With the loss of last years senior "Big Three" of Jared Jordan (NBA), Will Wennington (all time 3's leader) and James Smith (NBDL), it will be a new look Marist team that will be on the floor in Sunday's season opener agaisnt Deleware. Living up to last years 25-win(should have been in the Big Dance) team, who defeated OK State in the first round of the NIT and brought more hype to Marist Hoops since Rik Smits rocked the rims of McCann, won't be easy. Especially considering the type of teams that Siena, Niagara and Loyola are putting out there. But don't count out this years Red Foxes just yet.
"We've got more players in the rotation, we're more versatile and we've got more team speed," said Coach Matt Brady. "We're going to play much faster."
On the flip side, inexperience and a lack of cohesion could hurt them early on. There are simply too many questions and 'what ifs' surrounding this 'post- Jordan' team and not enough experience playing together to crown them MAAC champions for the second straight year. With a tough out of conference schedule and a much improved MAAC conference across the board, the Red Foxes will have to come together quickly to have any chance of being a powerhouse once again.
Health is the key for the Red Foxes as they depend on their athleticism to 'play fast' and out hustle their opponents. However, even when at full strength, the lack of experience playing together and the inability for the seniors to adapt to the new system right away, will hurt the Red Foxes chances. Ultimately, they'll have to wait for MAAC tournament time to make some noise in this conference.