By Jon Rothstein
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1. SEEING RED
Steve Masiello said when he got the Manhattan job that he would incorporate 99.9 percent of what he learned as an assistant at Louisville under Rick Pitino and watching the Jaspers in person, you can see the resemblance. Tenacious on defense and unselfish on offense, Manhattan looks like a Triple A version of the Cardinals, which was evident from the opening tip in the 81-47 win over Fordham.
2. BURGEONING BROWN
There is a legitimate chance that a year from now, Manhattan big man Rhamel Brown could be the elite interior player in the MAAC. An exceptional shot blocker with an improving offensive game, the 6-foot-7 sophomore eerily resembles a mid-major version of NBA star Paul Millsap.
3. EMMY NOMINEE
He may only be a freshman but Emmy Andjuar plays like a 40 year old man in a rec league on Long Island. The Jaspers first-year power forward is an exceptional passer and capable outside shooter. This former Rice product is the perfect “glue-guy” for Manhattan, who will need to be a team whose sum is truly greater than its parts if they are to surprise in MAAC play.
4. MAAC SLEEPER
There seems to be a consensus that Iona is the team to beat the MAAC followed by Fairfield and Loyola but keep an eye on Manhattan. The Jaspers have solid depth and could be a team that could be playing its best basketball in February. Keep an eye on this group throughout the season.
5. TURNOVER PRONE
Fordham knew there was going to be growing pains this season when they brought in three freshman guards but in order to give themselves any chance in the Atlantic-10, they’re going to have to do a much better job of taking care of the ball. The Rams had 15 turnovers in the first half against the Manhattan and starting point guard Fatty McMillan finished with 10 all by himself. Tom Pecora’s team is going to have be much more cautious with the basketball if they hope to be competitive during the rest of the season.
BY THE NUMBERS
The number of turnovers by Fordham.
The number of Manhattan players in double figures.
THEY SAID IT
“It’s on me. I didn’t have my guys ready to match their intensity,” Fordham coach Tom Pecora on the 81-47 loss to Manhattan.
“We don’t have an MVP. We have multiple guys who can make plays. On any given night, a different guy can lead us,” Manhattan coach Steve Masiello on his team.
How impressed have you been with the Jaspers? Let’s hear it in the comments below…