Manhattan Picked Atop MAAC Men's Basketball Preseason Poll
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - The Manhattan College men's basketball team was chosen first in the 2013-14 MAAC preseason poll, selected by the league's 11 head coaches. The Jaspers received 10 first-place votes, on their way to being selected atop the preseason poll for the first time since 2004.
Manhattan returns four starters from last year's squad that advanced to the 2013 MAAC championship game, which Iona won 60-57. The defending champion Gaels were picked second in the poll, followed by Canisius, Rider, Marist, Fairfield, Quinnipiac, Niagara, Saint Peter's, Siena and Monmouth.
"We have a chance to be good. That's how I look at this team. No different than how I looked at least year's team, head coach Steve Masiello said on ESPN3's MAAC Preseason Show that aired Wednesday. "We're another team looking to dethrone the champion, like the Baltimore Ravens are the champion of the NFL and everyone is trying to dethrone them. We're like the other 10 teams in the MAAC right now - we're looking to dethrone the champion."
MAAC Defensive Player of the Year Rhamel Brown leads a veteran core that includes senior classmates Michael Alvarado, an All-MAAC guard, and George Beamon, a two-time All-MAAC guard/forward. Sophomore Shane Richards was named the MAAC Co-Rookie of the Year in 2013 and classmate RaShawn Stores earned a spot on the MAAC All-Rookie team. The veteran score also includes versatile junior forward Emmy Andujar and sophomore Ashton Pankey, who sat out last season after transferring from Maryland.
Manhattan begins the 2013-14 season on Saturday, November 9 at La Salle in a 2 p.m. start. Following a game at Columbia on Nov. 12, the Jaspers open their home slate on Saturday, Nov. 16 against George Washington.
The entire preseason poll is listed below. First place votes are in parantheses.