Can We Get the MAAC Final Switched to the Garden, and Shift Knicks-Sixers to Springfield?

022814Iona03BKA week from tonight it is entirely possible that two New York-area teams involved in a bitter rivalry will play an exciting game with an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament on the line.

And if that Iona-Manhattan game happens in the MAAC Conference championship, it will take place in Springfield, Mass., some 140 miles from the Big Apple.

That same night, another New York-based team will play a fellow bottom-feeder under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden. To read more of this story, click here

After Win Over Iona, Masiello Says MAAC Is Not a One-Bid League

ManhattanBy JADEN DALY

Special to ZAGSBLOG

NEW YORK — Who says the MAAC is a one-bid league?

Manhattan coach Steve Masiello isn’t buying it.

“For people to say ‘Well, it’s a one-bid league,’ why is it a one-bid league?” Masiello asked after his Jaspers beat regular-season conference champion Iona, 80-77 in overtime, in front of a sellout crowd at Draddy Gymnasium.

“You mean to tell me Iona, Manhattan, Quinnipiac and Canisius aren’t going to give a 5 seed or a 4 seed a heck of a night? These four teams, if you put them in a 13/4 game, that 4 team’s in trouble. You put them in a 5/12, I’m not saying we’ll win, but you’ll hear, ‘Oh my God, we drew Iona? We drew Quinnipiac?’ That’s not who you want to play.” To read more of this story, click here

Laury, Poole Lead Iona Over Manhattan

By JADEN DALY

Special to ZAGSBLOG

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — Playing archrival Manhattan for the first time since defeating them for the MAAC championship last March, Iona fed off a sellout home crowd to take the first meeting of the season between the two teams considered conference favorites, with five Gaels in double figures en route to an 85-73 win at the Hynes Center.

“What a crowd! What an environment for a college game,” Iona coach Tim Cluess exclaimed after the Gaels won their second straight against Manhattan, and fourth in a row this season. “It’s great for all players, and that’s what Iona-Manhattan is all about.”

Iona was led by David Laury’s 21 points and eight rebounds off the bench, as well as a career-high 19 from Rutgers transfer Mike Poole, but the mood and overall legacy of the rivalry was best described by someone who has spent four years watching it evolve into one of the best in the New York area. To read more of this story, click here

Former Rutgers Wing Mike Poole Thriving at Iona

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — While Mike Poole was helping his new team win in a rout on Saturday afternoon, his old team was getting beaten by an unlikely opponent.

Yes, Poole appears to have escaped Rutgers in the nick of time and now he’s looking for a positive ending to his college career at Iona.

“It’s great,” the 6-foot-5 Rosedale, N.Y., native told SNY.tv after putting up 10 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists as Iona crushed George Mason, 89-73. To read more of this story, click here

Coming Off Kansas Loss, Iona’s Armand Drops 30 on George Mason

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — Ever since losing by 20 points to Andrew Wiggins and Kansas on Tuesday, Sean Armand wanted to get back on the basketball court.

The 6-foot-5 Iona guard was unhappy with his — and the team’s performance — in Lawrence and wanted to get back on the winning track.

Armand did that by dropping 30 points — 2 shy of his career-high — as Iona smacked George Mason, 89-73, Saturday afternoon at the Hynes Center in a game that was not as close as that score indicates.

“It motivated me a bunch,” the Brooklyn native said of Tuesday’s 86-66 loss at No. 2 Kansas.

“Kansas fans got a lot to say and everybody doubts our team but we got a lot to prove. We got a chip on our shoulder day in and day out in practice, in warm-ups and the game and we come out and fight every day.” To read more of this story, click here

Iona’s Armand: ‘I’m expecting to beat Kansas’

Iona senior guard Sean Armand isn’t shy about expressing his plans for the Gaels’ Tuesday night tilt at No. 2 Kansas.

“Yes, I’m going into the game expecting to win, just like every other game we play,” the Brooklyn native told SNY.tv Monday.

You might wonder how Iona, a two-time NCAA Tournament qualifier out of the MAAC, came to play Kansas, a perennial Final Four contender featuring the projected No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft in Andrew Wiggins.

The answer is that Iona President Dr. Joseph E. Nyre is an alumnus of Kansas who did his graduate work there. To read more of this story, click here

Iona’s Poole Gets Waiver to Play Immediately

Iona’s Mike Poole has received an NCAA “legislative relief” waiver to play immediately this season upon transferring from Rutgers.

“I am really excited to have a student-athlete of Mike’s caliber join us this season,” Iona coach Tim Cluess told SNY.tv.

“His leadership and toughness in summer workouts have been tremendous and he will be an integral part of our program.”

It remains unclear if Pittsburgh’s Derrick Randall and Florida’s Eli Carter will also get waivers after transferring in the wake of the MIke Rice scandal, but both are expected to receive them. To read more of this story, click here