When you think of the MAAC, you probably think of Fran McCaffery's Siena Saints. While the talent on Siena can inundate premier programs, the skill throughout the MAAC is even more abundant.
It's only September, but choosing All-Conference teams can never be done too early. Making the final cuts was really difficult, so the last slide includes the All-MAAC Honorable Mentions.
Ryan Thompson, Sr., Rider
Of the nation's returning guards, none has a superior field goal percentage to Thompson's 52.1 percent. Take that conversion rate and look at his 1.49 points per shot, and you'll see that Thompson is the MAAC's most effective guard.
His 18 points per game in 2008-09 were a tenth of a point shy of Jamal Barney's MAAC-leading average and his 42.2 percent three-point percentage was second to Justin Robinson's.
Capable of carrying Rider's offense, Thompson is also an adept rebounder (6.5 rpg) and defender (1.8 spg). Ryan Thompson is the MAAC's best and most valuable player.
Alex Franklin, Sr., Siena
Often overshadowed by Kenny Hasbrouck and Edwin Ubiles, Franklin is arguably the most efficient offensive player on Siena.
His 13.6 points per game don't seem like much, but his 56.3 percent field goal percentage and 1.57 points per shot endorse the statement. When a determined Franklin has the ball within 12 feet of the hoop, defenses have trouble stopping the forward.
Franklin averaged 7.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game on the other end of the floor.
Edwin Ubiles, Sr., Siena
A question hovers over Siena's small forward: "Will we see the Edwin Ubiles of 2007-08 or 2008-09 in 2009-10?"
As a sophomore, Ubiles' impressive campaign had NBA scouts planning trips to Albany. Unfortunately for the Saints, the forward's production took a significant drop last season.
Regardless of which Ubiles shows up, he'll still be a member of the MAAC's First Team. His team-leading 15 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and one block per game are impossible to leave out of this selection.
Bilal Benn, Sr., Niagara
Always aggressive, always hustling, Benn is Niagara's MVP. He might be second to Tyrone Lewis in scoring, but his 13.8 points per game along with his league-leading 9.3 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game are enough to prove my point.
Jamal Barney, Jr., Loyola MD
In his first MAAC season, Barney topped the scoring chart with 18.1 points per game. His 41.6 percent field goal percentage might seem a bit low, but, really, it's remarkable, considering the Greyhounds relied on Barney taking 498 shots.
The Providence transfer does not show up only on offense, but he also rebounds (5.5 rpg) and defends (1.4 spg). Assuming Barney worked to enhance his jumpshot, one can only imagine that his numbers will rise.
Tyrone Lewis, Sr., Niagara
Dropping Lewis from the first team was audacious, but his low field goal percentage (33.7 percent) debases his 16.2 points per game.
While he is somewhat inefficient on offense (1.09 points per shot), his defense is exceptional. His 2.6 steals per game were insurmountable and his 0.8 blocks per game as a guard cannot be neglected.
It is incontrovertible that Lewis belongs with the elite of the MAAC.
Rico Pickett, Jr., Manhattan
Yet to play a game in green and white, Pickett was highly touted out of high school (ranked 46th in 2007 ESPNU Top 100) and was essential to Miami Dade Junior College's success last year.
Pickett, who averaged 17.3 points and five assists per game at Dade, will be Manhattan's floor general. If you don't think he's worthy of Second Team honors, search "Rico Pickett" on YouTube.
Ryan Rossiter, Jr., Siena
Although Rossiter doesn't provide as much offense as some of his teammates do, one could argue that the center is Siena's MVP.
Rossiter contributes in every statistical aspect other than assisting and long range shooting. His 10 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 1.9 blocks per game appear special, but his 62.4 percent field goal percentage, 79 percent free throw percentage, and 1.73 points per shot are incomparable.
He always hustles and has a penchant for laying all 81 inches of himself on the floor to corral a loose ball. Rossiter is one-of-a-kind.
Darryl Crawford, Sr., Manhattan
Always an athletic slasher, Crawford developed into an all-around offensive talent last season. This became evident after Devon Austin's season ended early due to back problems and coach Rohrssen relied on Crawford to make up for the senior's 11.1 points per game.
In the 10 games following Austin's injury, Crawford erupted, averaging 19.2 points per game. Throughout the season, Crawford shot 37.3 percent from deep and also collected 1.4 steals per game.
Greg Nero, Sr., Fairfield
Nero is a leader and a valuable player to the Stags. He averaged 12.4 points on 1.51 points per shot, 6.4 rebounds, and about a steal and block per game.
Third to Rossiter's and Franklin's is Nero's 53.9 percent field goal percentage. Assuming the senior has fully recovered from his late season injury, expect Nero to have a breakout final season following the departures of Jon Han and Herbie Allen.
Ronald Moore, Sr., Siena
Famous to the college basketball world for his clutch treys against Ohio State, Moore runs the Siena offense.
The senior's assists (6.4 per game) and assist to turnover ratio (2.9:1) went unmatched in the MAAC last season.
Prone to taking unwise shots, Moore needs to raise his 36.7 percent field goal percentage to maximize offensive effectiveness. As tournament followers discovered, Moore is a capable long range shooter (34.8 percent).
The MAAC's top point guard will command his Saints to the top of the league.
Frank Turner, Sr., Canisius
Turner's 15.6 points per game accounted for a quarter of his team's nightly average. He is undoubtedly the MVP on Canisius.
However, in order to reach the level that was expected of him after his freshman campaign, Turner will need to reduce his turnover average (4.1 per game) and improve his three-point shooting (28.2 percent).
Ryan Bacon, Jr., Saint Peter's
Although he doesn't score as much as teammates Wesley Jenkins and Nick Leon, Bacon is Saint Peters' most well-rounded player.
A 52.7 percent field goal percentage, 11.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.1 steals, and 2.4 blocks per game are impressive stats.
He improved between his freshman and sophomore campaigns; if he did the same this offseason, Bacon could move up to the Second Team come postseason.
Mike Ringgold, Jr., Rider
Other than his despicable free throw percentage (33.1 percent), Ringgold's other statistics all rank near the top of the MAAC. He shot 51.8 percent from the floor and averaged 11.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
Scott Machado, So., Iona
The Gaels are Machado's team for the next three years. Coming off a season in which he averaged 9.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.3 steals per game and won MAAC Rookie of the Year, it is inevitable that Machado's stats will ascend the league leader charts.
He is a talent and a budding MAAC star.
Wesley Jenkins, Jr., Saint Peter's
Nick Leon, Jr., Saint Peter's
Brett Harvey, Sr., Loyola MD
Novar Gadson, So., Rider
Anthony Nelson, Jr., Niagara
Brian Rudolph, Jr., Loyola MD
Rob Garrison, Sr., Niagara
Justin Robinson, Jr., Rider
Clarence Jackson, Jr., Siena