| ||All-Conference team|
Jason Rowe, senior, guard, Loyola College
Marcus Faison, senior, guard, Siena
Ricky Bellinger, senior, guard, St. Peter's
Tariq Kirksay, senior, forward, Iona
Darren Phillip, senior, forward, Fairfield
Players of the year
Jason Rowe, senior Loyola College and Marcus Faison, senior, Siena
Newcomer of the year
Terry Sellers, junior, Iona
2. St. Peter's
3. Loyola College
Team on the rise
Team on the fall
Did you know?Siena, the preseason favorite in the MAAC, was third in the nation in scoring last year (86.9 ppg), trailing only Duke and TCU.
Bobby Gonzalez joins the MAAC's coaching fraternity at Manhattan this season. Gonzalez was Pete Gillen's right-hand man at Providence and Virginia and has a reputation as a dogged recruiter with strong New York City connections.
Fairfield coach Tim O'Toole continues to subscribe to the "play anyone, anywhere, any time" scheduling philosophy. His Stags will play six 1999 NCAA Tournament teams, including defending national champ Connecticut on Dec. 23. Fairfield's toughest stretch, though, is a three-game road trip to Kansas (Nov. 19), UNLV (Nov. 21) and UCLA (Nov. 23).
Speaking of coaches, in the 1990s alone, the MAAC has proven to be a launching pad for coaches, producing Tim Welsh (Iona to Providence), Fran Fraschilla (Manhattan to St. John's and now New Mexico), Brian Ellerbe (Loyola College to Michigan), Skip Prosser (Loyola to Xavier), Steve Lappas (Manhattan to Villanova) and John Beilein (Canisius to Richmond). So who's next? The guy who will be on speed-dial of every mid-major athletic director in the spring of 2000 is Siena's Paul Hewitt, especially if the Saints make a second-straight NCAA Tournament trip. He plays the up-tempo style that recruits and alumni love and he's a top-notch recruiter.
After losing the nation's top scorer in Alvin Young (26.1 ppg last year) to graduation, Niagara coach Joe Mihalich is apparently going to all parts of the globe to find scoring options. Niagara's 1999-2000 roster includes players from South Africa, Greece, Israel, Puerto Rico and Canada.
Iona has taken the junior-college quick-fix approach to its frontcourt, by signing 6-8, 230-pound power forward Jermaine Small from Los Angeles City College and 7-1 center Terry Sellers from Compton (Calif.) College.
NBA scouts figure to take in more MAAC games than ever before to check out Loyola's Jason Rowe, Siena's Marcus Faison and Iona's intriguing 7-footer Terry Sellers (whom Iona coach Jeff Ruland predicts can lead the nation in blocked shots).
High D-I transfers are finding the MAAC to be a nice landing spot. Former St. John's and Florida State problem child James Felton, a 6-9 sophomore center, will try his luck at St. Peter's this year. Rhode Island transfer Tory Jefferson and Rutgers transfer Earl Johnson are sitting out in 1999-2000 at Canisius and Iona, respectively.
Rider opens its season against a familiar face, when it plays Rutgers on November 20. Rutgers is coached by former Rider head man Kevin Bannon.
Anxious to upgrade its non-league schedule, Marist made phone calls to Pitt, Boston College and Providence before getting an agreement to play Georgetown on December 12. The question is, why? The Red Foxes are 1-11 all-time versus current Big East members.
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