March Preview: Iona Gaels

 

Iona is back for the second straight year and is looking for their second ever tournament win, or maybe a couple, or maybe they could go all the way? They had 22 wins during the regular season, and won their last three before going all the way in the MAAC tournament. Can the Gaels keep the win streak going?

 

Strengths:

 

The Gaels do a good job of sharing the offensive load. They have four players averaging over 10 points per game and two others that average nine. Sophomore point guard Rickey McGill is at least partially responsible for this: he distributes the ball beautifully averaging over five assists per game as well as 10.8 points of his own.

 

Iona’s defense has also been impressive this season. They average over seven steals per game, they hold opponents to an average of 36% from three point land, and have held opponents to 66 points or less nine times this season. When they matched up against Florida State early in the season they forced 20 turnovers, but still lost. If they want to make a tournament run, their defense must be at its best.

 

Weaknesses:

 

The Gaels have struggled at times from behind the arc. Against Florida state they shot 29% from three. In their loss against Nevada they shot just 20% from deep. Despite these performances, they still rank 14th (!) in the country in three point percentage. Iona cannot afford to lay an egg from the field in the big dance.
The Gaels have also been unpredictable on the road this season. Eight of their 12 losses have come on the road or at a neutral location, and during the tournament the Iona fans are not likely to fill whatever arena that the Gaels are playing in. They will have to perform on the road if they want that second tournament win in school history.

 

Photo Credit: icgaels.com

Jackson Borman
I am from St. Louis, Missouri, and Butler University's Class of 2020. I played Basketball at Lindbergh High School, but because of my 5'10" wingspan and even lower shooting percentage, I've decided to stick to writing.

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