Thursday, November 29, 2007
The Red Foxes locked down Bucknell in both halves, holding them to a mere 19 points in the first and 21 in the second half, snapping the Bison's 10 game win streak at home.
In fact, the Red Foxes defensive effort was so impressive it marked Marist's fewest points allowed since 1985. The Red Fox 'D' overwhelmed the Bisons, as their uptempo man and intense zone defensive looks held all Bucknell players under double digits.
With the win the Marist Red Foxes improve to 4-3 on the young season and are over .500 for the first time since the opener.
"It was an outstanding defensive effort,"Marist head coach Matt Brady told the Poughkeepsie Journal. "For the most part, we really made them work hard."
On offense, it was a balanced attack for the Red Foxes with eight players scoring and as a team shooting 43 percent from the field. But in the end the defence was the driving force to the victory, something the Red Foxes have excelled at during this 3-game win streak.
"We won the game playing defense, obviously," Ryan Stilphen told the Journal.
Marist will next face Wright State at home Saturday where they have dominated winning 14 of their last 15 games dating back to last season.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Against Richmond at home, the Red Foxes overcame their first half woes and stormed back in the second rallying from 17 behind to capture a 64-62 victory against the Spiders. In front of 2,373 at McCann, the Red Foxes continued to dominate on their home floor where they have gone 21-2 since the new '6th-man' bleachers were installed 2 years ago.
The Red Foxes had a big second half performance from senior captain Ben Farmer. Farmer headed the Foxes comeback with 14 second half points, including three big 3-pointers, all in front of former teammates Jared Jordan and Will Whittington who were on hand for the game. Foul shooting, which hurt the Red Foxes in losses early in the season, was perfect as Marist shot a lights out 10-10 (Farmer alone went 5-5).
"Everybody played much better in the second half," Brady told the Poughkeepsie Journal, who also highlighted a three-point basket made by Louie McCroskey that made it 57-53. "Other than playing four guards and kind of matching up with them, I thought our kids played with a lot of character."
That character certainly showed with Marist's second half effort. On defense, after letting 6'9 forward Dan Geriot explode for 17 first half points, the Red Foxes clamped down and held him to only 4 points in the second half. On the offensive end, the Red Foxes outscored Richmond 42-39 in what was a nail-biting comeback. With Farmer on fire, Marist got huge baskets late in the game from McCroskey and Spongy which gave the Red Foxes the lead for the first time since early in the first.. and they never looked back.
Other big performances came from freshman guard Jay Gavin (MAAC co-rookie of the week) who chipped in 7 points with his career-high 7 assists and Spongy who had 12 points and 7 bounds. Marist dug- in and came together in the second half getting contributions from key players who were able to step up and made the big play when in mattered...something that seemed unlikely only a week ago.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
The win gave Marist, who has struggled closing out games all season, some much needed second- half confidence.
"In my four years here, this is one of our best wins," Coach Matt Brady told the Poughkeepsie Journal. "It was a big-time play by Spongy to get that rebound."
Senior captain Ryan Stilphen led the way for the Red Foxes with a double-double performance of 17 points and 11 boards.
Tied 31-31 at the half, Marist came out firing with a 3-pointer by emerging star David Devezin, who had 12 points and a team high 5 assists. As a team, Marist shot 7-11 from downtown, with 6 different players connecting from deep.
The game was close the whole way, having 10 lead changes and 11 ties.
Monday, November 19, 2007
But all-in-all it wasn't that bad.
The Good News
Looking at it rationally, the Red Foxes had a tough earned 0-3 in San Juan; they faced some legit competition in majors Miami and Temple and played hard (for the most part) in what was a tournament they probably were not ready for. For a team that is still coming together, this was an early challenge that simply proved they are not ready for the big stage yet. But make no mistake, tough losses built character and if that is the case, the Red Foxes should have plenty of it heading into Colgate on Wednesday.
After being outclassed by Miami on Thursday, the Red Foxes lost two straight games that could have gone either way to Houston and Temple in overtime. In each successive game, the Red Foxes vastly improved, especially on Defense and showed a lot resilience and fight. With Brady changing defensive schemes using Man, Zone and even a Box-and-One at times, the Red Foxes threw off the competition with their versatility and ability to change at any time. In fact, against Temple the Red Foxes "D" held the Owls without a field goal for 12 minutes in the second half, sparking a big Red Fox run.
Another positive was the Red Foxes finally had their talented guard from Syracuse Louie McCroskey eligible, and he did not disappoint Sunday. McCroskey showed off his promise by leading the team with 18 points on 6-17 shooting (but turned the ball over 4 times).
The Bad News
The major problems on offense cannot be overlooked. Minus a couple of big runs here and there, overall the Red Foxes were extremely sloppy with the basketball. Too many possessions were wasted on broken plays, fouls and careless turnovers. They looked uncomfortable in their offensive set and could not execute plays down the stretch. Leading by 7 with 5:39 remaining against Temple Sunday, the Red Foxes offense suddenly turned anemic, only managing to score 2 points over the final 5:17 of the game, in what was an eventual overtime loss.
Time is not on the side of the Red Foxes to "adjust" because their tough out-of-conference schedule picks up where it left off later this week. As soon as they touch down back in the States they are faced with tough match-ups against Colgate on the road and Richmond at home.
