9. Manhattan Jaspers
2005-06 Record: 20-11 (14-4 MAAC)
Last season’s final ranking (NY Metro area poll): 3rd
Head Coach: Barry Rohrssen (first year @ Manhattan, overall)
Leading Returnees: Points (Arturo Dubois-15.0 ppg); Rebounds (Dubois-8.5 rpg); Assists (Dubois-1.0 apg)
Returning Starters: 2 (F Devon Austin (So. 6’6, 200), F Arturo Dubois (Jr. 6’8, 240)
Key Losses: F C.J. Anderson, G Jeff Xavier, G Jason Wingate, G Kenny Minor, F Mike Konovelchick
Year one of the Barry Rohrssen era begins with a lot of uncertainty, with only Arturo Dubois and Devon Austin having a wealth of game experience. Dubois, who leads returning Jaspers in points and rebounds, will be called upon for even more in the paint. Unlike last season, when Manhattan had a wealth of backcourt talent to cover for their lack of size inside, Dubois cannot afford to have long spells of foul trouble. Darren Johnson is the only other frontcourt player to have started a game last season, so look for incoming freshmen Laurence Jolicouer and Brandon Adams to compete for playing time. Junior Franck Traore and senior Guy Ngarndi, two interior players who saw very little time last season, will also be competing for minutes.
While the frontcourt has its issues, the backcourt may be in even worse shape. Losing Jason Wingate and Kenny Minor was expected, but Jeff Xavier transferring to Providence due to the coaching change leaves Coach Rohrssen without an experienced option in the backcourt. It is almost a guarantee that a freshman will be handed the reigns, but the question is which one. True freshmen Patrick Bouli, Antoine Pearson and Darryl Crawford will all compete for minutes. Redshirt freshman Christian Jackson and true freshman Jamel Crawford are versatile perimeter players that can play either the shooting guard or small forward positions.
Year one will have its growing pains, but the Jaspers have some young talent, given the recruiting of Coach Rohrssen. But losing two key contributors who chose to transfer, C.J. Anderson (Xavier) and Jeff Xavier (Providence), may be too much this year.
Schedule at a Glance
Manhattan will play their first five games of the season at home, beginning with the New Jersey Institute of Technology on November 11th. With the home stand including visits by Hofstra, Wagner, and Princeton, the Jaspers could make their first road trip with a losing record. Non-conference road games include Memphis, Long Beach State, and Pepperdine. Manhattan will also participate in the ESPN Bracket Busters weekend, so areas of relief in the non-conference slate will be few and far between.
MAAC play opens with a trip to The Arena at Harbor Yard to face Fairfield December 8th. The Jaspers return home to play Loyola (Md.) two days later in their MAAC home opener. With Marist and Canisius being the two teams predicted to be at the top of the standings, the competition for spots underneath will be fierce. Last year’s squad managed to go 6-3 on the road n MAAC play, but that was a much more experience team. Their first road trip of 2007 takes them to Canisius, rival Iona, and St. Peter’s, not an easy chore for a young team. How the Jaspers play on the road will tell the story of whether or not they play on the first day of the MAAC Tournament. The season ends with Iona at Draddy Gymnasium on February 25th.
Interesting Note: The MAAC Tournament will take place from March 2nd-5th at The Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, CT. The league, due to the NIT’s policy that regular season champions automatically qualify for the tournament, has gotten rid of the “double-bye” for its champion. Seeds 7-10 will play on the tournament’s opening day.
2005-06 Team Averages
· Points per game: 76.8 - Points per game allowed: 75.4 - Scoring Margin: + 1.4
· Rebounds per game: 35.2 - Opp. Rebounds per game: 38.2 - Rebounding Margin: - 3.0
· Assists per game: 13.1 - Turnovers per game: 12.9 - Assist-to-Turnover Ratio: 1:1
· Field Goal Percentage: 45.4% - FG Percentage Defense: 43.0%
· 3-Point Percentage: 35.6% - 3-Point Percentage Def.: 37.5%
· Free Throw Percentage: 68.6%
· Longest winning streak: 10 (Marist, @ Loyola-MD, @ North Dakota St., @ South Dakota St., Fordham, St. Francis-NY, @ Iona, St. Peter’s, Rider, Siena) December 9th-January 15th
· Longest losing streak: 4 (@ Seton Hall, George Mason, @ Syracuse, @ Rhode Island) November 14th-December 6th
· Manhattan knocked off Fairleigh Dickinson and Maryland before losing to Old Dominion in the second round of the Postseason NIT.