Monday, January 22, 2007

Connors Corner: January 22

The Week Ahead for Fairfield Men's Basketball (Jan. 22 Edition)

After a compelling victory in Albany, the Stags head into the final week of January with a bit of confidence and (dare I say it) momentum. Fairfield has won two games in a row, including a stunning victory against Sienna spurred on by senior Mike Van Schaick. A Glen Falls native, Van Schaick played in front of family and friends and didn't disappoint, totaling 27 points.

The week ahead appears to be a potential success story, as Coach Cooley and the boys face two sub-par MAAC squads whom the Stags have already played once already.

At the onset of the week, Fairfield takes on Iona at Harbor Yard. Iona, winless in its first 17 games, should be considered an easy win. However, it was only a few days ago that Fairfield was inches a way of being the dubious first to let the Gaels win. Yikes.

Let's hope the Stags learned their lesson and come out as strong as they did in the waning minutes of their victory against the Saints last Friday night.

As if the season's first sustained win streak wasn't enough motivation, a local paper in New Rochelle predicted the Stags to be Iona's victory. Hopefully for the Stags, they'll use it as a little bulletin board material and prove them wrong.

In the latter part of a week brings a Friday night match-up with St. Peter's (Peacocks? Who knows.) What I do know is St. Peter's comes into the game sporting a lowly 3-15 record, with their only MAAC win coming from (you guessed it!) Iona.

The Mirror Sports Blog will have an in-depth preview and game capsule, not to mention live Glog (Game Log) coverage by yours truly.

Now over to Tom for some practices notes..

- Keith

Men's basketball finished up their final practice before tomorrow's Iona game. The team seemed relaxed and ready for the next game. Most of the team was still on the court following practice when I arrived.

  • Greg Nero `10 and Jonathan Han `09 were working on three point shooting, while Mamadou Diakhate `08, Anthony Johnson `10, and Roi Buchbinder `10 were all taking extra free throw practice. The other players were heading back to the court for more shooting as I left practice.
  • I talked with Mike Van Schaick about his final game at Siena and he seemed to be very happy with the victory and his performance. Coach Cooley was also very pleased with the emergance of Van Schaick as a leader, both on and off the court.
  • Coach Cooley feels that the Stags will need to do what they do, play strong defense and rebound, in order to stop Iona. The key player he will be looking to shut down is senior forward Anthony Bruin. Bruin, who is 6'7 and weighs 250 pounds, is a good inside scorer who will prove to be a difficult matchup for Nero, Johnson, and Marty O'Sullivan `07. Bruin scored 16 points for the Gaels, but that total could have been much higher. Bruin was put on the line 13 times, but only connected on 4 of those free throw attempts. He is only a 40 percent free throw shooter on the season. Bruin also had 8 rebounds for Iona, as he helped the Gaels to an even rebound margin.
  • Van Schaick said that the players feel pressure before every game and that this one will not be any different. He says that the players look at the Gaels not as a 0-18 team, but as a division one basketball team, that took them to overtime in their last matchup.
Check the Mirror website tomorrow morning for an in depth look into the Stags matchup with the Gaels and the blog for Frank Romano's game day capsule.

-Tom Cleary


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