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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

August 21st, 2006

By Joel Welser

Broadcast Basketball


Marist Red Foxes


Overall Rank: #81

Conference Rank: #1 MAAC


2005-06: 19-10, 12-6, 3rd  

2005-06 postseason: none


With four starters returning who all averaged in double digit scoring last year, Marist is the obvious preseason favorite in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.  It helps that teams like Siena and Manhattan have been crushed by transfers.  Coach Matt Brady’s biggest test will be dealing with the high expectations and keeping his side consistent throughout the season, a quality that has hindered the Red Foxes in the past.


Who’s Out: Carl Hood averaged 7.7 points and 4.5 rebounds as a senior.  The 6-3 wing averaged over 30 minutes per contest, but his numbers are replaceable.  Seldom used James Sutton has also run out of eligibility.


Who’s In: Incoming freshman guard Dejuan Goodwin may see a few minutes this year due to his defensive skills on the perimeter.  Goodwin, who earned All-City honors at Mt. St. Joseph’s in Baltimore, averaged 12.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists as a senior.  Wilfred ‘Spongy’ Benjamin, nicknamed for his soft, spongy like body as a child, will look to make a bigger impact this season after spending two years at Williston State College in North Dakota.  The 6-7 forward has good athleticism and will provide some toughness in the paint and on the glass.  Fortunately, the pudgy, spongy exterior is gone, but the nickname remains. 


Who to Watch: There are plenty of options to choose from.  Jared Jordan led the team with 16.1 points and 8.5 assists per game as a junior and backcourt mate Will Whittington is a sharpshooter.  Jordan, who appears to run all game long with little rest, is one of the best in the conference.  He does it all and is a pest on the defensive end, not to mention his 8.5 assists led the nation last season..  Whittington averaged 15.4 points per game last campaign and shot nearly 41 percent from long range.  Last years sixth man, Ben Farmer, will step in for the departed Hood.  The 6-5 wing averaged 6.6 points and 2.9 boards last season and should contribute much more given the starting nod. 


Final Projection: The frontcourt is deep, returning starters James Smith and Ryan Stilphen on the court and Miles Orman and Shae McNamara coming off the bench.  Smith, a 7-0 center, averaged 12.2 points and 5.8 rebounds during his first season at Marist after transferring from Westchester Community College in New York.  Even bigger things are expected from Smith as a senior, especially if he can stay out of foul trouble.  Stilphen is another solid scoring option in the paint and led the team with 7.0 boards per contest a year ago.  The 6-8 power forward from Bay Village, Ohio will once again provide a 1-2 punch along with Smith under the basket that most teams in the conference will have trouble stopping.  This is the year folks in Poughkeepsie have been waiting for since their last NCAA appearance in 1987.  Now the team just has to perform and live up to the high expectations.


Projected Post-season Tournament: NCAA


Projected Starting Five:

Jared Jordan, Senior, Guard, 16.1 points per game

Will Whittington, Senior, Guard, 15.4 points per game

Ben Farmer, Junior, Guard, 6.6 points per game

Ryan Stilphen, Junior, Forward, 12.1 points per game

James Smith, Senior, Center, 12.2 points per game

82 Penn » Complete List » 80 George Mason

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