Sunday, February 18, 2018

JP's 5 Thoughts: Seton Hall breaks losing skid against Blue Demons

Desi Rodriguez set career-high with 33 points as Seton Hall ended four-game schneid with win over DePaul. (Photo by Bob Dea/Daly Dose Of Hoops)

By Jason Guerette (@JPGuerette)

NEWARK, NJ -- Losers of four games in a row, the Seton Hall Pirates came back to Newark for a must-win home game against DePaul. And thanks to monster games from Desi Rodriguez and Angel Delgado, the Pirates ended up getting the job done on their home floor, coming away with an 82-77 win to get back in the win column and back to .500 in Big East play.

Here are the five thoughts:


1. Return Of The Defense?

Maybe, but not quite. In the first half, Seton Hall struggled defensively for most of the period, allowing 50 percent shooting to the Blue Demons, including 61 percent from two-point range, with many of those points coming inside.

There was a stretch of about 5-6 minutes, however, where the old Seton Hall defense showed up. Led by a burst of energy, the Pirates forced four DePaul turnovers in that span and with Rodriguez heating up from the outside, the run ended up being a 15-3 outburst that earned the Hall a standing ovation from the fans in the house. They were diving on the floor for loose balls, and showing the urgency that head coach Kevin Willard wanted heading into the game.

Still, DePaul wound up shooting 48 percent for the game (although just 5-for-19 from three, a point of emphasis according to Willard), with a 58 percent mark from inside the arc. Those are not the numbers the Hall or their fans want to see, but it was good to see the Pirates get back to defending like they know how for a stretch of time today.

2. Guardian Angel

Angel Delgado dominating DePaul is nothing new. The senior posted 16 points and 19 rebounds against a Blue Demons front line that really had no one outside of Marin Maric who could defend him at all. That lifted his career averages against the Blue Demons to 12.9 points and 13.4 rebounds over the course of eight games, with 63 percent shooting to boot. Today was also his third 19-rebound game (and second in a row) against DePaul.

But what was new was Delgado’s energetic play on defense. It was the big man who started to dive on the court for deflections and loose balls, which in turn sparked the aforementioned run in the first half. The team had a laugh or two about it in the locker room.

“I can’t even get up right now,” Delgado chuckled afterwards. “I’ve got to leave everything on the court right now. I wanted to win this game so bad.”

“That’s probably the first time I’ve seen him dive on the floor like that,” Rodriguez quipped. “We actually talked about that yesterday. I said, ‘Yo, Angel, why can’t you dive on the floor?’ He said, ‘I’m too big,” and I said, ‘You’re not too big to jump on the floor,” and so he did it today. That kind of set the tone and got our momentum going.”

In a large sense, that infectious energy that Delgado is known for was a little lacking the last few games, due in some part to a semi-banged-up knee.

“Something that’s been missing from his game a little bit is his enthusiasm and energy,” Willard said. “When you’re hurt, that’s one of the things that goes right away because you start thinking about it more than just playing. The fact that he feels really good right now, he got back to playing basketball and playing the way he always plays.”

“He’s our emotional leader,” Willard added. “He always has been since Day One when he stepped on campus.”

3. Microwaved Desi Dinner

With Myles Powell and Khadeen Carrington having off nights shooting the ball (and in the former’s case, a rare off night), points were needed to augment Delgado inside. Desi Rodriguez struggled mightily in the early going of this game, starting off 0-for-5 from the field. He then hit his first basket (a three), at the 7:09 mark of the first half, and from there proceeded to score a career-high 33 points on 12-of-16 shooting the rest of the way, including four threes (a couple of them in the Pirates’ big first-half run) and a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line down the stretch.

He scored more than half (24 of 44) of the team’s points in the second half, and basically took over the game, scoring seven of the Hall’s first nine points out of the break and scoring all but one of Seton Hall’s field goals in the last 13-and-a-half minutes as DePaul (like a lot of teams) had no matchup for him individually.

Rodriguez has always been the most mercurial of the senior class, able to go off on anyone for 25 while also susceptible to long lapses. But when he’s on, boy, is it fun to behold.

“He’s been our best offensive player over the past five games by far,” Willard said, adding that “when he’s locked in defensively, he’s just a different basketball player and he was really locked in on (Max) Strus. He did a phenomenal job of really making it hard for him to get going.”

Strus finished with 14 points, but needed 13 shots to get there, so Willard has a point as the team getting going defensively coincided with Desi’s offense revving up. But with a scorer like Rodriguez, sometimes seeing the ball go in the first time just opens the floodgates, and it did on Sunday.

4. Devilish Demons

I don’t know about you, but it seems like whenever Seton Hall really needs to beat DePaul, the game ends up being close down the stretch like today. Going back to the 2011-12 season, when the Blue Demons walloped the Pirates in Chicago to essentially knock them off the NCAA tournament bubble, DePaul has played the Hall within five points six times over an 11-game span.

Three years ago, in the middle of their late-season fall from grace, DePaul swept the Pirates for the first time, punctuating that stretch in a way; but since then, Seton Hall has beaten the Blue Demons six straight times, including today, so they have been able to get the job done recently. Maybe it’s just a reflex that whenever the Pirates play against DePaul, I get nervous since I had to witness the blowout loss in Rosemont live back in 2012.

5. Uphill Climb

This win was necessary to stop the bleeding and maybe even more to avoid what would have been a bad loss, but Seton Hall still has work to do. They go up to Providence next on Wednesday, followed by a challenge against the force of nature that has been Shamorie Ponds and St. John’s at Madison Square Garden Satruday. They have their final two games of the regular season at home, but against national championship favorite Villanova and the always tough and well-coached Butler Bulldogs.

Honestly, the key to the rest of the year may be to regain the energy shown today by Delgado and others in that big first-half run. It’s not like the Pirates have played 40 minutes of bad hoops and never shown it in their recent down period, but it’s not been sustained for a full game.

“We have shown (that) in spurts,” Willard said. “The second half at Xavier, the second half at Georgetown, I thought our first half tonight was really good. We just have to put it all together.”

At this point in the season, good teams begin to do just that. And so the burning question remaining is, to paraphrase Denny Green, will the Pirates be who we thought they were earlier this year?

Kevin Willard quote book: DePaul

On Desi Rodriguez and his performance:
"I mean, he's been our best offensive player over the last five games, by far, and most consistent. I thought he got off to a good start, I thought he passed the ball phenomenally -- I think he started 0-for-4 or 1-for-5, or something like that -- but he was passing the ball great. He got Myles (Powell) two open shots, got a guy a layup, and so the way he was passing, I loved the way he kind of got everyone involved early, and with Des, it's only a matter of time until he gets it going."

