Manhattan unveils very green basketball court

manhattancourtBy Nick Veronica

Manhattan College’s new basketball court will be about as green as a basketball court can get.

The school released images of Draddy Gymnasium’s new court design Monday. The only part of the floor that features a traditional hardwood color is inside the three-point arc.

“We want to own the color green,” Manhattan athletic director Noah D. LeFevre said in the release. “How facilities appear matter and I am happy with the way this important component turned out.”

All parts of the court that are out-of-bounds will be painted white, with the Jaspers’ website, Twitter handle, hashtag and school name written in green.

“[The court] will be another area in which we separate ourselves in college basketball,” coach Steve Masiello said. “It will now make Draddy Gymnasium one of the hardest places to play because of the Green Monster.”

Manhattan is 34-13 at home the last four years under Masiello.

The design, sanding and repainting work will be done by Prater Industries.


Postgame video: Manhattan 63, Canisius 60

By Nick Veronica

Canisius coach Jim Baron

Jim Baron was not happy with his team after the game. They’re too passive to shoot, he said. They got spooked by Manhattan’s defense. They need to get better. His whole presser is worth listening to.

The game was there for the taking. Jeremiah Williams missed two free-throws in the last minute after being hand-picked to shoot them following a technical foul (he shoots 88.9 percent on the year). Then he missed a layup, Phil Valenti missed a layup and Zach Lewis missed a three-pointer. The Griffs lost by three.

Canisius players Zach Lewis and Jermaine Crumpton

“This weekend, I think both games could’ve went either way,” Lewis said. “Being a young team, it’s good to have those type of games right now and keep building on it and learn in film tomorrow and the next day, how we can get better in those situations? When there’s four minutes left in the game, how do we close out those games?”

Crumpton, one of the more willing shooters, had a career-high 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting.

Manhattan coach Steve Masiello and Shane Richards

Take that 15-footer, huh? More on Masiello’s interesting answer here.

Steve Masiello dares you to shoot from the free-throw line

By Nick Veronica

Canisius got several open looks from the free-throw line in Sunday’s 63-60 loss to Manhattan. Jermaine Crumpton and others hit some of those shots, and sometimes they missed.

Manhattan did not seem overly concerned with adjusting its defense to take that shot away. That’s because Steve Masiello is a smart coach. He has run the percentages and he does not care.

If you want to pull up from the free-throw line against Manhattan, go for it. He calls it fool’s gold.

“We’ve charted over 600 games,” Masiello said. “The 15-foot shot, challenged late, is a 26-percent shot. It appears at times, when teams make two or three in a row, you actually think they’re hurting your zone. But it actually plays into your hands. That’s one of the reasons they shot 39 percent for the game.

“This goes back to when I was at Louisville,” Masiello continued. “We take it away, we take the high post away with the opposite guard, once it goes in we fan out and go man and match up. Most of the time you’ll see a four-five (a forward) in that spot.

“Give Canisius credit, they made some shots in that spot like you said early there, but that shot will not beat you. I’ve seen it beat a team once — unfortunately it was to go to the Final Foul, it was Michigan State against us in the Elite Eight — but that shot will not beat you. The percentages are just astronomical. It’s what we call fool’s gold. I’m not going to tell you how to beat the zone, but we’re OK with that.”

So, yeah. Steve Masiello is smarter than you. Go ahead and take that shot. He dares you.

Immediate reactions: Manhattan 63, Canisius 60

Manhattan 34 29 — 63
Canisius 31 29 — 60

By Nick Veronica

How it happened: A hard-fought game was decided late by Canisius’ poor shooting. Down 63-60 with 48 seconds left, Manhattan’s Ashton Pankey was assessed a flagrant-1 foul, giving Canisius two free throws. Jeremiah Williams, an 88.9 percent free-throw shooter, missed both, and Canisius proceeded to miss three field goals the rest of the way.

Manhattan came out with a lot of energy and led nearly the entire game. A Zach Lewis free throw with 13:14 left gave Canisius its first lead. The Griffs’ largest lead was only two points at 58-56. Shane Richards led all players with 18 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. Jermaine Crumpton had a career-high 16 points for Canisius.

What it means: Canisius goes to 7-6 and 2-2 in the MAAC while Manhattan is now 5-8, 2-2. Manhattan only lost eight games all of last season en route to an NCAA tournament bid.

Turning point: After Canisius battled back to take its first lead of the game, Shane Richards hit back-to-back treys to steal the momentum right back for Manhattan.

Andujar out: Manhattan’s leading scorer Emmy Andujar was suspended for Sunday’s game.

Following up: Zach Lewis scored a career-high 31 points on Friday and was 8 for 17 from three-point range. Sunday he started 0-for-5 from deep and hit his first three-pointer with 6:06 left before finishing with 8 points on 2-of-12 shooting.

Buffalo trip: What Canisius and Niagara lose in home-court advantage they gain in being the longest trip for the rest of the teams in the MAAC. Coaches often mention the struggles of the Buffalo trip, when teams come to the MAAC’s western outpost to play Niagara and Canisius on the same weekend. With today’s win, Steve Masiello bucked an unusual trend:

Vegas line: Line was Canisius -4.5 and over/under 124.5. Manhattan covered. Total was 123.

Next: Canisius travels to Marist on Thursday, Jan. 8 for a 7 p.m. game.

Manhattan’s Andujar suspended vs. Canisius

By Nick Veronica



Manhattan’s leading scorer Emmy Andujar (13.2 points per game) will serve a one-game suspension Sunday against Canisius, Manhattan’s athletic department confirmed to IAGS.

Andujar picked up a flagrant-2 foul Friday at Niagara, which carries a suspension. He will be back in the lineup Wednesday when Manhattan takes on Saint Peter’s.

Andujar, a 6-foot-6 senior forward, was a Preseason Second Team All-MAAC selection.

Manhattan started Shane Richards, Ashton Pankey, RaShawn Stores, Rich Williams and Donovan Kates.