The Manhattan basketball season is underway after the Jaspers defeated the New Jersey Institute of Technology 62-48 on Saturday afternoon.
With new head coach Steve Masiello transforming the players from last year's 6-25 team into what he thinks will be winners, here is a quick look at each player on the 2011-12 team.
Brutus trimmed his weight down to 200 pounds this offseason. Last year, he was strictly a shooting guard for the Jaspers, but he will be expected to share time as the point guard with sophomore Michael Alvarado and freshman DeCarlos Anderson.
Brutus did a lot of damage from beyond the arc last season, shooting 39.9 percent. He would go on streaks where he was deadly from long range. But in the season opener against NJIT, Brutus struggled, shooting 0-for-5 from three.
The Jaspers desperately need a couple of players to step up as outside shooters, and Brutus is the first guy they should go to.
Beamon was the No. 3 scorer (16.3 PPG) in the MAAC last season and earned himself a spot on the Preseason All-MAAC Second Team.
He is a great driver and does a good job of getting into the lane. He improved his jump shot over the offseason and should now be that much more of a scoring threat. At 6'4", he can play either shooting guard or small forward.
To start off his junior season, Beamon led the Jaspers with 15 points and 10 rebounds against NJIT.
Colonette missed last season after tearing his ACL, but the senior is off to a good start in his final year of eligibility. Against NJIT, Colonette scored 11 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.
More impressive than his numbers was the way he carried the team during the second half. During the Jaspers' 15-2 run, Colonette was forcing turnovers, getting rebounds, and shot 3-for-4 from the foul line.
Despite it being only his first year with Manhattan, he showed how much his experience can help down the stretch.
At 6'7", Colonette will have to try playing a little bit larger than his size for the undersized Jaspers. Against NJIT, he did a good job in the post and on the offensive glass, but he only had three defensive rebounds.
Brown had a great freshman year where he averaged 6.7 points per game, 7.1 rebounds per game, and 2.2 blocks per game. Throughout last season, he looked like he could be one of the premier big men in the MAAC.
However, he looked like a different player in the season opener. Although he took very good care of the ball last season, he committed four turnovers on Saturday. And after blocking 10 shots in an exhibition game against Adelphi, he had none against NJIT.
Everyone is entitled to a bad game, but these are not the types of games that Brown should be having on a regular basis.
Brown has the potential to put up double-doubles every night, but he has to get more involved mentally.
After starting at point guard most of his freshman year, Alvarado came off the bench on Saturday. Although he seems to be the best fit for the point guard position on the Manhattan squad, he can still add a lot of value if he continues coming off the bench.
Alvarado has a solid mid-range jumper and is also a fairly good defender. If he can improve his court vision and become a better distributor, he can fill the starting point guard position for Manhattan, which seems to be up in the air.
The most impressive thing about Andujar is that he plays much bigger than his size. The freshman forward is only 6'5", but he has the ability to play like he is 6'7" or 6'8".
He played good defense against NJIT, forcing a steal off the press. He also did a quality job of drawing fouls and shot 5-for-6 from the charity stripe.
Overall, he is the most impressive freshman through one game.
Kates is known mainly for his three-point shooting. During the first half on Saturday, he struggled to knock down shots, but he made a pair of big three-pointers with a sweet stroke in the second half.
He has great confidence for a freshman and was determined to continue shooting throughout the game on Saturday.
As he gets more experience, Kates' shooting should improve and, hopefully, he will fill out his game, allowing him to contribute in more areas.
Koita has never been known as an offensive specialist, so it was no surprise that he only scored four points on Saturday.
Koita's leaping ability allows him to be a solid rebounder, and he is also a quality defender. If he sticks to his role and does not try to do too much on offense, he can be a valuable asset for the Jaspers this season.
Although Laue gives the Jaspers some size, the fact that he has only one hand limits his effectiveness.
He can step in so that other members of the frontcourt can get some rest and maybe get a few rebounds while doing so. Other than that, don't expect much from him this season.
Coulibaly is practically ineffective while on the court. However, he does add a good energy on the bench.
Anderson played only a couple of possessions in the season opener.
As a senior in high school, he had a significant role for the Virginia state champions last season, and he is reputed to be a solid point guard.
With the Jaspers thin at the point guard position, Anderson should eventually get some solid playing time.
McCoy was very unimpressive against NJIT. The 6'8" forward was uninvolved on both ends of the floor throughout his six minutes of playing time.
The Jaspers hope that McCoy can become an outside shooting threat, and they could really benefit from having him fulfill that role.
There is still no exact timetable for when Sommerfeldt will be healthy enough to play for the Jaspers. But once the Norwegian shooting guard does, Manhattan should have another three-point threat.
At 6'6", Sommerfeldt will give the Jaspers some size, too.
McCabe-Moran will likely not play a huge role for the Jaspers this year. However, he can make some three-pointers every once in a while.
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