"Again, when he's locked in defensively, he's just such a different basketball player, and he really was locked in on (Max) Strus. I thought he did a phenomenal job in the first half of really making it hard for him to get off and kind of get going, and then I thought he rebounded the ball the best he's rebounded all year."

On the win:
"It was a huge win, 7-7. Each one this time of year -- any win this time of year is a big one, and this was a big one. I was extremely happy, yes. Considering the fact that we've been on the road and we've been traveling, for the guys to give the effort that they did Friday and Saturday after the Xavier game -- we've been practicing great -- it was good to get home. We had a good shot in the first half -- I think we were up 12 in the first half -- and they had a much better final four-minute stretch than we did. But I thought we did things to win the game today instead of losing it."

On Angel Delgado's effort:
"I stopped practicing the big fella just because I really want to take care of that knee. It's fine, he feels good -- he doesn't even have to get therapy on it -- but it's one of those things in practice where I'm just worried about him bumping knees with somebody and then all of a sudden, it flares back up. I thought after really struggling on Wednesday, I thought he came out and really bounced back great."

On help defense being a point of emphasis:
"It's -- one of our weaknesses had been getting beat off the dribble -- and I thought we made a good adjustment at Xavier. (Trevon) Bluiett just killed us. And I thought tonight, when we started getting beat off the dribble again early in the first half, the guys did a much better job understanding and trying to keep guys in front of us, make them take tough twos. We wanted to chase them off the three-point line early, and I thought we did a good job of that in the first half."

On why he sat down for the majority of the game:
"I have a really bad wheel right now. My right knee is swollen like a cantaloupe, it just -- I have to exercise this year or I'll probably have a heart attack, and I won't stop -- I have to get surgery at the end of the year on it, and so -- I just -- right now, I could feel it throbbing. I was on a treadmill last July, and it stopped and started, and I tore some of my meniscus. I wasn't going to ruin my August golf season -- I was stubborn -- I thought it would go away, and it hasn't gone away, and now I'm stubborn because I need to work out this time of year to relieve stress, and it's getting worse. Once the season's over, the doctor is going to scope me and take care of it."

"I actually -- I never get to sit and talk to our guys when they come out of the game -- it's actually nice. You can have a conversation with them and it's not in the huddle, it's not -- Sha (associate head coach Shaheen Holloway) does a great job, so I'm not worried about that aspect -- but it's nice to sit down and talk to your guys in a different way while the game's going on, and I get a chance to be the guy that pumps them up a little bit. Unfortunately, it's just a bad wheel."

On Seton Hall's last four games:
"Our last four before this were really tough, too. I think we have shown in spurts, on the road -- the second half at Xavier, the second half at Georgetown -- I thought our first half tonight was really good. We've just got to put it all together. We've been struggling, and what I mean is, we've been doing things -- against Marquette, we missed a ton of free throws that just took -- every time we had momentum, we missed two free throws or missed a one-and-one that just took all our momentum away from us. At Georgetown, we missed four free throws in the last three minutes, it took all the momentum from us and we still had a chance. Xavier just played really good. I mean, friggin' Trevon Bluiett, when he plays like that, good luck."

On state of Seton Hall:
"We're not falling apart. That seems to be -- I've seen a lot of teams lose -- I go through college basketball and I see a lot of teams who have lost three out of four. It's called league play. We've lost at Villanova, we lost at Xavier, we lost at Georgetown. It's not my fault we don't have home games this time of year. We've just been on the road. You're not going to -- no one's like, perfect on the road. You've got to battle, and I love the way our guys have battled. I love our attitude. We came back after losing four in a row, we had two great days of practice, and we came out -- I thought we played pretty good today. You're not blowing anybody out on the road this time of year. It's just not happening. I mean, DePaul blew out Providence, but..."

On Delgado's energy:
"It's something that we've been -- it's something that he's been missing from his game a little bit is his enthusiasm and his energy. I think when you're hurt, that's one of the things that goes right away because you start thinking about -- you start thinking a whole lot more than just playing. I think the fact that he feels really good right now and his knee feels good, he got back to just playing basketball and playing the way he always plays. But the last two or three games -- he hurt himself in the first half of Marquette -- you start thinking about that a little bit, and when you think -- and Angel's not a thinker of a player, he's more energy, he's more emotion -- you see what you got tonight, and I think that's what you'll see going forward."

"He is our emotional leader, by far. It's not even close. He always has been, he's been since day one. Since he stepped on campus, he's been the guy that these guys feed off."

On Myles Cale:
"Myles Cale played really well in the first half, and then Desi just had it going. I wanted to slide him in there for Myles Powell, but I was hoping Myles Powell would make a shot for us and kind of get -- but Myles was passing the ball tremendous. He draws so much attention. Again, I think the freshmen have been really progressing great."

On Rodriguez's shot off an inbounds late in the second half being set up beforehand:
"We wanted -- considering the fact that Jordan (Walker) missed two free throws -- he's a freshman -- they weren't going to let Myles Powell get it. Desi's our best ball handler in that situation, so yeah, we were trying to get the ball to Desi."

On Rodriguez and his defensive effort:
"You've watched Desi now for four years. He has his Desi moments. He's 90 percent good, and I think the problem with everyone when he does have his -- what I call his moments -- is when he's playing and he's locked in, I think he's the most dominant player in the league, and there's times where he goes through a little two-minute stretch where he doesn't have it. I'm used to it, the team's used to it, and we know how to do it."

"He's a senior. I liked the way he was playing. I thought he was playing really well, and I thought he was playing extremely hard. Sometimes you've got to trust your kids, and I have great trust in Desi, and I know he's going to snap back out of it. He did within two seconds -- two minutes. Sometimes when he gets like that and you take him out, he doesn't snap out of it. You've got to let him play, and Desi, I let play."

Friday, February 16, 2018

Niagara withstands loss of Scott, picks up comeback win at Iona

James Towns came off bench to score 20 points in Niagara's come-from-behind win at Iona. (Photo by The Buffalo News)

NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Hailed for its experience and upside before the year began, Niagara has scored one breakthrough after another in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference season rife with unlikely success stories.

Friday night may have been the Purple Eagles' defining moment.

Playing without the services of MAAC Player of the Year contender Matt Scott for the final 29 minutes of regulation after the senior stat-stuffer left the game with an apparent right ankle injury, Niagara rebounded from a 12-point deficit, hustling down the stretch to outrebound and outlast Iona, defeating the Gaels inside the Hynes Athletics Center for the second straight season in an 85-84 thriller.

"Really, all I can say is it was a really courageous performance by our guys," head coach Chris Casey remarked as the Purple Eagles (18-10, 11-4 MAAC) won their fourth consecutive contest and remained in the conversation for a regular season MAAC title. "I say that not in a way where I'm surprised, because I'm really not. I've said this over and over about this group: This group is a team, and if you go back and you look at us throughout the season, there's been different guys at different times that have stepped up and made plays for us."

