Iona Men's Basketball 2019 NCAA Tournament Capsule


Iona Gaels

MAAC (17-15, 12-6)

Not many expected Iona to reach their fourth straight NCAA Tournament in 2019. But one should never doubt Coach Tim Cluess. It was a tight conference race, but the Gaels ended up on top with a 12-6 record and then they cruised through the MAAC Tournament to reach yet another NCAA Tournament.
Big Wins: 11/21 vs Hartford (80-75), 3/1 at Rider (86-79), 3/11 vs Monmouth (81-60)
Bad Losses: 12/9 vs Columbia (71-74), 1/11 at Niagara (90-95), 1/27 at Fairfield (68-80)
Coach: Tim Cluess
Why They Can Surprise:
Once again this is an Iona team that can shoot the basketball effectively. The top five scorers on the team are all capable of stepping outside and knocking down three-pointers. Asante Gist, a junior guard, has been the most prolific this season, knocking down 64 long balls. Ben Perez has been the most efficient shooter, hitting 40.3 percent of his attempts from long range. E.J. Crawford and Rickey McGill are good shooters too, but those two can score in a wide variety of ways. Crawford leads the team with 17.9 points per game and McGill adds 15.5 points, 5.0 assists and 2.3 steals.
Why They Can Disappoint:
The frontcourt will be asked to do a lot defensively. Junior Tajuan Agee has emerged as a good shooter, overall scorer and rebounder, but this is not a great rebounding team. The Gaels consistently get outrebounded and that will likely continue during the NCAA Tournament. Iona can deal with that, but they will need Agee and reserve forwards Andrija Ristanovic and Jahnathan Maxwell to play solid defense in order to give the offense a chance to pull off an upset.
Probable Starters:
E. J. Crawford, Junior, Guard/Forward, 17.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg
Rickey McGill, Senior, Guard, 15.5 ppg, 5.0 apg, 4.6 rpg, 2.3 spg
Tajuan Agee, Junior, Forward, 13.3 ppg, 8.1 rpg
Asante Gist, Junior, Guard, 12.4 ppg, 2.3 apg
Ben Perez, Junior, Guard, 8.5 ppg, 1.1 apg
Key Role Players:
Andrija Ristanovic, Freshman, Forward, 3.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg
Jahnathan Maxwell, Junior, Forward, 2.6 ppg, 1.9 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 76.7 (76th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 76.1 (287, 11)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.3 (130, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.5 (221, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.7 (76, 3)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.8 (152, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.7 (73, 1)
Rebound Margin: -2.2 (271, 8)
Assists Per Game: 13.2 (197, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.5 (120, 3)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2018NCAARound of 64 loss to Duke
2017NCAARound of 64 loss to Oregon
2016NCAARound of 64 loss to Iowa State
2015NITFirst Round loss to Rhode Island
2014NITFirst Round loss to Louisiana Tech
2013NCAARound of 64 loss to Ohio State
2012NCAAOpening Round loss to BYU
2011CITFirst Round win over Valparaiso
2011CITQuarterfinal win over Buffalo
2011CITSemifinal win over East Tennessee State
2011CITFinal loss to Santa Clara
2006NCAARound of 64 loss to LSU
2001NCAARound of 64 loss to Mississippi
2000NCAARound of 64 loss to Maryland
1998NCAARound of 64 loss to Syracuse
*all team stats through 3/10