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Date Posted: 15:38:16 11/08/05 Tue
Author: Beagle
Subject: Coaches poll

Iona Is The Team To Beat In The MAAC For The 2005-06 Season

EDISON, NJ Iona College, which has earned seven MAAC regular season titles and six championship crowns, has been picked as the team to beat for the 2005-06 season, according to the MAAC Preseason Coaches' Poll.

Head coach Jeff Ruland, who is embarking on his eighth season at his alma mater, has a trio of senior guards to lead the way for the Gaels this season: Steve Burtt, Ricky Soliver and Marvin McCullough. Also looking to help the Maroon and Gold to the top of the league standings this season are senior forward Kiril Wachsmann, junior forwards Anthony Bruin and Justin Marshall, junior guard Tariq Atkins and sophomore forward/center Gary Springer.

Manhattan College finished one point behind Iona in the poll to take the second-place slot. Led by head coach Bobby Gonzalez, the Jaspers return four starters from last year's squad, including CJ Anderson, the 2004-05 MAAC Rookie of the Year. Senior guard Jason Wingate, sophomore forward/center Arturo Dubois and sophomore guard Jeff Xavier should also help in Manhattan's MAAC title hopes.

Canisius College is also expected to make a run for the MAAC crown this year. Ninth-year head coach Mike MacDonald welcomes back several veteran performers, most notably senior guard Kevin Downey and junior forward Darnell Wilson.

Marist College, under second-year head coach Matt Brady, looks be in contention for the MAAC crown this season. Standouts Jared Jordan, Will Whittington and Ryan Stilphen give the Red Foxes plenty of hope for a banner year.

Rider University rounds out the top five, with interim head coach Tommy Dempsey leading the charge. Junior forward Edwin Muniz, junior guard Terrence Mouton and sophomore forward Jason Thompson will work to have the Broncs finish even higher at the end of the 2005-06 season.

Fairfield University, Niagara University, Saint Peter's College, Loyola College and Siena College make up picks six through 10, all capable of unseating any one of the top five teams as they vie for the MAAC regular season title this season.

2005-06 MAAC Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Iona (5) - 94
2. Manhattan (4) - 93
3. Canisius (1) - 74
4. Marist - 56
5. Rider - 55
6. Fairfield - 49
7. Niagara - 45
8. Saint Peter's - 43
9. Loyola - 30
10. Siena - 10

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