Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season. We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order. We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.
After falling just short in the MAAC Tournament title game and nearly stealing the conference’s automatic bid into the Big Dance, the Manhattan Jaspers are poised to make a major leap this season.
Last Season: T-6th, 9-9 in MAAC, 14-18 overall
Predicted MAAC Finish: 1st
Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Rhamel Brown (Sr)/Adam Lacey (So)/Carlton Allen (Fr)
PF: Ashton Pankey (So)
SF: Emmy Andujar (Jr)/Shane Richards (So)/Rich Williams (Fr)
SG: George Beamon (Sr)/Donovan Kates (Jr)/Mark Jackson Jr. (Jr)
PG: Michael Alvarado (Sr)/RaShawn Stores (Jr)/C.J. Jones (Jr)/Tyler Wilson (Fr)
Gone: F-Robert Colonette, SG-Mohamed Koita, PF-Ryan McCoy (transfer-George Washington)
Offensively, the Manhattan Jaspers struggled last season, finishing 334th in the nation in scoring, averaging about 58 points per game. One big reason was the loss of MAAC Preseason Player of the Year, George Beamon who suffered a season ending ankle injury after playing in just four games. Beamon was granted a medical hardship waiver by the NCAA and will be back on the floor this year where he will undoubtedly provide a big time boost on the offensive end.
Joining Beamon in the backcourt will be Michael Alvarado. The three-year starter has been solid throughout his career but isn’t much of a playmaker or creator at the point guard position. Steve Masiello has tons of depth at guard with key reserves RaShawn Stores, Donovan Kates, and C.J. Jones all back in the fold.
The versatile Emmy Andujar and sharpshooter Shane Richards add even more talent to the wing. Andujar actually led the Jaspers in assists a year ago so he handles the ball well for his size and is also a solid rebounder. Richards will be instant offense off the bench due to his sniper ability from beyond the arc.
Inside, Manhattan gets needed size with the addition of Maryland transfer Ashton Pankey. At 6-10, his height will complement the physical Rhamel Brown who actually led the Jaspers in scoring and rebounding as a sophomore. Adam Lacey should see increased playing time in the middle as well but don’t be surprised if Masiello uses a small four-guard line-up to try and speed up the tempo compared to last year.
Entering his third season as head coach, Masiello has the Jaspers poised to not only make some noise in the MAAC but be a dangerous team come March. The former Rick Pitino disciple should have his team competing for the league title and possibly earning their first trip to the NCAA Tournament in a decade.
Player to Watch: George Beamon
Beamon was an elite level scorer in the MAAC during his sophomore and junior years so it is easy to understand why the Jaspers struggled putting points on the board without their go-to scorer. What is impressive about Beamon is that he doesn’t just chuck shots at the rim but is a rather efficient scorer whether it’s off the bounce or lighting it up from deep.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/9 at La Salle
11/16 vs. George Washington
12/17 at South Carolina
OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#84 Washington State
#86 Oregon State
#87 Louisiana Tech
#89 Wake Forest
#90 Central Florida
#95 Seton Hall
#97 George Mason
#99 Penn State
#101 West Virginia
#102 South Florida
#103 Mississippi State
#105 South Carolina
#106 Texas Tech
#108 Virginia Tech
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu to Milwaukee. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet , AND the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft. (Yup, nearly 3peat champ… #humblebrag.)
You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks