Men's Basketball

Nick Griffin Named to Preseason All-MAAC Third Team; Men’s Basketball Selected Eighth in Poll

Nick Griffin Named to Preseason All-MAAC Third Team; Men’s Basketball Selected Eighth in Poll

EDISON, NJ – The Saint Peter's men's basketball team has been selected eighth in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Preseason Coaches' Poll announced during the annual MAAC Preseason Awards Show on ESPN3 on Tuesday night. Graduate student, Nick Griffin was named to the Preseason All-MAAC Team during the broadcast.

"Every year, coaches pick based on how many players you lose and on your current guys; because we lost five key guys, it doesn't surprise me where we were picked," said head coach John Dunne. "That being said, I really like our group. If we are as unselfish as last year's team and we can find a defensive toughness, then I believe once again, we will finish much higher than projected."

The defending CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) champions, Saint Peter's, put together one of the programs most historical seasons in 2016-17. The Peacocks closed out the season winning 11 out of their last 12 games and finished the season with a 23-13 overall record, which was tied for the second most wins in a single season by a Peacock team. Saint Peter's became the second MAAC team ever to win a national postseason tournament and the first team from New Jersey to win a national postseason tournament title since Princeton in the 1975 NIT. The Peacocks compiled a 14-6 MAAC record in 2016-17, winning the most conference games in program history and finishing second in the league for the first time since 1989. 

"I am very pleased Nick Griffin was recognized by the coaches in the league," said Dunne. "He, by far, sacrificed his game the most on our team last year, so I am happy for this year's recognition. I believe Nick is ready to have a really effective year."

Griffin earned the Preseason All-MAAC honors after making his case as one of the leagues top three-point threats in his first season as a Peacock. The Rockville, Maryland native appeared in all 36 games for Saint Peter's last season, making 24 starts. He made his mark behind the three-point arc, knocking in 75 trifectas, the ninth most amongst MAAC shooters. Griffin hit 41.7 percent of his three-point field goal attempts, the sixth ranked percentage in the conference and he hit at least one three-point field goal in all but five games and made four or more threes seven times in 2016-17. Griffin is the Peacock's highest scoring returning player after averaging 8.8 points last year. His career game came on November 18 against Lipscomb, when he poured in 21 points and hit a career-high six shots from downtown. 

The Peacocks return two starters and five letterwinners from last year's championship team. Joining Griffin, as the only returning starter from last season is classmate, Nnamdi Enechionyia who started in all 36 Peacock games a year ago. Enchionyia averaged 4.8 points and 2.4 rebounds per game during the 2016-17 campaign. The three letterwinners returning to this year's squad are Samuel Idowu, Mamadou Ndiaye, and Quinn Taylor. Idowu is the team's rebounding returning leader and second highest returning scorer after averaging 2.8 rebounds and 5.9 points. The Peacocks add Cameron Jones and Davauhnte Turner to the active roster after both players redshirted last year. Newcomer's joining the squad includes Manny Dixon, Elijah Gonzales, Amir Hicks, Mikko Johnson, Jeremiah Livingston, and Julian Powell.

The Peacocks open the 2017-18 campaign in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament.

Preseason Coaches' Poll

1.

Iona (9)

116

2.

Manhattan (2)

104

3.

Monmouth

101

4.

Fairfield

85

5.

Niagara

76

6.

Siena

63

7.

Rider

50

8.

Saint Peter's

44

9.

Canisius

42

10.

Marist

26

11.

Quinnipiac

19

 

Preseason All-MAAC First Team

Name

Position

Institution

Jermaine Crumpton

Forward

Canisius

Tyler Nelson*

Guard

Fairfield

Zane Waterman

Forward

Manhattan

Micah Seaborn*

Guard

Monmouth

Matt Scott

Guard

Niagara

 

Preseason All-MAAC Second Team

Name

Position

Institution

Rickey McGill

Forward

Iona

Deyshonee Much

Center

Iona

Rich Williams

Guard

Manhattan

Kahlil Dukes

Guard

Niagara

Nico Clareth

Guard

Siena

 

Preseason All-MAAC Third Team

Name

Position

Institution

Zavier Turner

Forward

Manhattan

Brian Parker

Guard

Marist

Chaise Daniels

Guard

Quinnipiac

Stevie Jordan

Forward

Rider

Nick Griffin

Guard

Saint Peter's

 

 

Preseason Player of the Year

Name

Position

Institution

Tyler Nelson

Guard

Fairfield

 

*denotes unanimous selection

About the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference:

With 11 institutions strongly bound by the sound principles of quality and integrity in academics and excellence in athletics, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) is in its 37th year of competition during the 2017-18 academic year. Current Conference members include: Canisius College, Fairfield University, Iona College, Manhattan College, Marist College, Monmouth University, Niagara University, Quinnipiac University, Rider University, Saint Peter's University, and Siena College.