2002 NCAA Preview

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The following conference preview is provided by Blue Ribbon. For the nation's most comprehensive look at all Division I teams, be sure to order the 2001-02 Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, on sale now at 1-800-775-2518.

Metro Atlantic
Projected order of finish
1  Iona  6  Manhattan 
2  Marist  7  Rider 
3  Fairfield  8  Canisius 
4  Niagara  9  Loyola 
5  Siena  10  St. Peter's
All-Conference Team
Pos.  Name  Year  School  PPG 
G   Sean Kennedy   SR   Marist   9.2  
G   Daryl Greene   SR   Niagara   10.6  
F   Sam Spann   SR   Fairfield   15.0  
F   Mario Porter   SR   Rider   19.2  
F   Dyree Wilson   SR   Iona   12.5  
Player of the Year    Mario Porter, SR, Rider
Newcomer of the Year    Deng Gai, FR, Fairfield

Senior Dyree Wilson (12.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.0 apg) will be one of the cornerstones as Iona tries to become the first MAAC team since La Salle in 1988-90 to win the league title three straight years. Greg Jenkins, Iona's other returning starter, made an impact as a freshman (8.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg, .581 FG). Jenkins, 6-9, played only 21.4 minutes per game and needs to improve his rebounding, but has the potential to put up big numbers this season. The same could be true for versatile 6-9 junior Courtney Fields, who shook off a year of inactivity to put together a solid first season (7.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.5 spg). Ramel Allen, a transfer from Monroe Community College in Rochester (N.Y.), will be charged with assuming a large part of departed center Naiea Miller's role inside. Marist will be a solid contender behind its excellent guard combo of seniors Sean Kennedy and Rick Smith, starters for the third straight season. Kennedy (9.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 8.1 apg, 2.4 spg), the first Red Fox to earn first-team All-MAAC honors, led the conference and finished third in the country in assists last season. He also topped the conference and ranked 23rd in the nation in steals. One of the MAAC's top backcourt defenders, the 6-3 Smith (11.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.4 spg) has also made steady progress on offense throughout his career. He has the physical strength to post up and the range to hit outside jump shots (.333 3PT). Fairfield will get a boost from Connecticut transfer Ajou Deng, a 6-11 center, and his cousin, 6-9 freshman Deng Gai. Syracuse transfer Sam Spann had a great debut season in the MAAC last year, averaging nearly a double-double. Throw in 6-10 sophomore Rob Thompson and the Stags could have the league's most imposing front line.  


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