Iona Men's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Iona Gaels

MAAC (20-13, 11-7)

Iona has dominated the MAAC under Coach Tim Cluess. But heading into this year there were lots of questions around this team. And that proved to be accurate as the Gaels finished fourth in the conference pecking order with an 11-7 record. But when the conference tournament came around, Iona continued their dominance and reached their fifth NCAA Tournament in seven years.
Big Wins: 12/29 at Niagara (98-83), 1/14 Rider (91-64), 3/5 vs Fairfield (83-71)
Bad Losses: 11/19 vs Coastal Carolina (84-89), 2/8 Monmouth (50-72), 2/12 at Siena (78-82)
Coach: Tim Cluess
Why They Can Surprise:
Iona wants to press their opponents on the defensive end and pick up the pace of play. The Gaels can create a ton of turnovers against a backcourt that is not ready for their pressure. That often leads to easy buckets on the other end. But Iona can score in a hurry even without a turnover. Coach Cluess runs a seven man rotation that is full of shooters and quality passers. Rickey McGill is the leader of the team, averaging 13.5 points and 5.6 assists. E.J. Crawford is another dynamic scorer who can attack the basket and knock down outside shots. Deyshonee Much and Schadrac Casimir are the most prolific and consistent three-point shooters. Casimir is shooting an amazing 46.3 percent from beyond the arc.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Iona has some size with 6-8 senior TK Edogi and 6-7 junior Roland Griffin, but this is not a good rebounding team. Much of that is due to their style of play, but the Gaels frontcourt has to be tough against the bigger, strong competition they will run into during the NCAA Tournament. The turnover margin could quickly be negated by the rebounding margin and that could put an end to Iona’s upset hopes very quickly.
Probable Starters:
Rickey McGill, Junior, Guard, 13.5 ppg, 5.6 apg, 4.1 rpg, 1.6 spg
Schadrac Casimir, Junior, Guard, 10.4 ppg, 1.8 apg
Zach Lewis, Senior, Guard, 9.2 ppg, 3.0 apg, 1.5 spg
E.J. Crawford, Sophomore, Guard, 12.9 ppg, 1.1 apg
TK Edogi, Senior, Forward, 8.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.2 bpg
Key Role Players:
Roland Griffin, Junior, Forward, 10.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg
Deyshonee Much, Senior, Guard, 10.8 ppg, 2.4 apg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 79.7 (51st in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 76.3 (276, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.1 (104, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 46.1 (279, 10)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.8 (25, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.9 (31, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.3 (97, 1)
Rebound Margin: -4.0 (316, 11)
Assists Per Game: 16.1 (37, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.7 (60, 2)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2017    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Oregon
2016    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Iowa State
2015    NIT     First Round loss to Rhode Island
2014    NIT     First Round loss to Louisiana Tech
2013    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Ohio State
2012    NCAA Opening 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 3/4