Preview of Nov. 17 MAAC Games: Loyola, Siena, and Marist All in Action

Michael HurleyContributor INovember 17, 2008

This past weekend, MAAC teams went 4-6. The most impressive win was an Iona victory over a Hampton team predicted to finish second in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

The most surprising MAAC game was not a win, but rather a hard-fought two-point loss by Marist at Rutgers.  Marist was predicted in the coaches' poll to finish last in the MAAC.  A victory by Marist over a major conference opponent would have been huge for the MAAC.

The MAAC will have that chance today. There are three games today in the MAAC Conference. 

The first game has the Loyola Greyhounds visiting the Boston College Eagles.  It is the second game in as many nights on the Greyhounds, which will take its toll, but with the season still early, it is better to play it now than later.

Loyola is 1-1 already, with a loss against Mount Saint Mary's and win against Tennessee State.  Both were home games.  Brett Harvey is coming off a career-high 34-point game, so hopefully his hot hand comes with him into Chestnut Hill.

The most interesting matchup will be reigning MAAC Rookie of the Year Brian Rudolph against All-ACC First Team point guard Tyrese Rice.  Rice was suspended for the first game for violating team policies and was the Eagles' leading scorer last year.

If the Greyhounds can outrebound the Eagles and Rudolph controls the ball, they can stay in the game—but if Rice gets hot, expect a long night.

Boise State is visiting Albany tonight, playing the Siena Saints at the Times Union Center.  They are unveiling the 2008 MAAC Championship Banner at the game as Tay Fisher, a senior last year, is returning.  Expect the Saints to be pumped up for this game.

It is the opening game of the season for Siena, while Boise State has a win under their belt already.  Expect the Broncos to try to be physical with a smaller Siena team.  Siena will push the ball and rotate their guards and wingmen often, but they will need to rebound to win the game.

Siena has many preseason accolades, but the season starts today, which is where they earn them.  Expect Siena to take this one at home to start off a great season for the Saints.

Finally, St. Bonaventure is traveling to the McCann Center to play Marist.  Marist is expected to be in a transitioning year with not only a new head coach, Chuck Martin, but also only four upperclassmen.  The Red Foxes showed some fight down in New Jersey this weekend, though, losing by only two to Rutgers in a hard-fought game.

The Bonnies won their first game against Robert Morris behind big games from freshman guard Jonathan Hall and junior guard Chris Matthews.  If David Devezin and Javon Parris can defend like they did against Rutgers and improve on their shooting, look for an upset by Marist.