Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"WE WANT SIENA!"

With the game winding down and the Marist Red Foxes seconds away from defeating MAAC powerhouse Niagara, a loud roar of "We Want Siena" echoed throughout the packed bleachers of McCann. The 84-65 blow out win, moved the Red Foxes into sole possession of second place in the conference (12-7 overall; 6-2 MAAC) , trailing only the surging Saints of Siena for MAAC supremacy

With such a dominating win, that included a lock down defense and an offense that shot 50% from the field, I think its time that we change some of the low pre-season predictions for this Marist team and raise the bar of where they stand in this conference.... say right at the top with Siena? Yes, I know that it is only one win on one night, but it is important to look at who they beat and how they beat them.

Last Nights 'D'
Leading by as many as 21 and controlling the game the entire second half, the Red Foxes made Niagara look flat out inferior, similar to the beatings the Marist women's team hands out on a nightly basis. The Foxes held the nations second- leading scorer Charron Fisher (that's right, the entire nation) to a hard fought 17 points, on a terrible 4-21 shooting. It was the first time all season he was held to under 20 points for a game. In fact, as a team the Purple Eagles were held to a mere 27% shooting from the field.

Last Nights 'O'
With Louie McCroskey most likely done for the season (will get to that later) the Red Foxes wasted no time picking up the slack for their fallen teammate. As a tribute to how deep and how balanced this Red Fox team really is, Brady went with a 10 man rotation last night and it paid off big time. The Red Foxes had 5 double digit scores (led by a break out performance from Dejuan Goodwin who had 14 points on 5-6 shooting) and two others scored 9 point. One of the 9 point performances went to Ryan Schneider, who finally got out of Brady's doghouse and showed what he can really do. Schneider hit a couple of pure 3's that had all of Red Fox Nation thinking 'Will the Thrill' was back for another year. Sidenote: See "Play Ryan Schneider" a few blogs down and I'll say I told you so.

Putting last nights big time win aside, it is important to note the tear the Red Foxes have been on in recent weeks. Winners of 6 of their last 7, Marist has come together and 'rebuilt' faster then anyone has expected while continuing their dominance at home where they are undefeated for the this year. With the exception of a hard fought loss to MAAC rival Loyola, the Red Foxes in recent weeks have proven that they are legit contenders and are ready to take on SienaMAAC crown. The only problem of course is....they don't play the Saints until next month. So until then, it is important for the Foxes to continue taking care of business in the MAAC, starting with Thursday's match up with Iona.

Siena Saints
Winners of 4 straight Siena is atop of the MAAC and improved to 7-1 after last nights beating of Canisius. Siena has a very deep team and usually works with a 10 man rotation. Led by guard Kenny Hasbrouck (who lit up Marist last year in the MAAC tourney), the Saints have some serious talent that has already gotten national exposure this season. The Saints have played some top notch teams such as Memphis, Standford (who they upset) and Syracuse (who they almost upset) and are the hands down favorites to come out of the MAAC for the NCAA Tournament.

But if Marist continues to click and play the way they have been play in recent weeks, there is no telling what can happen. Remember there is still a long way to go....and come March ANYTHING can happen....ask Jared, Will and Smith.
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McCroskey Done For the Year?

That's the report that is slowly coming out of coach Brady's locker room. The red-shirt senior star is said to have fractured a bone in his right ankle and is out for 4-6 weeks. It is still unknown if he will be ready for the MAAC tournament, but signs did not look good last night as McCroskey sat on the bench in his familiar street clothes.

Since joining the Red Foxes last year by way of Syracuse, McCroskey has been a bit of a disappointment. Having sat out all of last year, he missed the first 3 games of the season with an undisclosed eligibility problem and will likely miss the remainder of them. At times, the Bronx product has shown his potential (see Holiday Tournament at the Garden) but unfortunately it has all come too little too late for him. Having used up all of his eligibility, McCroskey is a senior and this is his final season in the NCAA.

At this time details are sketchy to how the injury happened and how serious it is....but for Red Fox Nation this is a serious blow...not all games will go as smoothly as last nights.



3 comments:

TomsTable said...

Wow Jon really inciteful stuff here. The squad looked real good Monday night against Niagara. Schneider is going to have to play like that down the stretch with McCroskey being sidelined. Besides Schneider the bench as a whole did a great job as well. Also you can never say enough about the hustle and determination the Ryan Stilphen gives this team every night.

Red Fox Wrap said...

i read in the journal that McCroskey was only out for a couple weeks

Jon White said...

I think the journal got that one wrong....they corrected it the following day