Hoop Report: Power Ranking the MAAC
The college basketball season is in full-swing and as the season heads exclusively to conference play, we here at MFST will be power ranking the teams in all the Power-5 and Mid-Major conferences.
The first conference on my slate is the MAAC and I have up-close and personal encounters with this conference on a daily basis as a reporter for the Canisius Golden Griffins. The conference is solid this year that have a few teams stating their case as potential sleepers come March, led of course by the Monmouth Hawks….
1. Monmouth Hawks (10-2, 2-0)
- 2016-17 season is a different year for a team that in my eyes deserved to make the Tournament as an at-large bid last season. Standing at 10-2, the Hawks led by guard Justin Robinson shook off some early-season rust to post a solid record as we head into the bulk of conference play.
2. Iona Gaels (7-3, 1-1)
- A difficult non-conference stretch to open the season put a damper on the Gaels record, but this team will compete for the MAAC crown. Senior forward Jordan Washington is a guy to watch, he averages 18 points and just shy of 7 rebounds per game.
3. Canisius Golden Griffins (7-5, 1-1)
- Being able to watch every Canisius game this season has given me an insight to a team that honestly has not been mentioned enough to star the season. Junior forward Jermaine Crumpton has become a legitimate scorer from all over the court and he will give Justin Robinson a run for his money for MAAC Player of the Year. Canisius is a sleeper pick to make a run at a Tourney berth later in the season.
4. Rider Broncs (8-3, 1-1)
- Rider’s record is impressive, but their schedule leaves a lot to be desired. Wins over NC A&T, Drexel, Kennesaw State, Pacific and Wagner are considered cake walks and because of that we may not find out what type of team the Broncs are until we are deeper into MAAC play.
5. Fairfield Stags (5-4, 1-1)
- Fairfield started the season 4-1 with impressive wins over Army and Rider but they have lost three straight, two to teams who will be playing in one of the Tournaments come March (Bucknell and NC State). I wouldn’t be surprised if Fairfield makes their way into the Top 3 of the conference at some point this season.
6. Quinnipiac Bobcats (4-6, 1-1)
- Another MAAC team with a tough non-conference schedule, facing and losing to Gonzaga and Seton Hall while boasting an impressive victory over Indiana State who beat No.15 Butler.
7. Siena Saints (4-7, 1-1)
- Siena is a team that can knock you around down-low and grind out physical, hard-fought victories. They struggle to shoot from beyond the arc and if they play a team that gets hot from the floor–look out.
8. Saint Peter’s Peacocks (4-6, 1-1)
- Saint Peter’s has struggled lately, losing three straight games by an average of 13 points. They aren’t a very good shooting team averaging less than 40% from the field and even worse from 3-point range.
9. Marist Red Foxes (4-8, 1-1)
- Marist reeled off four wins out of their first six games before hitting a skid, losing four straight to teams like Jacksonville who they could beat. The Red Foxes have three capable scorers led by Khallid Hart (17.2 PPG) but besides that they have little offense from anyone else which is crushing them as teams will look to take away Hart to make others beat them. So far, they have been unable to.
10. Niagara Purple Eagles (3-9, 1-1)
- Niagara has talented players, Matt Scott and Khalil Dukes specifically, but they can never seem to put an entire 40-minute effort together. I was in attendance when they took on St. Bonaventure at the Big 4 Classic in Buffalo, NY. They hung with the Bonnies for 35 minutes or so, but failed to keep their momentum for the final five minutes. In the four games I’ve watched in person for Niagara, it seems to be a recurring theme.
11. Manhattan Jaspers (4-8, 0-2)
- Manhattan has struggled early on to start the season and if their 0-2 record in the MAAC is any indication, Jasper fans could be in for a long season.
Dan Schalk covers the MAAC for MyFantasySportsTalk.com, you can follow him on Twitter @FFSportsTalk