In that vein, James Towns was the latest to emerge as Niagara's savior, leading all scorers with 20 points off the bench in his second clutch performance of the season.

"We just had to pick him up," Towns said of stepping up in place of Scott on a night where he set a tone reminiscent of his 31-point outburst in the Purple Eagles' commanding win over Canisius on January 27. "Obviously it hurt us, but we stayed together, and that's the most important thing."

Indeed Niagara did, not once showing they were fazed by Iona (16-12, 10-6 MAAC) and their high-octane offense, which took its largest lead of the night at 49-37 inside the first minute of the second half. The visitors got to work on the boards in the final 20 minutes, beginning with Greg King's carom off an errant Kahlil Dukes three-pointer, a play that set the stage for a 10-2 Purple Eagle run. The Gaels would trade baskets with their opposition for the next few minutes thereafter, but Niagara responded with another 10-2 spurt, tying the game at 66 on a layup by Greg Kuakumensah with 9:24 remaining in regulation. Iona scored the next five points, but Niagara would not go away, ripping off seven in a row as Towns' three and layup on back-to-back possessions swung the pendulum the way of the Purple Eagles in the form of a 73-71 lead with 7:33 to play.

The Gaels fought back one more time, pulling ahead once again as E.J. Crawford's layup with 4:58 left on the clock gave the hosts a 79-78 lead. However, it was the last advantage Iona would enjoy, as Niagara regained the edge on a dunk by King eight seconds later, and held on through a frantic final minute as the Gaels attempted in vain to extend the game.

"In the second half, we came out flat," Roland Griffin lamented. "Offensive rebounds were a big problem, and they made a run. We've got to play better to get the win."

"We keep making mental mistakes," a blunt Tim Cluess elaborated. "Credit the other team. They made plays and we didn't. We had opportunities. We turned it over, we missed a two-footer, we missed foul shots. You've got to make plays if you want to win. We've been shooting the ball poorly for quite a while."

While the loss for Iona eliminates them from a top-two seed in next month's MAAC Tournament and forces the Gaels to essentially win each of their remaining games in order to achieve a ninth consecutive 20-win season, the mood in the Niagara locker room was one of confident jubilation, a feeling forged through its character and maturation.

"They're the measuring stick." Casey said of Iona and the significance of scoring a victory on the Gaels' home floor. "But in terms of what it says about our character, it says that we're a team, what I had said previously. We talk all the time about when we push a button, you've got to be ready to go and help us, because the most important thing is the team and getting a win. I'm not surprised by what we showed."

Big East Bonanza: Strength of remaining schedules, stat leaders, power rankings

Big East Bonanza returns with a special Friday edition, covering the remaining strength of schedule for each team in the Big East Conference, before reprising stat leaders and power rankings in its last two segments. Currently, Xavier and Villanova are the only schools to have clinched byes into the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament, with several other teams still in position to capitalize on momentum entering Madison Square Garden:

Xavier (12-2 Big East, currently #1 seed if regular season ended today)
Remaining schedule: Saturday, February 17 vs. Villanova (10-3 Big East, L 89-65 January 10)
Wednesday, February 21 at Georgetown (5-9 Big East, W 96-91 February 3)
Wednesday, February 28 vs. Providence (8-5 Big East, L 81-72 January 6)
Saturday, March 3 at DePaul (3-10 Big East, W 77-72 December 30)
Total Big East record of remaining opponents: 26-27 (.491)

Villanova (10-3 Big East, currently #2 seed if regular season ended today)
Remaining schedule: Saturday, February 17 at Xavier (12-2 Big East, W 89-65 January 10)
Wednesday, February 21 vs. DePaul (3-10 Big East, W 103-85 December 27)
Saturday, February 24 at Creighton (8-5 Big East, W 98-78 February 1)
Wednesday, February 28 at Seton Hall (6-7 Big East, W 92-76 February 4)
Saturday, March 3 vs. Georgetown (5-9 Big East, W 88-56 January 17)
Total Big East record of remaining opponents: 34-33 (.507)

Providence (8-5 Big East, currently #3 seed if regular season ended today)
Remaining schedule: Saturday, February 17 at Butler (7-7 Big East, W 70-60 January 15)
Wednesday, February 21 vs. Seton Hall (6-7 Big East, L 73-57 January 31)
Saturday, February 24 at Georgetown (5-9 Big East, W 73-69 February 6)
Wednesday, February 28 at Xavier (12-2 Big East, W 81-72 January 6)
Saturday, March 3 vs. St. John's (3-11 Big East, W 94-72 December 28)
Total Big East record of remaining opponents: 33-36 (.478)

Creighton (8-5 Big East, currently #4 seed if regular season ended today)
Remaining schedule: Saturday, February 17 vs. Marquette (5-8 Big East, first meeting)
Tuesday, February 20 at Butler (7-7 Big East, W 85-74 January 9)
Saturday, February 24 vs. Villanova (10-3 Big East, L 98-78 February 1)
Tuesday, February 27 vs. DePaul (3-10 Big East, W 76-75 February 7)
Saturday, March 3 at Marquette (5-8 Big East, first meeting on February 17)
Total Big East record of remaining opponents: 30-36 (.455)

Butler (7-7 Big East, currently #5 seed if regular season ended today)
Remaining schedule: Saturday, February 17 vs. Providence (8-5 Big East, L 70-60 January 15)
Tuesday, February 20 vs. Creighton (8-5 Big East, L 85-74 January 9)
Wednesday, February 28 at St. John's (3-11 Big East, W 70-45 January 27)
Saturday, March 3 at Seton Hall (6-7 Big East, L 90-87 January 6)
Total Big East record of remaining opponents: 25-28 (.472)

Seton Hall (6-7 Big East, currently #6 seed if regular season ended today)
Remaining schedule: Sunday, February 18 vs. DePaul (3-10 Big East, W 86-70 January 28)
Wednesday, February 21 at Providence (8-5 Big East, W 73-57 January 31)
Saturday, February 24 at St. John's (3-11 Big East, W 75-70 December 31)
Wednesday, February 28 vs. Villanova (10-3 Big East, L 92-76 February 4)
Saturday, March 3 vs. Butler (7-7 Big East, W 90-87 January 6)
Total Big East record of remaining opponents: 31-36 (.463)

Marquette (5-8 Big East, currently #7 seed if regular season ended today)
Remaining schedule: Saturday, February 17 at Creighton (8-5 Big East, first meeting)
Wednesday, February 21 vs. St. John's (3-11 Big East, L 86-78 February 10)
Saturday, February 24 at DePaul (3-10 Big East, W 70-52 January 15)
Monday, February 26 at Georgetown (5-9 Big East, W 74-65 December 30)
Saturday, March 3 vs. Creighton (8-5 Big East, first meeting on February 17)
Total Big East record of remaining opponents: 27-40 (.403)

