis Third Team All-MAAC

By Nick Veronica

maaclogoIona’s A.J. English and David Laury were unanimous First Team All-MAAC selections, the league announced during Monday’s conference call.

English averaged 19.5 points and 5.2 assists per game while Laury scored 20.1 ppg and pulled in 9.5 rebonds per game.

Canisius’ Zach Lewis was named to the MAAC’s Third Team while Canisius’ Kassius Robertson and Niagara’s Dominique Reid were named to the All-Rookie Team.

All-star teams are selected by the MAAC’s head coaches. The conference Player of the Year will be announced at 5 p.m. Friday.

Here’s the rest of the All-MAAC teams:

[RELATED: 2015 MAAC Tournament bracket set]

All-MAAC First Team

G A.J. English, Iona (repeat selection, unanimous)
F David Laury, Iona (unanimous)
F Emmy Andujar, Manhattan – 16.5 ppg 7.5 rpg
G Justin Robinson, Monmouth – 13.4 ppg, 3.8 apg
G Zaid Hearst, Quinnipiac – 18.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg
C Matt Lopez, Rider – 12.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg

Second Team

G Schadrac Casimir, Iona – 15.2 ppg, 48.3 3pt%
G/F Chavaughn Lewis, Marist – 20.3 ppg, 2.2 spg
F Ousmane Drame, Quinnipiac – 14.4 ppg, 10.8 rpg
G Teddy Okereafor, Rider – 11.3 ppg, 4.0 apg
F Marvin Dominque, Saint Peter’s – 14.1 ppg, 7.6 rpg

Third Team

G Zach Lewis, Canisius – 12.9 ppg, 1.7 spg
F Marcus Gilbert, Fairfield – 16.5 ppg, 5.6 rpg
F Ashton Pankey, Manhattan – 13.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg
G Deon Jones, Monmouth – 127 ppg, 46.5 FG%
G Rob Poole, Siena – 14.2 ppg, 83.3 FT%

All-Rookie Team

Kassius Robertson, Canisius
Tyler Nelson, Fairfield
Schadrac Casimir, Iona
Dominique Reid, Niagara
Ayron Hutton, Quinnipiac

2015 MAAC Tournament bracket set

(Click for larger view)

(Click for larger view)

By Nick Veronica

With the conclusion of the MAAC’s regular season Sunday, all seeds for the conference tournament have been set. The above bracket shows the road to the NCAA Tournament.

Three tiebreakers were needed for seeding. Manhattan beat out Monmouth for third place by sweeping the season series; Siena took eighth from Niagara by sweeping the season series; and Fairfield edged Marist for 10th because the highest-seeded team the Stags beat (Manhattan) was better than the highest-seeded team the Red Foxes beat (Canisius).

finalmaacstandings2015

Final MAAC standings

The tournament opens Thursday at the Times Union Center in Albany with three play-in games: Siena vs. Niagara at 5 p.m., Saint Peter’s vs. Fairfield at 7 and Quinnipiac vs. Marist at 9. Winners of those games will have Friday off before the quarterfinals begin Saturday.

Canisius opens the tournament Saturday at 2:30 p.m against Monmouth, which took both games from the Griffs this season.

Top-seeded Iona needs to win the tournament to advance to the NCAAs. The Gaels are not expected to earn an at-large bid if they falter in Albany. They open Saturday at noon against the Niagara-Siena winner.

MAAC all-star teams will be announced Monday during the league’s conference call, slated to begin at noon.

Full tournament schedule


Play-in round

Thursday, March 5

8-Siena vs. 9-Niagara, 5 p.m.
7-Saint Peter’s vs. 10-Fairfield, 7 p.m.
6-Quinnipiac vs. 11-Marist, 9 p.m.

Quarterfinals
Saturday, March 7

1-Iona vs. 8-9 winner, noon
4-Monmouth vs. 5-Canisius, 2:30 p.m.
2-Rider vs. 7-10 winner, 5:30 p.m.
3-Manhattan vs. 6-11 winner, 8 p.m.

Semifinals
Sunday, March 8

Iona/8-9 winner vs. Monmouth/Canisius winner, 4:30 p.m.
Rider/7-10 winner vs. Manhattan/6-11 winner, 7 p.m.

Championship
Monday, March 9

Semifinal winners, 9 p.m.

Quarterfinals and beyond will be on ESPN3, with the championship either on ESPN or ESPN2.