By Jon Rothstein
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1. SMOOTH SCOTT
Scott Machado has made national headlines during the first few weeks of the season for many reasons but the one that stands out the most is the renewed confidence he has in his outside shot. Despite not being much of a perimeter threat during the first three years of his career, Machado now has a reliable stroke from deep to go with his exceptional playmaking skills. A truly complete point guard in every facet of the game, Machado has a legitimate chance to be a candidate for the Cousy Award, which goes to the nation’s top floor general.
2. SOUTHPAW SAVAGE
Even if defeat, Jamal Olasewere showed why he’s an absolute killer. In the early minutes while LIU was competitive in the first half, the lefty big man traded blows with the Iona front court and single handidly kept the Blackbirds in the game. If Jim Ferry’s team is to win a second consecutive NEC title, this is the man to lead them there.
3. TAAJ’S TOUCH
Tim Cluess said in the preseason he was concerned if whether or not Iona would have a quality second big man to start on the baseline against bigger teams — and the Gaels may have solved that problem with the addition of Taaj Ridley. A JUCO transfer with good size at 6-foot-7, Ridley is an effective shooter from the elbow and can really steal minutes at both front court spots for Iona.
4. LIKE A GLOVE
It doesn’t seem to matter who Iona is playing — Mike Glover is always going to get his numbers. A terrific finisher around the rim, Glover is also an out of area rebounder that always winds up around the ball on both the offensive and defensive glass. The 6-foot-7 senior power forward scored 28 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in the rout over LIU and is eerily similar to former Ohio big man Gary Trent, who played multiple seasons in the NBA.
5. SOUTHERN WESTCHESTER SNIPER
He may not receive the attention of the rest of the Iona back court — but Jermel Jenkins is an extremely valuable piece for the Gaels. A gunner with tremendous range, Jenkins gives Iona a legitimate perimeter scoring threat off the bench — and one that will be even more vital in the MAAC Conference.
BY THE NUMBERS
The number of points and rebounds in 26 minutes for Mike Glover.
The number of shots taken for Iona.
THEY SAID IT
“They are one of the most dynamic offensive teams I’ve seen in ten years. All of their pieces fit,” – LIU Coach Jim Ferry on Iona.
“They’re a five seed,” Ferry on the caliber of Iona in terms of potential NCAA Tournament seeding.
“We’re just worried about defense. Offensively, we have enough weapons to always be clicking,” Scott Machado on Iona.
Your thoughts from Iona-LIU? Be heard in the comments below…