Georgetown (5-9 Big East, currently #8 seed if regular season ended today)
Remaining schedule: Wednesday, February 21 vs. Xavier (12-2 Big East, L 96-91 February 3)
Saturday, February 24 vs. Providence (8-5 Big East, L 73-69 February 6)
Monday, February 26 vs. Marquette (5-8 Big East, L 74-65 December 30)
Saturday, March 3 at Villanova (10-3 Big East, L 88-56 January 17)
Total Big East record of remaining opponents: 35-18 (.660)

DePaul (3-10 Big East, currently #9 seed if regular season ended today)
Remaining schedule: Sunday, February 18 at Seton Hall (6-7 Big East, L 86-70 January 28)
Wednesday, February 21 at Villanova (10-3 Big East, L 103-85 December 27)
Tuesday, February 27 at Creighton (3-10 Big East, L 76-75 February 7)
Saturday, March 3 vs. Xavier (12-2 Big East, L 77-72 December 30)
Total Big East record of remaining opponents: 31-22 (.585)

St. John's (3-11 Big East, currently #10 seed if regular season ended today)
Remaining schedule: Wednesday, February 21 at Marquette (5-8 Big East, W 86-78 February 10)
Saturday, February 24 vs. Seton Hall (6-7 Big East, L 75-70 December 31)
Wednesday, February 28 vs. Butler (7-7 Big East, L 70-45 January 27)
Saturday, March 3 at Providence (8-5 Big East, L 94-72 December 28)
Total Big East record of remaining opponents: 26-27 (.491)

Strengths of remaining schedules, from lowest to highest:
1) Marquette (.403)
2) Creighton (.455)
3) Seton Hall (.463)
4) Butler (.472)
5) Providence (.478)
T-6) St. John's (.491)
T-6) Xavier (.491)
8) Villanova (.507)
9) DePaul (.585)
10) Georgetown (.660)

Scoring Leaders
1) Markus Howard, Marquette (21.9 PPG)
2) Shamorie Ponds, St. John's (21.6)

3) Kelan Martin, Butler (20.7)
4) Marcus Foster, Creighton (20.3)
5) Jalen Brunson, Villanova (19.8)
6) Trevon Bluiett, Xavier (19.6)
7) Andrew Rowsey, Marquette (19.4)
8) Desi Rodriguez, Seton Hall (17.9)
9) Max Strus, DePaul (16.9)
10) Jessie Govan, Georgetown (16.7)

Rebounding Leaders
1) Angel Delgado, Seton Hall (11.5 RPG)
2) Jessie Govan, Georgetown (10.0)
3) Marcus Derrickson, Georgetown (8.1)
4) Omari Spellman, Villanova (7.7)
5) Justin Simon, St. John's (7.3)
6) Ronnie Harrell, Jr., Creighton (6.5)
7) Marin Maric, DePaul (6.5)
8) Alpha Diallo, Providence (6.4)
9) Kelan Martin, Butler (6.4)
10) Tre'Darius McCallum, DePaul (6.3)

Assist Leaders
1) Kyron Cartwright, Providence (6.0 APG)
2) Justin Simon, St. John's (5.0)

3) Quentin Goodin, Xavier (5.0)
4) Shamorie Ponds, St. John's (4.8)
5) Jalen Brunson, Villanova (4.7)
6) Khadeen Carrington, Seton Hall (4.5)
7) Eli Cain, DePaul (4.5)
8) Andrew Rowsey, Marquette (4.2)
9) Aaron Thompson, Butler (3.5)
10) Jonathan Mulmore, Georgetown (3.5)

Field Goal Percentage Leaders
1) Tyler Wideman, Butler (.695)
2) Tyrique Jones, Xavier (.664)
3) Kerem Kanter, Xavier (.561)
4) Kaleb Johnson, Georgetown (.556)
5) Jalen Brunson, Villanova (.542)
6) Marin Maric, DePaul (.539)
7) Tariq Owens, St. John's (.525)
8) Toby Hegner, Creighton (.523)
9) Marcus Derrickson, Georgetown (.520)
10) Khyri Thomas, Creighton (.519)

Free Throw Percentage Leaders
1) Markus Howard, Marquette (.935)
2) Andrew Rowsey, Marquette (.903)
3) Kelan Martin, Butler (.879)
4) Marin Maric, DePaul (.876)
5) Marcus Derrickson, Georgetown (.857)
6) Eric Paschall, Villanova (.852)
7) Shamorie Ponds, St. John's (.842)
8) Mikal Bridges, Villanova (.837)
9) Trevon Bluiett, Xavier (.836)
10) J.P. Macura, Xavier (.830)

Three-Point Field Goal Percentage Leaders
1) Sam Hauser, Marquette (.493)
2) Jalen Lindsey, Providence (.460)
3) Marcus Derrickson, Georgetown (.457)
4) Sean McDermott, Butler (.455)
5) Marcus Foster, Creighton (.449)
6) Trevon Bluiett, Xavier (.443)
7) Omari Spellman, Villanova (.440)
8) Jalen Brunson, Villanova (.438)
9) Phil Booth, Villanova (.430)
10) Marvin Clark II, St. John's (.423)
11) Myles Powell, Seton Hall (.419)

Steal Leaders
1) Shamorie Ponds, St. John's (2.5 SPG)
2) Justin Simon, St. John's (2.4)
3) Kamar Baldwin, Butler (1.7)
4) Mikal Bridges, Villanova (1.6)
5) Khyri Thomas, Creighton (1.5)

Blocked Shot Leaders
1) Tariq Owens, St. John's (3.1 BPG)
2) Omari Spellman, Villanova (1.5)
3) Jessie Govan, Georgetown (1.2)
4) Mikal Bridges, Villanova (1.2)
5) Ismael Sanogo, Seton Hall (1.0)

Power Rankings
1) Xavier (24-3, 12-2 Big East)
Last Week: 2
Last Game: Wednesday 2/14 vs. Seton Hall (W 102-90)
Next Game: Saturday 2/17 vs. Villanova, 4:30 p.m.

2) Villanova (23-3, 10-3 Big East)
Last Week: 1
Last Game: Wednesday 2/14 at Providence (L 76-71)
Next Game: Saturday 2/17 at Xavier, 4:30 p.m.

3) Providence (17-9, 8-5 Big East)
Last Week:
 5

Last Game: Wednesday 2/14 vs. Villanova (W 76-71)
Next Game: Saturday 2/17 at Butler, 12 p.m.

