Canisius vs Manhattan Preview and Prediction
Canisius vs Manhattan Preview
The Canisius men’s basketball team, winners in seven of its last eight games, returns to the road this weekend for a pair of games in the New York City area, starting Friday night at Manhattan. That game will tipoff at 9 p.m., and will be broadcast live on ESPNU. Canisius is 11-8 overall and 5-1 in the MAAC after posting a 94-79 win over Monmouth at home Jan. 14. The Griffs are off to just the fifth 5-1 MAAC start in program history, and the first since the 2013-14 season.
Tonight’s game will be the 91st all-time meeting between these two conference rivals, with Manhattan leading the series 54-36. Last year, Canisius swept the regular-season series from Manhattan, the first time the Golden Griffins won both regular-season meetings with the Jaspers since the 1996-97 campaign. The Griffs have struggled to get wins in this series in games played in the Draddy Gymnasium. The Griffs are 8-23 all-time in Manhattan’s building, with just three of those victories coming since the 2010-11 season.
70 is the magic number
Canisius’ 94-79 win over Monmouth last Sunday improved the team to 9-2 this season and 27-10 in the last two seasons when putting 70-or more points on the scoreboard.
Freshman Takal Molson earned his second MAAC Rookie of the Week honor on Monday after he posted 20.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game last week against Saint Peter’s and Monmouth.
Sophomore Malik Johnson has made 53 straight starts for the Griffs so you wouldn’t envision him as a ‘young Griff’ but only a sophomore, Johnson is still continuing to hone his craft as the floor leader of this offense.
Canisius, which leads the MAAC and ranks 77th nationally in field goal shooting percentage, has shot better than 45 percent from the field in 10 games this season after the team shot 52.1 percent from the field in the win over Saint Peter’s Jan. 12.
Even better, the Griffs rank 11th nationally in traditional two-point field goal percentage, hitting on 57.8 percent of their shots from inside the 3-point arc.
Stingy defense from beyond the arc
Coming into this game, Canisius ranks second in the MAAC and 54th in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage defense, with opposing teams shooting just 31.8 percent against the Blue and Gold from long-range.
Prior to the Monmouth game Jan. 14, Canisius had held 10-straight opponents under 37 percent from 3-point land for the game. The Hawks shot 40 percent (6-for-15) from long-range in the Griffs’ 94-79 victory.
The Griffs held Saint Peter’s to a 6-for-23 effort from 3-point land in Canisius’ 70-58 victory Jan. 12. The Peacocks ended the game shooting just 26.1 percent from behind the arc.
Get to know Manhattan
Manhattan comes into tonight’s game with an overall record of 9-9 to go with a 4-2 mark in MAAC play. The Jaspers are coming off a 72-61 win over Siena Jan. 13. Manhattan has won two-straight and four of its last six games, dating back to Dec. 30.
As a team, Manhattan is averaging 68.7 points per game, which ranks 10th in the league, while allowing 69.4 points per game, which is second-best in the league.
A trio of Jaspers
Senior Rich Williams leads the team in scoring average with 14.3 points per game. He’s shooting 40.9 percent from 3-point land and has connected on a team-high 27 3-point field goals this year.
Senior Zane Waterman leads the team with 6.2 rebounds per game, which ranks seventh in the MAAC.
Sophomore Pauly Paulicap leads the MAAC with his 59.8 percent (64-for-107) shooting effort from the field.
Manhattan is good for 6.8 steals per game as a team, which ranks second in the MAAC. Six different Jaspers have 10-or more steals to their credit this year.
Canisius has struggled to win games at Draddy Gymnasium and with both teams coming in hot–one team is destined to be cooled off. Usually, I would look at the Griffs lack of success and lean towards Manhattan winning this game, but the Griffs have something special cooking.
From senior leader Jermaine Crumpton to do-it-all sophomore Isaiah Reese who is in the Top 15 in multiple offensive categories in the MAAC, this Griffs team has the talent to compete with anyone in the conference.
A road win over the Jaspers could catapult the Griffs into favorite territory in the MAAC.
LINE: -1 Canisius
Canisius 77 Manhattan 75