In the meantime, it is important for Coach Brady to work out the 'kinks' on the offensive end and have his team cut down on mental errors and careless turnovers. And although they are still trying to figure out roles on this team, in order to win the close ones, someone is going to have to step up and make the big play late in the game...and that certainly did not happen in San Juan.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
"I give all the credit in the world to Miami; they have a terrific team," Coach Matt Brady told the Associated Press. "I wasn't happy with how we played, but I think Miami played a real solid game."
The Red Foxes got off to a slow start and proved that they are a team that is still in transition. Looking a lot less comfortable in their new offense then they did against Delaware in the opener on Sunday, the new look Red Foxes looked like a team who needed more experience and time playing together. The first Marist field goal did not come until a Ben Farmer 3-pointer at the 13:06 minute mark and they continued to struggled from the field all game. After the Red Foxes staged a brief comeback attempt at the end of the first half, Miami opened up the second half strong and the Red Foxes never came closer then 17.
Lead by Senior forward Anthony King's 13 point, 4 block performance and guard Eddie Rios' 8 assists, the Hurricanes were too much to handle on both ends of the floor for the Red Foxes as they advanced to 2-0 on the season. Miami had a well balanced attack as their backcourt of Jack McClinton and fellow guard James Hurdle combined to make eight 3-point shots. Miami also out rebounded the Red Foxes 37-26, with three Hurricane players grabbing 5 boards apiece.
A bright spot for the Red Foxes came from true rookie guard Jay Gavin who had a strong second game leading Marist with 19 points. While the Red Foxes came on strong in the second half shooting 50 percent from the field, all together the Red Foxes were simply too cold shooting the basketball. Marist shot 39 percent for the game while going 7-23 from downtown. But where the Red Foxes really killed themselves was from the free throw line, shooting an embarrassing 45 percent(10-22). With the loss Marist moves to 1-1 on the young season and will face the University of Houston Friday in Puerto Rico.
WHO: Marist Red Foxes vs Houston Cougars
WHERE: ESPN O'Reilly Auto Parts, Puerto Rico
WHEN: Friday Nov. 16, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
In front of 2,517, the 'new look Foxes' excelled past pre-season expectations, looking comfortable in their new up-tempo style on both sides of the ball. Led by senior center Spongy Benjamin's monster 21 point, 17 rebound (MAAC Player of the Week) performance, the Red Foxes had no problem filling the void left by number 23. A big reason for that was Texas A&M sophomore transfer David Devezin (MAAC Rookie of the Week), who cleared up any doubt that he could be Jordan's replacement at the point, leading the Red Foxes with 6 assists while looking comfortable running the offense and chipping in 16 points.
In fact, Marist new guard trio of Devezin, along with red-shirt freshman Dejuan Goodwin and freshman Jay Gavin (who both had 13 pts) looks be a staple in the backcourt for years to come.
"I think David Devezin's got a chance to be the best point guard in the league. I think Dejuan Goodwin's got a chance to be the best rookie in the league and I think, Jay Gavin, when it's all said and done, is going to be one of the best players in the league," Coach Matt Brady told the Poughkeepsie Journal.
The promise shown by the Red Foxes triple threat freshman guards, seemed to overshadow another new guard who was missing from the lineup. Senior 2- guard Louie McCroskey, who transfered from Syracuse, was deemed ineligible to compete due to an undisclosed NCAA rule. McCroskey who was named to the pre-season MAAC Second Team, is expected to start for the Red Foxes this season but it is unknown at this point when he will be cleared to play.
Another newcomer that was left out of Sunday's lineup was Vermont transfer Ryan Schneider, who had soreness in his right shoulder. Schneider at 6'7, who is expected to come off the bench as a small forward is deadly from outside and looks to be Marist's main 3pt threat.
While Schneider is expected to be back for Thurday's match-up against Miami in Puerto Rico, McCroskey's status is up in the air, which adds to the importance of the depth on this Red Fox roster.
WHO : Marist Red Foxes vs Miami Hurricanes
WHERE : O'Reilly Auto Parts, Puerto Rico
WHEN : Thursday Nov. 15, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
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.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Setting the goal of 1000 students to pack the bleachers of McCann for Sunday's opener against Delaware, Coach Brady asked students for a "sea of red" at the game and extended that message to Upper West's student housing. Seniors Ben Farmer, Shae McNamara and Joe Keegan along with red-shirt juniors Ryan Schneider and Kaylen Gregory knocked on every door throughout Upper West and personally told students to be there Sunday.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
“Marist taught me how to become an on air personality through the classes and activities I was involved in,” said Stewart. “The education I got at Marist was an essential investment in being successful and getting into the field.”
Upon graduating from Marist, Stewart landed a job with the Poughkeepsie Journal covering sports in the area. Stewart soon moved on to work for Cablevision in Wappingers Falls, putting together sports highlights for Army football and other local teams before getting a start with ESPN in 2000.
MaristRadio.net offers a variety of programming including Men’s and Women’s basketball coverage and interviews with top sports personalities.
Listeners will be able to tune in to “Sports Stop” by logging on to MaristRadio.net and clicking the 1630 AM link on the top of the main page.
For more on this Story Check Thursday's edition of The Circle.