Iona Men's Basketball 2015 NIT Tournament Capsule

Iona Gaels
MAAC (26-8, 17-3)


Iona had not lost a game since January 18th until the final conference game. They lost an early conference game back on December 7th, a conference game at Canisius in January and the March 1 loss to Saint Peter’s to end conference play. That is just two losses since the New Year heading into the conference tournament. This is a Gaels team that can score with anybody and they can be a very dangerous team in March.

Big Wins: 11/21 at Wake Forest (85-81), 12/23 FGCU (86-67), 1/22 at Rider (78-68)
Bad Losses: 12/7 at Monmouth (89-92), 12/20 at George Mason (81-86), 3/1 at St. Peter’s (60-68)
Coach: Tim Cluess

Why They Can Surprise:
What makes Iona’s run so impressive is that they did most of it without Isaiah Williams. He missed over a month of action before making his return in the second to last regular season game of the year. Williams is one of many great shooters for Iona and, at 6-7, can help out on the glass. A.J. English and Schadrac Casimir are amazing shooters too. They spearhead one of the best, and prolific, three-point shooting teams on the nation. On top of his 19.9 points per game, English averages 5.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds. Casimir adds 14.8 points per game and knocks down 42.5 percent of his long range attempts. The other big time scorer is David Laury. The 6-9 senior forward averages 19.6 points and 9.5 rebounds. Laury can shoot the ball, but he does most of his damage around the basket.

Why They Can Disappoint:
The Gaels can score in bunches, yet they will give up a lot of points as well. Allowing a lot of points is one thing, but allowing the opposition to get easy buckets is the bigger problem. They are going to run into talented offenses that will be able to quickly take advantage of their defense. The rebounding has been an issue this season too. The Gaels are going to lose out on possessions on the glass. However, the return of Williams, who was leading the team in steals before his injury, will help on the defensive end of the floor. In their early season loss to Arkansas, with Williams on the floor, Iona was outrebounded 51 to 40 and committed seven more turnovers than the Razorbacks. It will not take long before Iona runs into another team that has talent and a plethora of scorers like Arkansas.

Probable Starters:
A.J. English, Junior, Guard, 19.9 ppg, 5.0 apg, 5.0 rpg
Schadrac Casimir, Freshman, Guard, 14.8 ppg, 2.0 apg
Isaiah Williams, Junior, Guard, 13.9 ppg, 2.2 apg, 6.2 rpg
Ryden Hines, Sophomore, Forward, 3.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg
David Laury, Senior, Forward, 19.6 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 1.3 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Kelvin Amayo, Junior, Guard, 7.8 ppg, 2.7 apg, 4.9 rpg
Ibn Muhammad, Junior, Guard, 2.2 ppg, 1.9 apg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 79.9 (7th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 72.6 (309, 10)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.0 (37, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.5 (155, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 10.1 (4, 1)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 40.4 (7, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.3 (123, 6)
Rebound Margin: -1.5 (248, 7)
Assists Per Game: 16.5 (11, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.3 (154, 3)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2014    NIT    First Round loss to Louisiana Tech
2013    NCAA    Second Round loss to Ohio State
2012    NCAA    First Round loss to BYU
2011    CIT    First Round win over Valparaiso
2011    CIT    Quarterfinal win over Buffalo
2011    CIT    Semifinal win over East Tennessee State
2011    CIT    Final loss to Santa Clara
2006    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to LSU
2001    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Mississippi
2000    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Maryland
1998    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Syracuse

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules