Thursday, December 27, 2007

Red Foxes Set To 'Storm' MSG

With Marist set to take on St. Johns tomorrow night from the Worlds Most Famous Arena, it is important for head coach Matt Brady and his team to close out 2007 on a strong note.

Having lost their last two games to UMass and MAAC defending champion Niagara on Christmas Eve,Eve... the Red Foxes could very well find themselves in a 4-game skid heading into 2008.

With tough match-ups against the Red Storm and either Hoftstra or V-Tech in the Aeropostale Holiday Tournament at the Garden, the Red Foxes are faced with their toughest competition since they were swept in the O'Reilly Auto-Parts tourney in November.

However, the Red Foxes have come a long way since being overwhelmed in Puerto Rico and have put together very impressive wins against Richmond, Bucknell, Wright State and Canisius...with the key to those wins being a swarming defense and a well balanced scoring attack.

In the last two games the Red Foxes (6-5) have gotten away from this winning formula and been sloppy with the ball and have shown their inexperience; not being able to sustain runs, take care of the ball, keep leads to close out games or score late in the game.

Against Niagara, Marist blew a 12 point second half lead because of turnovers and the inability to score down the stretch. 8 combined turnovers from Devezin and Goodwin( 4 in only 15 minutes), hurt the Red Foxes as a 7 minute scoring drought down the stretch killed them.

With Marist set for the big stage of Broadway, Coach Brady can ill-afford to have his inexperience hurt the team again.

The Solution......Play Ryan Schneider

Schneider a Red Shirt Junior, played for two seasons at the University of Vermont proving to be a staple in their success. He has the kind of big game experience the the Red Foxes deeply need, especially down the stretch. Schneider can rebound and shoot the lights out from downtown, and he has the big game experience that Goodwin does not have.

At Vermont Schneider recorded 10 double-doubles, with his leadership and ability to hit the big 3 driving Vermont to a American East Conference championship and a berth into the NCAA Tournament, where they knocked off Syracuse.

If the Red Foxes are to have any chance at the Garden this weekend, they need to stop the second half melt-downs, they need to protect the ball, they need to score down the stretch, they need experienced players in the game....they need what Schneider brings to the table, and most of all... they need Coach Brady to realize that.

Ex-Fox Lane Player Joins Marist Hoops Beat

Original publication: December 25, 2007

The Fox Lane boys basketball team's unlikely run to the state semifinals in Glens Falls in 2004 was an unforgettable
journey for Jon White.
It also proved to be an educational one.

"It was kind of surreal," said White, who was a starting guard and the team's top defensive player. "It was an amazing thing to get caught up in that run.

"Looking back, it wasn't just our team or school. The whole community rallied around it. Every game was sold out. If you walked into a deli, people were talking about it."

Now a junior in college, White is immersed in another community that has a strong bond to its local basketball team whose nickname is Foxes: Marist College.

Though not a member of the men's team at Marist, White is closely identified with it. And when the Red Foxes play in the Holiday Festival this Friday and Saturday at Madison Square Garden, White will share his thoughts on their efforts with members of the team's loyal following.

White is the author of a blog on Marist men's basketball that appears on the Poughkeepsie Journal's Web site. In addition, he co-hosts a weekly two-hour sports-talk show on WMAR 1630, the student radio station, and writes for the student newspaper, The Circle.
"It's good that I'm doing all of them," said White, a Bedford resident.

The sports communication major said he's still getting acclimated to the blogosphere.
"The whole blog thing, I don't really get," he said. "I'm not crazy about the format. It's too informal for me. I pretend it's a sports column."

White's adjustment to broadcasting was much easier - and aided by the fact that the first show he co-hosted in September 2005 was alongside a former Fox Lane teammate, Dustin Aglietti. The two are now roommates.

"At the first meeting for the radio station freshman year, we said, 'Let's do this show together,' " Aglietti said. "It helped us adapt pretty quickly. We kind of got out there and talked about things we were comfortable with - like in Jon's case, the Yankees - and some NFL, too."

Though they now work with different co-hosts on their respective shows, much of the content revolves around Marist basketball - both men's and women's. Aglietti, who handles the Poughkeepsie Journal's Marist women's blog, works with former Lakeland star Ryan Schneider. Though a member of Marist's men's team, Schneider, a transfer from Vermont, still finds time to do play-by-play of women's games as well as the weekly show with Aglietti.

"Jon and Ryan both have very good voices for radio," Aglietti said.

For the Foxes' sectional championship team his junior season, White routinely was assigned to guard the opponent's top scoring weapon - unless it was a post player, in which case 6-foot-8 Taj Finger, now a senior playing at Stanford, got the call. It was often a grueling role because Fox Lane's starters seldom came out of the game.

"My role was to bring defensive intensity to the team," White said.
He said watching Finger, a big-time scorer in high school, bring the defensive intensity for Stanford has been enjoyable.

"I'm very happy for him and proud of him," White said. "He learned how to play defense when we all did. Now he's taken what we did as a team to a higher level of basketball."

Though White is a natural in the broadcast booth, he's not sure if that will be the career path he pursues. He interned this past summer on the sports sales team of National Cable Communications, selling commercial advertising time for networks.

One thing is certain. His development as a writer and broadcaster will help him in whatever line of work he pursues.

"I had a big presentation for a business class the other day, and I noticed I was really speaking well and projecting," he said. "It really gives you more confidence."

