MAAC press break

A weekly round-up of the latest comings and goings of Metro-Atlantic Athletic  men’s basketball.

Canisius seniors featured in Final Four game program

The Canisius College men’s basketball senior class of 2011 was recently featured in the official 2011 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four Championship Program, which was held in Houston April 2-4. The five seniors were recognized in a photo essay highlighting the group’s early graduation accomplishments.

The five seniors, Julius Coles, Elton Frazier, Robert Goldsberry, Greg Logins and Tomas Vazquez-Simmons, were photographed on the Koessler Athletic Center court in full game uniform while wearing graduation caps by Tom Wolf. IMG College, which produces the official NCAA Final Four game program, wrote a 300-word essay explaining the group’s success in the classroom and told the story of how the Griffs all earned their undergraduate degrees in just three years.

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Former Griffs making waves overseas

Three former Canisius College men’s basketball players, Darren Fenn, Frank Turner and Darnell Wilson, are currently in the middle of their professional seasons in three different leagues in Europe. All three players are averaging double figures in the scoring column, and all three are currently key parts on teams with winning records.

On a recent recruiting trip to Holland, Canisius head coach Tom Parrotta got the chance to see Turner in action with his professional squad, Eiffel Towers Den Bosch. Turner is averaging 12.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game in his first pro season, and his team is in third place in the league’s standings with a 25-10 record.

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Fairfield listed as a mid-major with Final Four potential

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — For the fourth time in the last six seasons, a mid-major program reached the pinnacle in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament with a Final Four appearance. That note did not escape writer Thayer Evans in his recent article for the web site. In fact, he listed four mid-major programs that he thought would have the potential to reach next year’s Final Four in New Orleans.

Fairfield University was listed among that short list, joining Butler University, Creighton University, and George Mason University. Thayer tabbed guard Derek Needham and forward Rakim Sanders as two of the reasons for the possibility, calling both players one of the top players in the nation at their respective position.

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Iona adds a pair for 2011-12

NEW ROCHELLE, NY – Iona College men’s basketball head coach Tim Cluess announced the addition of two players for the 2011-12 campaign. Forwards Nyandigisi Moikubo (Seattle, WA / Cochise College (Ariz.) / Rainier Beach HS) and Taaj Ridley (Bronx, NY / Lawson State CC (Ala.) / John F. Kennedy HS) have signed National Letters of Intent to play at Iona next season.

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Cai, Hubbard, Williams sign NLIs with Loyola

BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland Head Men’s Basketball Coach Jimmy Patsos announced today that Chen “David” Cai, Tyler Hubbard and R.J. Williams have signed National Letters of Intent and will join the Greyhounds on the court for the 2011-2012 season.

Williams is a local product from St. Frances Academy, and Hubbard hails from suburban Washington D.C. where he played at Montrose Christian School. The duo will give the Greyhounds eight players from the fertile recruiting grounds of Maryland and Northern Virginia on next year’s roster.

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Curry and Lewis sign with Marist

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – Marist head men’s basketball coach Chuck Martin announced the signings of Chavaughn Lewis and T.J. Curry to National Letters of Intent on Thursday. Lewis and Curry are both New York City natives who will join the program as true freshmen for the 2011-12 season.

“We’re really excited to have both Chavaughn and T.J. join our family at Marist,” Martin said. “We’re excited to have two quality young men from great families who come from programs with great tradition and history in Christ the King and St. Mary’s Manhasset. They come from winning programs.”

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Marist to play in 2011 Basketball Hall-of-Fame Tipoff Tournament

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Marist men’s basketball team will be participating in the Basketball Hall of Fame 2011 Tip-Off Tournament, it was announced Wednesday by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Red Foxes will play four games as part of the tournament, including two at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

In the Campus Round portion of the tournament, Marist will open up at Kentucky of the Southeastern Conference on Friday, Nov. 11. That contest will mark the second meeting between Marist Head Coach Chuck Martin and Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari. Martin was an assistant on Calipari’s staff at Memphis from 2006-08. The Red Foxes will then play at South Florida of the Big East Conference on Monday, Nov. 14.

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Rider’s Stewart named Mid-Major Freshman All-American

BOSTON, MA–The 2011 Mid-Major Freshmen All-America team was announced Tuesday and Rider University forward Daniel Stewart was named to it.

Rather selecting a first, second, third team and honorable mentions; the Mid-Major Freshmen All-America squad is just one team.

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Coming soon

Stay tuned for the first annual Pickin’ Splinters rundown on the MAAC’s incoming class. Fans can get an in-depth look at all the new student-athletes to play next season in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

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