4) Creighton (19-7, 8-5 Big East)
Last Week: 3
Last Game: Tuesday 2/13 vs. Bemidji State (W 94-46)
Next Game: Saturday 2/17 vs. Marquette, 9 p.m. (10 p.m. ET)

5) Butler (17-10, 7-7 Big East)
Last Week: 6
Last Game: Tuesday 2/13 vs. Georgetown (L 87-83)
Next Game: Saturday 2/17 vs. Providence, 12 p.m.

6) Georgetown (15-10, 5-9 Big East)
Last Week: 8
Last Game: Tuesday 2/13 at Butler (W 87-83)
Next Game: Wednesday 2/21 vs. Xavier, 6:30 p.m.

7) St. John's (14-13, 3-11 Big East)
Last Week:
 10

Last Game: Wednesday 2/14 at DePaul (W 77-76)
Next Game: Wednesday 2/21 at Marquette, 8:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. CT)

8) Seton Hall (17-9, 6-7 Big East)
Last Week: 4
Last Game: Wednesday 2/14 at Xavier (L 102-90)
Next Game: Sunday 2/18 vs. DePaul, 1 p.m. (12 p.m. CT)

9) Marquette (14-11, 5-8 Big East)
Last Week: 7
Last Game: Saturday 2/10 at St. John's (L 86-78)
Next Game: Saturday 2/17 at Creighton, 9 p.m. (10 p.m. ET)

10) DePaul (10-15, 3-10 Big East)
Last Week:
 9

Last Game: Wednesday 2/14 vs. St. John's (L 77-76)
Next Game: Sunday 2/18 at Seton Hall, 12 p.m. (1 p.m. ET)

Thursday, February 15, 2018

St. John's wins fourth straight as Ponds has another big performance

By Jason Schott (@JESchott19)

St. John's kept their hot streak going Wednesday night, earning their fourth straight win with a 77-76 victory over DePaul, a measure of payback for the Red Storm after losing to the Blue Demons, 91-74, on January 6 at Carnesecca Arena.

The Red Storm is now 14-13 overall and 3-11 in the Big East. They are now just a half-game back of DePaul (3-10) for ninth in the conference, two games behind Georgetown (5-9) for eighth, 2-1/2 behind Marquette (5-8) for seventh, and 3-1/2 behind Seton Hall (6-7) for sixth. If St. John's keeps this going, they can potentially finish sixth or higher, and therefore avoid having to play in the opening night of the Big East Tournament on Wednesday, March 7. Teams playing that night would have to win four straight to win the tournament.

Shamorie Ponds kept his incredible run going, as he led the way with 26 points on 10-of-18  shooting from the field, including 4-for-8 on three-pointers, with five rebounds, two steals, and an assist. The sophomore has now scored 160 points, an average of 32 per game, over the past five games. He has played 40 minutes in each of those games.

Ponds said of what he chalks his success up to, “I’m just trying to find my rhythm. The team lost 11 straight and we are just trying to get it all back together. We’ve won four straight and we are going to try and keep it going.”

The incredible run began with 31 points in a loss on January 30 against Xavier, followed by 33 in an upset win against then-No. 4 Duke on February 3, then 26 in a win over then-No. 1 Villanova on February 7, and a Carnesecca Arena record 44 points this past Saturday in a win against Marquette.

Ponds said of what changed after the Butler loss, “Each and every game I just try and go out there and do whatever Coach [Mullin] needs me to do to get the W. I just spend overtime in the gym working on my game and it’s paying off.”

On if Ponds feels like he’s in a zone, he said, “I feel like I was always capable of this, but I was never performing up to par. I was always confident in my game, so it’s nothing new to me.”

Marvin Clark II had a big night as well, as he scored 19 of his career-high 24 points in the second half. Clark shot 8-for-15 overall and 5-of-9 from three-point range for the game, and was 6-of-8 from the field and 4-for-5 on threes in the second half. Coming into the night, Clark’s 19 second-half points would have been just one off his career-high for an entire game. He also had five rebounds, a pair of steals, and an assist.

Wednesday's win marked the first time that St. John’s had two players with 20 or more in the same game this season. It's the first time it occurred since a road victory at Providence on January 25, 2017, when Marcus LoVett scored 26 while Ponds added 22. For the third-straight game, Justin Simon finished with 16 points for the Red Storm. He shot 6-of-11 overall and was 2-for-2 from behind the arc. Despite early foul trouble that limited him to just 29 minutes, Simon also managed to add three rebounds and three assists.

The Red Storm has now won four straight in February for the first time since the 2013-14 season, when the Johnnies rattled off six-straight wins to start the month. They made the NIT that season.

As a team, St. John’s shot 12-of-24 from three-point range, matching a season-high for threes made set in their season opener against New Orleans. Clark, Ponds and Simon combined to make 11 of their 19 attempts from long range on the night. The Red Storm shot 48.3 percent, or 28-58, overall, while shooting 14-29 in each half. Their defense keeps stepping up, as they held DePaul to just 43.9 percent, or 29-66, from the field; and won the turnover battle, 15-9, converting those 15 DePaul miscues into 21 points. That made up for DePaul’s 45-25 advantage on rebounds, which included a 16-2 advantage in offensive boards.

Trailing by four with just under three minutes to play, St. John’s scored 10 of the game’s next 12 points to open up a four-point lead that DePaul proved unable to overcome. The Johnnies held DePaul scoreless for 2:40 in the closing minutes of the game, allowing for the Red Storm to make its final push.

The last time St. John's faced DePaul, their duo of Marin Maric and Max Strus was too much for them. Maric had 25 and Strus 22 in the Blue Demons' January 6 win. On Wednesday, Maric was held to 15 points on 6-of-10 from the field, with nine rebounds and an assist. Strus had 14 points on 4-for-13 from the field, including 4-for-10 on threes, with eight rebounds and three assists. Eli Cain led DePaul with 6-12 shooting, including 3-6 on threes, with 11 assists to give him a double-double.

St. John's gets a week off next before hitting the road to face Marquette on Wednesday. The Red Storm returns to Madison Square Garden on Saturday, February 24, welcoming Seton Hall in a noon tipoff.

Atlantic 10 Tempo Thursday: February 15, 2018

By Ray Floriani (@rfloriani)

Send the regular season trophy to Kingston, Rhode Island. 


The only drama now is whether the Rams can run the Atlantic 10 table. The Rams have won 16 straight, with their last loss coming against Alabama on December 6. Beyond that, there is a good race for the remaining top-four spots and a double-bye when the tournament convenes in our nation’s capital. Davidson and St. Bonaventure appear to be in good standing, with VCU, Saint Louis and Richmond also close.