Reach Joe Lombardi at or 914-696-8239. For an archive of stories in this series, visit

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sloppy Play Ends Win Streak

The Marist Red Foxes had an unlucky night at the Mohegan Sun Arena Saturday, falling to UMass 83-68 and ending their win streak at 5. The Red Foxes had trouble taking care of the ball and effectively running the offense all night, as they marked a season high in turnovers with 22.

To add insult to injury, they shot an embarrassing 8 for 18 from the free throw line and played an undisciplined game defensively; excessively fouling the Minute Men who took advantage of their 37 free throw attempts (23-37) .... 27 attempts coming in the second half.

Perhaps the major turning point came late in the game when Marist Head Coach Matt Brady was hit with a Technical Foul for arguing with an official. The tech seemly changed the momentum of the game and could have hurt the Foxes comeback efforts....In Brady's defense, their were a lot of "unusual" calls in what was an overall poor officiating job.

Despite poor play and lack of execution, the effort was there for the Red Foxes (6-4) as this was a game they could have and probably should have won. One highlight was the continued emergence of guard Louie McCroskey who filled up the stat sheet with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 steals.

The Red Foxes will have a long break (if Finals Exams are considered a break) before facing MAAC rival Niagara on the road 3 days before Christmas. That game is followed by the much anticipated match-up with St. Johns at The Garden on the 28th.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

High 5

The Marist Red Foxes continued their winning ways in Buffalo Wednesday defeating Canisius 63-53, marking their 5th straight victory in what was Matt Brady's 100th game as head coach(69-31). The Red Foxes started MAAC play on a strong note, knocking off their conference rivals (in a game that was closer then it should have been) and moving to 1-0 in the MAAC and 6-3 overall.

Marist starter off hot right from the opening tip, scoring the games first 11 points and never looking back. However, the Red Foxes at one point were mired in a 6 minute 40 second scoring drought, allowing Canisius to climb back and tie the game. The Red Foxes also struggled from the free throw line for much of the game shooting 3-12 before 3 clutch free throws by Senior guard Ben Farmer set the tone for Gavin, Goodwin and McCroskey who all iced their foul shots down the stretch, sealing the deal for the Red Foxes.

This victory was all about the Defense, which has been the key for the Red Foxes all season. Showing a more athletic core then last years group, the Red Foxes in this game and throughout this winning streak have played excellent half court defense, clamping down on the oppositions biggest scoring threats. Their high energy man with effective switches to zone have proven to be too much to handle for many teams and despite some troubles on the offensive end, the D on this night was way too much to handle for winless Canisius.
Jordan to Play in Lithuania
Former Marist star Jared Jordan is back in the pros...but this time he will have to travel across the world to play in Lithuania, signing on with BC Lietuvos Rytas.

Jordan, who was drafted 45th in last years NBA draft by the LA Clippers was traded to the troubled New York Knicks over the summer and cut from their guard filled roster before the season.

Jordan, led the nation in assists in both his junior and senior year and was the first Marist player to be play in the NBA since Rik Smits. He is Marist's all- time assist leader with 813 and 6th in scoring with 1,583 points.

An undisclosed source has said that Jordan is set to make $125,000 a year.
Catch a Ride to Mohegan Sun
Hit the road with the Red Foxes this Saturday as they travel to the Mohegan Sun to face UMass.
The College Activities Office, in conjunction with the Athletics Department, will be providing a bus for students that would like to go. The cost is $5 per student and includes bus transportation along with a ticket to the game. The bus will leave the McCann Center parking lot at 3:30 p.m. and return after the game.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Monday, December 3, 2007

McCroskey Pushes Foxes 4-ward

Bronx product Louie McCroskey led the Marist Red Foxes to their 4th straight win Saturday, putting up career highs in what was a 79-64 thumping of Wright State. The red-shirt guard by way of Syracuse had a break out performance scoring 24 points on 10-19 shooting while grabbing 8 boards and going 3-3 from downtown.

However, it was a total team effort in front of a packed crowd at the McCann Center, with 10 Marist players cracking the scoring column. Jay Gavin (10 pts), Spongy Benjamin (9 redounds), David Devezin(8 pts, 7 assists), and Shea McNamara( 8pts, 5 rebounds) all had solid games leading to what coach Matt Brady called a "great team victory."

With the win the Red Foxes move to 5-3 and avenge what was a disappointing loss to Wright State last season.

The success of this 4 game win streak has been the result of the Red Foxes intense and at times dominate defensive effort, which during this strech, has seen the Red Foxes give up their lowest point total since 1985. However, as seen on Saturday, the Red Foxes are also starting to click on the offensive end, with players up and down this deep roster contrbuting to the scoring effort.

"Everyone who got into the game played really hard, played really really well, played smart," Coach Matt Brady told the Poughkeepsie Journal. "This is really what I think our team can do, (have a high-scoring offense)...I think we can get into the high 70s."

After a slow start to the season highlighted by a 3 game losing streak in San Juan, the Red Foxes have come together over the past couple weeks and have shown their potential in this 'post-Jordan' era. With a new wave of athletic talent to complement Brady's winning system, the Red Foxes finally seem to be meshing and are becoming more confident and unitied as a team. The 4 game win streak, if anything, has proven that the Red Foxes are not rebuilding and when playing together, can be a real threat in the conference.

But they have yet to play a conference game and Wednesday's match-up against MAAC rival Canisius will be an important and telling test for the Red Foxes to see where they stand in the MAAC.