Iona Men's Basketball 2016 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Iona Gaels
MAAC (22-10, 16-4)
Iona was the favorite to win the MAAC heading into the 2015-2016 campaign. And then Monmouth happened and the Gaels took a back seat. But once MAAC play came around, Iona was not afraid of Monmouth. The Gaels fell at home when the two met the first time by a not so surprising score of 110 to 102. At Monmouth later in the season, Iona got road revenge and won 83-67. Inevitably, the two would meet again in MAAC title game and this time the experience of Iona was too much for the Hawks and it was Iona who earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Big Wins: 2/19 at Monmouth (83-67), 2/22 at Siena (87-81), 3/7 vs Monmouth (79-76)
Bad Losses: 12/19 at Rhode Island (74-79), 1/17 at Rider (75-79), 1/24 at Fairfield (91-98)
Coach: Tim Cluess
Why They Can Surprise:
The experience for Iona begins with senior guard A.J. English. English averages 22.4 points per game and is one of the best scorers in the country. He can shoot from anywhere on the floor and will use his 6-4 frame to attack the basket effectively as well. Normally scoring 22.4 points per game would be enough, but English is also one of the best passers in the game and he dishes out 6.2 assists per game. If that was not enough, he also averages 5.0 rebounds and tops the team with 1.5 steals per contest. Win or lose, English is one of those handful of players that everybody should enjoy watching in the NCAA Tournament. The backcourt also includes sophomore Deyshonee Much and senior Isaiah Williams. Much has had a surprising sophomore season, averaging 13.1 points per game and connecting on an impressive 45.0 percent of his 171 attempts from beyond the arc. Williams is more of a forward than a guard on this team and more often than not, the 6-7 senior is playing at the four spot. But with his athleticism and ability to hit the glass, he is effective at that spot. Like English and Much, Williams is a dangerous outside shooter, but he is also the team’s top rebounder at 7.0 per game.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Yet, the Gaels are a small team and it shows on the glass. Williams does what he can and Jordan Washington and Aaron Rountree can help out, but the team is still outrebounded on a regular basis. Washington is the team’s best interior scorer and averages 13.8 points per game. Having an interior scorer like Washington, can really open things up for the big three shooters. Rountree is not as effective in the scoring department, but he is one of the most versatile players in the country. His 6.3 points per game may not thrill anybody, but he also averages 5.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.8 blocks. There is not much Rountree cannot do for this team. The problem is there is really no depth in the frontcourt. When Washington needs a break or runs into foul trouble, which seems to happen every time he steps on the floor, Rountree has to spend a lot of time at the five spot and Williams is really the only guard who can effectively play the four. So once Washington is in foul trouble, Rountree and Williams have a lot of pressure on them to stay on the floor and be productive. Against some of the bigger and more talented teams Iona is bound to run into in the NCAA Tournament, that is a huge problem.
Probable Starters:
A.J. English, Senior, Guard, 22.4 ppg, 6.2 apg, 5.0 rpg, 1.5 spg
Ibn Muhammad, Senior, Guard, 5.2 ppg, 2.7 apg
Deyshonee Much, Sophomore, Guard, 13.1 ppg, 1.7 apg
Isaiah Williams, Senior, Guard, 12.9 ppg, 1.9 apg, 7.0 rpg
Jordan Washington, Junior, Forward, 13.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg
Key Roleplayers:
Rickey McGill, Freshman, Guard, 2.9 ppg
Jahaad Proctor, Freshman, Guard, 5.3 ppg, 1.1 apg
Aaron Rountree, Senior, Forward, 6.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.7 apg, 1.8 bpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 79.6 (35th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 73.6 (224, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.7 (91, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.0 (94, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 10.0 (11, 1)   
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.2 (59, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.1 (127, 7)
Rebound Margin: -0.4 (210, 6)
Assists Per Game: 17.0 (18, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.9 (194, 5)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2015    NIT      First Round loss to Rhode Island
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 3/6