Records and Efficiency Margins (courtesy of KenPom)
1) Rhode Island (13-0, +20)
2) Davidson (8-4, +10)
3) St. Bonaventure (9-4, +9)
4) Saint Joseph’s (5-7, +2)
5) Saint Louis (7-6, +2)
6) Richmond (7-6, +1)
7) VCU (7-5, +1)
8) Dayton (5-7, 0)
9) Duquesne (6-7, -1)
10) La Salle (4-9, -4)
11) George Mason (5-7, -7)
12) UMass (4-8, -11)
13) Fordham (4-8, -14)
14) George Washington (3-9, -16)

Offensive Efficiency Leaders
1) Davidson (117)
2) Rhode Island (114)
3) St. Bonaventure (113)
4) Dayton (112)
5) Richmond (105)
6) Duquesne (105)

Defensive Efficiency Leaders
1) Rhode Island (94)
2) Davidson (97)
3) Saint Louis (100)
4) Saint Joseph’s (100)
5) Richmond (103)

Tempo Leaders
1) Saint Joseph’s (72 possessions per game)
2) VCU (71)
3) St. Bonaventure (71)
4) La Salle (71)
5) George Mason (70)

Slowest Tempo
1) Davidson (63 possessions per game)
2) Saint Louis (65)
3) Duquesne (65)
4) UMass (66)
5) Fordham (66)


Since the early weeks, there hasn’t been a great deal of change in uptempo or deliberate teams. Win or lose, this is what the coaches are committed to, and how they want their systems to work from a pace prospective. Case in point: Duquesne. Despite having their problems of late, Keith Dambrot has stayed the course with a deliberate tempo. Again, drastic alterations in pace are not what a coach looks for to correct what ails his team.

Turnover Rate Leaders
1) Saint Joseph’s (14 percent)
2) St. Bonaventure (16)
3) Rhode Island (16)
4) Davidson (16)
5) Richmond (16)

Only two teams are at 20 percent, VCU and Fordham. By and large, conference teams are caring for the ball and it shouldn’t be a surprise that four of the top five in the group sport winning records, the lone exception being Saint Joseph’s, decimated by injuries and a few tough setbacks along the way. On the defensive side. only one team; Rhode Island, is forcing the opposition into a rate over 20 percent, as Dan Hurley's Rams cause takeaways at a 23 percent clip.

A Closer Look at Jaylen Adams
It is not as if Travis Ford overlooked the St. Bonaventure standout before watching him score 44 points at Saint Louis' expense. The Olean Times Herald reported the Billikens' head coach spent almost all of his defensive preparation discussing Adams and being aware of his presence at all times. However, the Bonnies defeated the Billikens at home last Wednesday, 79-56, as Adams’ 44 followed up a 40-point game in a win at Duquesne a few days earlier:

44 points in 39 minutes, 14-for-18 FG (10-for-13 3-pt FG), 6-for-8 FT, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 2 turnovers

In NBA efficiency, Adams checked in at 49. On a per-minute basis, that equaled 1.26. In the Manley system, a per-minute rating of over 1.00 is outstanding. KenPom’s offensive rating tabbed Adams’ performance as a 178 efficiency. By comparison, the national leader is Saint Mary’s forward Jock Landale, at 127.7.

Percentage of Team Shots Attempted (minimum 40 percent of team's minutes)
1) Luwane Pipkins, UMass (33 percent)
2) B.J. Johnson, La Salle (33)
3) Grant Golden, Richmond (31)
4) Peyton Aldridge, Davidson (30)
5) Justin Tillman, VCU (29)
6) Pookie Powell, La Salle (28)
7) Will Tavares, Fordham (27)
8) Shavar Newkirk, Saint Joseph’s (27)
9) James Demery, Saint Joseph’s (26)
10) E.C. Matthews, Rhode Island (26)

Neither Matt Mobley nor Jaylen Adams of St. Bonaventure's high-powered backcourt is among the leaders. Mobley is 21st at 35 percent and Adams 25th, checking in with 24 percent of the Bonnies’ attempts. Pipkins, especially with Rashaan Holloway gone, and Johnson have been entrusted to carry a good portion of the load for their respective programs. Newkirk and Demery are a duo exceeding the numbers of Mobley and Adams by four percentage points, 53 to 49. As noted, injuries on Hawk Hill have necessitated the pair to be relied on for a good portion of Phil Martelli’s offense.

Upcoming Games of Note
Friday, February 16: Rhode Island at St. Bonaventure 
This very well could be the final hurdle in the Rams' hopes of finishing the A-10 season unblemished. Of greater significance is the Bonnies' seven-game win streak and renewed confidence inside a packed and fired-up Reilly Center.

Saturday, February 17: Duquesne at Saint Joseph’s
The Dukes have dropped five of six and desperately need a win. Getting one here could help get them back on track to finish strong in conference play.

VCU at George Washington 
It is tough to win on the road, but in this case, the visiting Rams get a great opportunity to pick up a win, as the Colonials are struggling and now at the bottom in conference efficiency margin.

Tuesday, February 20: Saint Louis at Dayton
The Flyers will look to avenge a January loss to the Billikens in the latest renewal of the Arch-Baron Cup.

KenPom's All-A-10 Team
Peyton Aldridge, Davidson
Jared Terrell, Rhode Island
Jon Axel Gudmundsson, Davidson
Justin Tillman, VCU
Jaylen Adams, St. Bonaventure

A-10 Trends
Offensive efficiency: 105
Tempo: 68 possessions per game
Home winning percentage: 69 percent
Close games: 29 percent
Blowouts: 20 percent

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Ponds named Big East and National Player of the Week

Shamorie Ponds added to his accolades Monday, capturing Big East Player of the Week honors for a second week in a row on top of national billing from Andy Katz. (Photo by Vincent Dusovic/St. John's University Athletics)

By Jason Schott (@JESchott19)

Much like his success on the court, the honors have not stopped for Shamorie Ponds.

The St. John's sophomore had another incredible week, following up his take-charge performance in the Red Storm's upset of then-No. 1-ranked Villanova with a career-high 44 points in Saturday's win over Marquette; and as a result, was honored as Big East Player of the Week for the second week in a row. As an added bonus, he was also named national player of the week by Andy Katz, who selects the award in his column on NCAA.com.

The Brooklyn native began the week with 26 points in Wednesday's 79-75 victory over the Wildcats, the first for St. John's over the top-ranked team in the nation since January 26, 1985; when Ponds' coach, Chris Mullin, was a senior for the then-Redmen and scored 20 points to defeat Georgetown. The win at Villanova ended a 54-game winning streak at home against unranked opponents.

In Saturday's 86-78 triumph over Marquette, Ponds' 44 points set a Carnesecca Arena single-game scoring record, breaking the prior mark of 43 held by the late great Malik Sealy against Central Connecticut on November 24, 1990, in a game that saw St. John's score a school-record 135 points. Ponds' output was the fourth-highest scoring total in a single game in program history, and first 40-point game since Marcus Hatten also registered 44 points against Rutgers on March 6, 2003. Ponds shot 16-for-23 from the floor against the Golden Eagles and 4-for-7 from three-point range, scoring 27 points in the second half; including 13 straight, on 9-of-12 shooting after halftime to help the Red Storm pull away for the win.

