Monmouth vs Canisius Preview and Prediction
Monmouth vs Canisius Preview
Two teams that have turned their seasons around in conference play clash at the Koessler Athletic Center as the Monmouth Hawks (6-14, 5-2) travel to Buffalo, NY to take on the Canisius Golden Griffins (7-11. 4-2).
For Monmouth, the team was one of the worst in non-league play only earning one win in thirteen games. Yikes. That being said, head coach King Rice has flipped the script on the season as his team has won four straight MAAC games and five out of six.
The Hawks and their opponent in this game, Canisius, each sit two losses back from the conference leader Rider as the thick of MAAC race continues.
The Griffs struggled in non-conference play as well, earning a 3-9 record, which was a grave disappointment for a team and players that had lofty expectations this season.
All four of the Griffs conference wins have come on the road (Marist, Siena, Quinnipiac, Fairfield) and their two conference losses have come at home (Rider, Iona).
Will tonight continue that trend?
A player who always flies under-the-radar is Canisius senior Jibreel Faulkner, but he has been crucial to the Griffs success. If you have read any of my Canisius previews this season, you know I have been on the ‘Isaiah Reese and Takal Molson must play better’ bandwagon, rarely mentioning Faulkner.
But in their last game against Fairfield, Faulkner was dominant, scoring 16 points on 6-for-6 shooting while adding four rebounds and two assists.
If the Griffs want success they need to give Faulkner more minutes and he needs to show consistency in his game.
When given at least 20 minutes per game, Faulkner averages 12.2 points on 56 percent shooting while chipping in 4.5 rebounds.
When he fails to receive 20 minutes in a game his numbers drop to: 3.9 points, 0.9 rebounds while shooting 33 percent from the field.
What a difference and Canisius head coach Reggie Witherspoon needs to know this, there is a correlation to Faulkner’s play and that 20-minute mark.
There is one player who has been crucial to Monmouth’s turnaround: sophomore guard Ray Salnave.
On the year he is averaging 13 points, 4 rebounds and 2.9 assists but in his last five MAAC games he is averaging 17.6 points, 5 rebounds and 3.7 assists.
He has become a lot more aggressive offensively, driving the land instead of pulling up for contested or fade-away jumpers.
Reese finally earns a POTW
Isaiah Reese has earned his first MAAC Player of the Week Award this season, for his play on the road against Quinnipiac and Fairfield last week.
The junior averaged 13.0 points, 8.0 assists, 6.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocked shots and a steal per game, while shooting 40.9 percent from the field, 36.4 percent from 3-point land and 80.0 percent from the free-throw line.
LINE: -4.5 Canisius
Dan’s Bet: Over 137.5
Score Prediction: Canisius 81 Monmouth 77
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