The MAAC All-Decade Team
As the decade nears its end, it is appropriate to reflect on the last 10 years in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference basketball.
Players needed to begin their MAAC career in 1999-2000 in order to be eligible for this list. Active players were not considered.
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PG Jared Jordan, Marist, 2003-2007
Jared Jordan was the MAAC's best playmaker of the 2000's. In fact, he is the MAAC's all-time assist leader with 813 dimes.
Jordan led the nation in 2005-06 and 2006-07 with 8.5 and 8.7 assists per game, respectively. The floor general also developed into a scoring threat for Marist and posted 1,538 career points.
In addition to being the 2006-07 MAAC Player of the Year, Jordan won the Haggerty Award as the Metropolitan Player of the Year in 2007. Jordan was named to the All-MAAC First Team as a junior and senior and made the third team as a sophomore.
In 2007, the Los Angeles Clippers drafted the point guard 45th overall. Jordan has bounced back and forth from America to Europe since then and has not found a true basketball home.
SG Luis Flores, Manhattan, 2001-2004
Manhattan's all-time leading scorer, Luis Flores carried the Jaspers to consecutive MAAC championships in 2003 and 2004. As a senior, he nearly brought Manhattan to the Sweet 16. Flores never led the country in scoring, but he cracked the top five as a senior with 24 points per game.
Flores was a two-time MAAC Player of the Year, a two-time Haggerty Award winner, and a three-time All-MAAC First Team member.
Drafted by the Houston Rockets in 2004, Flores was traded to the Denver Nuggets and then the Golden State Warriors. He only played 16 games in the NBA before beginning a career in Europe.
The former Jasper is currently in Russia, playing for Krasnye Krylya Samara.
G Keekee Clark, St. Peter's, 2002-2006
Keekee Clark was proof that size isn't always the answer. At 5'9" Clark scored 3,058 points, a mark that is second to Lionel Simmons' MAAC record of 3,217. The flaw in that statistic is that Simmons played 13 more games than Clark, so Clark's 25.9 ppg average bests Simmons' 24.6.
Clark led the country with 26.7 points per game as a sophomore and then accomplished the same feat with 25.8 points per game a year later. As a senior, he finished third behind Adam Morrison and J.J. Redick.
Clark was a three-time All-MAAC First Team member, was titled MAAC Player of the Year as a senior, and earned the 2005 Haggerty Award. The shooting guard is currently playing in Greece.
G Steve Burtt Jr., Iona, 2002-2006
Steve Burtt was possibly the MAAC's purest shooter of the decade. His lefty stroke connected on 39.2 percent of its three-point attempts and averaged 17 points per game. As a senior, Burtt finished sixth in the country with 25.2 points per game and led the Gaels to a MAAC championship.
Burtt was a one-time member of all three All-MAAC teams.
G Kenny Hasbrouck, Siena, 2005-2009
Kenny Hasbrouck did not post record-breaking statistics, but he provided Siena with all-around play. While he was known for his scoring ability, Hasbrouck was also a tenacious defender. His defense nearly earned him a spot on an NBA roster.
Hasbrouck was an essential ingredient to Siena's recipe for making the postseason. Following his departure, the Saints have not been the same.
The 2008-09 MAAC Player of the Year was also a two-time All-MAAC First Team member and made the Second Team as a sophomore.
F/C Jason Thompson, Rider, 2004-2008
Now a starter on the Sacramento Kings, Jason Thompson was an incredible MAAC player.
The 6'11" King's 1,171 rebounds slate him at second on the MAAC's all-time list. He averaged over 20 points and 10 rebounds in two consecutive years. During that span, only five other players posted those numbers in one season. Nobody other than Thompson did it twice.
Thompson made the MAAC's First Team two times and was named MAAC Player of the Year as a senior. He is incontrovertibly the most successful MAAC basketball graduate.
F Juan Mendez, Niagara, 2001-2005
Arguably the MAAC's most dominant big man of the decade, Juan Mendez was an absolute force. Not only could he overpower defenders down low, but he could also step behind the arc and connect on a three.
Mendez's 2,210 career points and 1,053 rebounds are sufficient for fourth all-time in the MAAC.
Mendez was the MAAC Player of the Year in 2004-05 and was a three-time All-MAAC First Team member. He also led the Purple Eagles to the Big Dance in 2005.
C Deng Gai, 2001-2005, Fairfield
An imposing defender, Deng Gai led the country in blocked shots with 5.5 per game as a senior and finished in the top five of that category every year. He is the MAAC's all-time leading shot blocker with a 4.44 career average.
Gai was not just a raw shot-blocking talent; he also averaged 13.3 points per game.
Gai was a three-time MAAC Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time All-MAAC First Team member (if not for his injury in 2003-04, he would have been a four-time DPOY and a three-time First Teamer).
Honorable Mention: Charron Fisher, Niagara, 2004-2008
He was too much of a chucker to be considered a member of the MAAC All-Decade Team, but Charron Fisher was a talent. He finished second in the country with 27.6 points per game in 2007-08 and was named to two All-MAAC First Teams.