Over St. John's past four games, a stretch that has produced a 3-1 record with back-to-back wins against Top 5 teams for the first time in school history and games against three teams ranked among the top six in national polls, Ponds has scored 134 points, accounting for over 42 percent of the team's offense in the process. On the season, his 21.4 points per game rank second in the Big East, trailing only Marquette's Markus Howard.

Monday, February 12, 2018

MAAC Monday: Strength of remaining schedules, stat leaders, power rankings

MAAC Monday returns today in is third-to-last edition of the 2017-18 season by highlighting strength of schedule for each team in its opening segment as the jockeying for position in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference standings continues, before once again transitioning into stat leaders and power rankings. Currently, only Rider and Canisius have clinched first-round byes, while Iona and Niagara can join the club with their next wins:

Rider (12-2 MAAC, currently #1 seed if regular season ended today)
Remaining schedule: Thursday, February 15 vs. Siena (3-10 MAAC, first meeting)
Sunday, February 18 vs. Canisius (11-2 MAAC, L 77-76 December 29)
Thursday, February 22 at Monmouth (4-9 MAAC, W 92-85 January 29)
Sunday, February 25 vs. Iona (10-4 MAAC, L 91-64 January 14)
Total MAAC record of remaining opponents: 28-25 (.528)

Canisius (11-2 MAAC, currently #2 seed if regular season ended today)
Remaining schedule: Monday, February 12 vs. Fairfield (5-8 MAAC, first meeting)
Friday, February 16 at Monmouth (4-9 MAAC, W 94-79 January 14)
Sunday, February 18 at Rider (12-2 MAAC, W 77-76 December 29)
Wednesday, February 21 at Niagara (10-4 MAAC, L 105-89 January 27)
Sunday, February 25 vs. Marist (3-11 MAAC, W 73-67 February 2)
Total MAAC record of remaining opponents: 34-34 (.500)

Iona (10-4 MAAC, currently #3 seed if regular season ended today)
Remaining schedule: Monday, February 12 at Siena (3-10 MAAC, W 71-69 January 11)
Friday, February 16 vs. Niagara (10-4 MAAC, W 98-93 December 29)
Friday, February 23 vs. Manhattan (7-7 MAAC, W 78-65 January 27)
Sunday, February 25 at Rider (12-2 MAAC, W 91-64 January 14)
Total MAAC record of remaining opponents: 32-23 (.582)

Niagara (10-4 MAAC, currently #4 seed if regular season ended today)
Remaining schedule: Friday, February 16 at Iona (10-4 MAAC, L 98-93 December 29)
Sunday, February 18 at Manhattan (7-7 MAAC, W 72-63 January 24)
Wednesday, February 21 vs. Canisius (11-2 MAAC, W 105-89 January 27)
Friday, February 23 vs. Marist (3-11 MAAC, W 86-70 January 7)
Total MAAC record of remaining opponents: 31-24 (.564)

Manhattan (7-7 MAAC, currently #5 seed if regular season ended today)
Remaining schedule: Thursday, February 15 at Quinnipiac (6-8 MAAC, first meeting)
Sunday, February 18 vs. Niagara (10-4 MAAC, L 72-63 January 24)
Friday, February 23 at Iona (10-4 MAAC, L 78-65 January 27)
Sunday, February 25 vs. Quinnipiac (6-8 MAAC, first meeting on February 15)
Total MAAC record of remaining opponents: 32-24 (.571)

Quinnipiac (6-8 MAAC, currently #6 seed if regular season ended today)
Remaining schedule: Thursday, February 15 vs. Manhattan (7-7 MAAC, first meeting)
Saturday, February 17 at Fairfield (5-8 MAAC, W 75-70 January 27)
Friday, February 23 vs. Saint Peter's (4-10 MAAC, L 84-58 January 7)
Sunday, February 25 at Manhattan (7-7 MAAC, first meeting on February 15)
Total MAAC record of remaining opponents: 23-32 (.418)

Fairfield (5-8 MAAC, currently #7 seed if regular season ended today)
Remaining schedule: Monday, February 12 at Canisius (11-2 MAAC, first meeting)
Thursday, February 15 vs. Marist (3-11 MAAC, L 95-89 January 13)
Saturday, February 17 vs. Quinnipiac (6-8 MAAC, L 75-70 January 27)
Wednesday, February 21 at Siena (3-10 MAAC, W 78-65 February 5)
Saturday, February 24 vs. Monmouth (4-9 MAAC, W 79-78 February 2)
Total MAAC record of remaining opponents: 27-40 (.403)

Monmouth (4-9 MAAC, currently #8 seed if season ended today)
Remaining schedule: Tuesday, February 13 vs. Saint Peter's (4-10 MAAC, L 77-64 December 31)
Friday, February 16 vs. Canisius (11-2 MAAC, L 94-79 January 14)
Sunday, February 18 at Siena (3-10 MAAC, W 67-56 January 25)
Thursday, February 22 vs. Rider (12-2 MAAC, L 92-85 January 29)
Saturday, February 24 at Fairfield (5-8 MAAC, L 79-78 February 2)

Total MAAC record of remaining opponents: 35-32 (.522)

Saint Peter's (4-10 MAAC, currently #9 seed if season ended today)
Remaining schedule: Tuesday, February 13 at Monmouth (4-9 MAAC, W 77-64 December 31)
Saturday, February 17 at Marist (3-11 MAAC, W 70-66 February 8)
Friday, February 23 at Quinnipiac (6-8 MAAC, W 84-58 January 7)
Sunday, February 25 vs. Siena (3-10 MAAC, L 59-57 January 29)
Total MAAC record of remaining opponents: 16-38 (.296)

Siena (3-10 MAAC, currently #10 seed if season ended today)
Remaining schedule: Monday, February 12 vs. Iona (10-4 MAAC, L 71-69 January 11)
Thursday, February 15 at Rider (12-2 MAAC, first meeting)
Sunday, February 18 vs. Monmouth (4-9 MAAC, L 67-56 January 25)
Wednesday, February 21 vs. Fairfield (3-10 MAAC, L 78-65 February 5)
Sunday, February 25 at Saint Peter's (4-10 MAAC, W 59-57 January 29)
Total MAAC record of remaining opponents: 33-35 (.485)

Marist (3-11 MAAC, currently #11 seed if season ended today)
Remaining schedule: Thursday, February 15 at Fairfield (5-8 MAAC, W 95-89 January 13)
Saturday, February 17 vs. Saint Peter's (4-10 MAAC, L 70-66 February 8)
Friday, February 23 at Niagara (10-4 MAAC, L 86-70 January 7)
Sunday, February 25 at Canisius (11-2 MAAC, L 73-67 February 2)
Total MAAC record of remaining opponents: 30-24 (.556)

