MAAC Coaches Talk

By Josh Herwitt - October 23, 2007


NEW YORK -- The coaches each got a chance at the podium to answer for some questions about their teams, so here's what they're saying...

Saint Peter's head coach John Dunn

On his expectations of Todd Sowell and Raul Orta:
"They're extremely high. I don't know how the preseason ballot, Todd Soles will push for First Team All-MAAC honors. I feel the same with Raul."

On his freshmen this year:
"e have great senior leadership, but we have seven new faces. We need some of our freshmen to step up."

Canisius head coach Tom Parrotta

On his young team:
"We have nine new faces that were added to the roster. They're a pretty talented group. They're very young right now. We're waiting for that day to come rather feverously."

Iona head coach Kevin Willard

On his team's outlook:
"The team has really come together. It's like having 13 freshmen because they don't know my style and I don't know their style. We're just looking to have some fun."

On playing Manhattan at Madison Square Garden:
"Any time you can come to the Garden it's terrific. There's a reason why it's the greatest arena in the world."

Manhattan head coach Barry Rohrssen

On junior forward Devon Austin:
"Devin will obviously be an important of our team. We'll count on his leadership and maturity."

On playing Iona in Madison Square Garden:
"Our school, our team is very excited. [Iona head coach] Kevin [Willard] and I have a bond that goes back to coaching at Pittsburgh. It's great to come into the Garden. It's going to mean a lot to us."

Fairfield head coach Ed Cooley

On his frontcourt:
"We continue to build on from last year. Our frontcourt is the identity of our team and we hope it can continue to get better."

On his defense:
"We were the worst rebounding team last year so that's our priority. We're still a young team and will depend on that youth to carry us."

Marist head coach Matt Brady

On winning non-conference games last year:
"We do have six seniors, so it was great for our program and our recruiting, but really there's some disconnect because we have eight new guys that didn't see it last year. We have to learn how to win with a whole new group now."

On losing MAAC Player of the Year Jared Jordan:
"Most programs are going to lose good players every year, and as good a player as Jared was, we have to grow up. Hopefully those young guys will learn and our five seniors will lead the way."

Rider head coach Tommy Dempsey

On his expectations for Jason Thompson:
"We're much more than a one-man show. I'm pretty confident what I'll get from him. I know I'll get the numbers from him, even if he's having a bad night. But it's the guys around him who I've raised my expectations for."

On the rest of his team:
"We have a lot of experience. As long as our two freshmen point guards can take care of the ball, it's good to have a lot of experience around them and we have that right now with Lamar Johnson and Ryan Thompson."

On his schedule:
"You have to pick your spots and this is a year we want to challenge our group. Hopefully we'll be able to represent the MAAC and be competitive in our non-conference games this season."

Niagara head coach Joe Mihalich

On Charron Fisher and Tyrone Lewis:
"They have a knack for putting the ball in the basket. Sometimes they have sticky fingers, but they can score. Lewis does it with his athleticism and Fisher does it with his size and know-how."

On his frontcourt:
"Stanley Hodge is going to have to help as well as our freshmen but our frontcourt is thin."

Loyola associate head coach Brian Blaney:

On senior guard Gerald Brown:
"We like to score and he's our best scorers. But the other guys have to stay healthy and stay on the floor for us. If we can stay healthy, we'll be a lot better."

Siena head coach Fran McCaffery

On reaching the MAAC Tournament championship game:
"I think we played a lot of close games [last year]. This league is the best it's been and we'll be in a lot of close games, so I think it will help us."

On Kenny Hasbrouck:
"Kenny has phenomenal character and work ethic. The example he sets...I haven't coached too many players who goes as hard as him."

On the rest of his team:
"Alex Franklin established himself at the end of last year in the MAAC Tournament and continued to get better this summer. I like our team."

Posted by Josh Herwitt at 12:57 PM on October 23, 2007
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