The Canisius College men’s basketball team has been selected to finish third in the MAAC’s Preseason Coaches Poll, released today by the conference office. This marks the highest predicted finish for the Golden Griffins since the 2005-06 season when the Blue and Gold were picked to finish third as well. This year’s poll was voted on by the league’s 11 head men’s basketball coaches.
Canisius earned 100 total points after closing out the 2012-13 season with a 20-14 overall record and an 11-7 mark in MAAC play. The 20-win season was the program’s first since 2000-01 and the team’s 11 MAAC wins last year are the most for the team since 1998-99. The Griffs posted a plus-15 win differential under first-year head coach Jim Baron, the largest single-season turnaround in school history and the third-best turnaround at the entire Division I level last year. Canisius saw its season end in the quarterfinal round of the CIT, the first postseason appearance for the Griffs since 1996.
Manhattan is the coaches’ preseason pick to win the MAAC, followed by defending league champion Iona. The Jaspers received 119 points while the Gaels collected 108 points. After Canisius, Rider was picked fourth and Marist was chosen to finish fifth to round out the top-five. Rider earned 85 points, while the Red Foxes drew 69 points. Fairfield (61 points), MAAC-newcomer Quinnipiac (58 points) and Niagara (39 points) were chosen in spots six through eight, while Saint Peter’s (38 points), Siena (35 points) and MAAC newcomer Monmouth (14 points) rounded out the poll.
The MAAC also announced a select number of games that will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks during the 2013-14 season. Canisius’ game at Iona Jan. 17 will be broadcast live on ESPNU at 9 p.m. The Griffs will host a televised game (either on ESPNU or ESPN3) when Manhattan comes to town Feb. 7 and the team’s game at Niagara Feb. 14, will also be shown on either ESPNU or ESPN3. Game times for the Manhattan home game and the trip to Niagara will be announced no later than 14 days prior to the game date by the MAAC and ESPN.Season tickets for the combined men’s and women’s home slate can be purchased by calling the Canisius Ticket Office at (716) 888-2885 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.