Strengths of remaining schedules, from lowest to highest:
1) Saint Peter's (.296)
2) Fairfield (.403)
3) Quinnipiac (.418)
4) Siena (.485)
5) Canisius (.500)
6) Monmouth (.522)
7) Rider (.528)
8) Marist (.556)
9) Niagara (.564)
10) Manhattan (.571)
11) Iona (.582)

Scoring Leaders
1) Tyler Nelson, Fairfield (21.6 PPG)
2) Kahlil Dukes, Niagara (21.1)
3) Matt Scott, Niagara (19.9)
4) Cameron Young, Quinnipiac (18.1)
5) Brian Parker, Marist (17.6)
6) Jermaine Crumpton, Canisius (16.8)
7) Isaiah Reese, Canisius (16.3)
8) Dimencio Vaughn, Rider (15.3)
9) Rickey McGill, Iona (13.7)
10) Rich Williams, Manhattan (13.5)

Rebounding Leaders
1) Marvin Prochet, Niagara (7.7 RPG)
2) Matt Scott, Niagara (7.6 RPG)
3) TK Edogi, Iona (7.3)
4) Frederick Scott, Rider (7.2)
5) Pauly Paulicap, Manhattan (6.5)
6) Dimencio Vaughn, Rider (6.5)
7) Zane Waterman, Manhattan (6.5)
8) Tyere Marshall, Rider (6.3)
9) Cameron Young, Quinnipiac (6.2)
10) Austin Tilghman, Monmouth (6.1)

Assist Leaders
1) Stevie Jordan, Rider (6.0 APG)
2) Rickey McGill, Iona (5.6)
3) Austin Tilghman, Monmouth (5.5)
4) Rich Kelly, Quinnipiac (5.0)
5) Isaiah Reese, Canisius (4.9)
6) Malik Johnson, Canisius (4.6)
7) Zavier Turner, Manhattan (3.8)
8) Tyler Nelson, Fairfield (3.4)
9) Kahlil Dukes, Niagara (3.4)
10) Brian Parker, Marist (3.3)

Field Goal Percentage Leaders
1) Pauly Paulicap, Manhattan (.574)
2) TK Edogi, Iona (.569)
3) Roland Griffin, Iona (.531)
4) Chaise Daniels (.531)
5) Frederick Scott, Rider (.502)
6) Tyere Marshall, Rider (.502)
7) Dimencio Vaughn, Rider (.502)
8) Prince Oduro, Siena (.482)
9) E.J. Crawford, Iona (.479)
10) Brian Parker, Marist (.478)

Free Throw Percentage Leaders
1) Kahlil Dukes, Niagara (.919)
2) Isaiah Reese, Canisius (.894)
3) Tyler Nelson, Fairfield (.881)
4) Roman Penn, Siena (.833)
5) Zavier Turner, Manhattan (.829)
6) Jermaine Crumpton, Canisius (.809)
7) James Towns, Niagara (.800)
8) Rick Kelly, Quinnipiac (.786)
9) Dimencio Vaughn, Rider (.784)
10) Austin Tilghman, Monmouth (.783)

Three-Point Field Goal Percentage Leaders
1) Louie Pillari, Monmouth (.470)
2) Jacob Rigoni, Quinnipiac (.462)
3) Schadrac Casimir, Iona (.460)
4) Kahlil Dukes, Niagara (.438)
5) Khalil Richard, Siena (.436)
6) Zavier Turner, Manhattan (.435)
7) Rich Williams, Manhattan (.430)
8) Spencer Foley, Canisius (.429)
9) Deyshonee Much, Iona (.417)
10) Jan Svandrlik, Iona (.415)

Steal Leaders
1) Isaiah Reese, Canisius (2.3 SPG)
2) Stevie Jordan, Rider (1.7)

3) Dimencio Vaughn, Rider (1.7)
4) Elijah Gonzales, Saint Peter's (1.6)
5) Jesus Cruz, Fairfield (1.5)

Blocked Shot Leaders
1) Pauly Paulicap, Manhattan (2.6 BPG)
2) Dominic Robb, Niagara (1.4)

3) TK Edogi, Iona (1.1)
4) Marvin Prochet, Niagara (1.1)
5) Chaise Daniels, Quinnipiac (1.0)

Power Rankings
1) Rider (19-7, 12-2 MAAC)
Last Week:
 1

Last Game: Saturday 2/10 at Marist (W 89-79)
Next Game: Thursday 2/15 vs. Siena, 7 p.m.

2) Canisius (17-9, 11-2 MAAC)
Last Week:
 2

Last Game: Saturday 2/10 vs. Quinnipiac (W 71-64)
Next Game: Monday 2/12 vs. Fairfield, 7 p.m.

3) Niagara (17-10, 10-4 MAAC)
Last Week:
 4

Last Game: Saturday 2/10 vs. Fairfield (W 95-83)
Next Game: Friday 2/16 at Iona, 7 p.m.

4) Iona (16-10, 10-4 MAAC)
Last Week:
 3

Last Game: Saturday 2/10 at Saint Peter's (W 86-77)
Next Game: Monday 2/12 at Siena, 7 p.m.

5) Manhattan (12-14, 7-7 MAAC)
Last Week:
 6

Last Game: Saturday 2/10 vs. Monmouth (W 93-76)
Next Game: Thursday 2/15 at Quinnipiac, 7 p.m.

6) Fairfield (10-14, 5-8 MAAC)
Last Week:
 7

Last Game: Saturday 2/10 at Niagara (L 95-83)
Next Game: Monday 2/12 at Canisius, 7 p.m.

7) Quinnipiac (9-17, 6-8 MAAC)
Last Week: 5
Last Game: Saturday 2/10 at Canisius (L 71-64)
Next Game: Thursday 2/15 vs. Manhattan, 7 p.m.

8) Monmouth (8-17, 4-9 MAAC)
Last Week:
 9

Last Game: Saturday 2/10 at Manhattan (L 93-76)
Next Game: Tuesday 2/13 vs. Saint Peter's, 7 p.m.

9) Saint Peter's (10-15, 4-10 MAAC)
Last Week: 8
Last Game: Saturday 2/10 vs. Iona (L 86-77)
Next Game: Tuesday 2/13 at Monmouth, 7 p.m.

10) Marist (5-21, 3-11 MAAC)
Last Week:
 10

Last Game: Saturday 2/10 vs. Rider (L 89-79)
Next Game: Thursday 2/15 at Fairfield, 7 p.m.

11) Siena (7-19, 3-10 MAAC)
Last Week:
 11

Last Game: Thursday 2/8 at Canisius (L 89-65)
Next Game: Monday 2/12 vs. Iona, 7 p.m.