Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Three's Company

What a game at Harbor Yard.

There were three instances in the game in which the Stags looked like deer in the headlights and in trouble, especially the final in-bound in the waning seconds. Mamadou's shot was one of the highlights of the year - right up there with Han's three in the opener and Van Schaick's Sienna heroics.

Here's a few quick game thoughts from court side:
  • First off, I'll come out and say it: I'm shocked they won. The Stags were playing a winless team hungry for a W and facing a club they felt they should have beat the first time around. They were pushed to the limit against the Gaels twice and managed to dodge a silver bullet.
  • Iona is an underrated team that has lost it's fair share of games by a small margin, but it wasn't too long ago that Fairfield was that team. Only recently have the Stags developed an MO for pulling out the tight win. It's a great sign of progress.
  • Van Schaick's recent success is great; but I think it is his leadership and off-court presence that is more impressive. His confidence is beginning to spread throughout the entire team. It's no fluke that their winning streak is in the middle of his outstanding efforts.
  • With an upcoming game against a weak St. Peter's team and two games in a row at Harbor Yard, Cooley's crew has an outstanding opportunity to develop a win streak. Their confidence is at an all-time high after three dramatic wins, and they can stake a claim at a great position in the MAAC tourney if they can keep it going. Avoiding a play-in game would be ideal.
  • Greg Nero did not play a whole lot down the stretch - but did check back on several times on occasion. I don't think it was so much that Nero has struggled of late as much as it was Cooley's way of asking the seniors (three on the court in OT - Shake, Mamadou, O'Sullivan) to step up.
  • Despite no longer being suspended, Danny Ogelsby did not suit up today. It should be interesting to see how that plays out over the course of the week.
  • Iona coach Jeff Ruland was disheartened after the game. You can't help but feel bad for an 0-19 team that has lost three overtime games in a matter of a week. Still, Iona's always been a MAAC powerhouse; I'm sure they'll be back.

Tom will be back later to give a few thought and the quotes o' the night.

See you Friday.

- Keith


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