Getting to know the Gaels

Iona GaelsAfter winning the B1G tournament, the Buckeyes earned the number 2 seed in the west region and they will take on the 15 seed Iona Gaels (20-13, 11-7 MAAC) of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Iona is 1-9 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and are ranked 101st in the RPI. Offense is Iona’s strength as they average 80.7 points per game, good for second in the nation. Their defense is their Achilles heal and the Gaels win and lose a lot of high scoring games. They did not play the toughest out of conference schedule but they did defeat a down Wake Forest team and the Georgia Bulldogs. The MAAC is not a tough conference and the Gaels finished tied for fourth place with a 11-7 record. They had to win the MAAC tournament to advance to the big dance and they did so by defeating Canisius, number one seed Niagra and then Manhattan in the championship.

momo

Lamont “Momo” Jones averages 23 points per game for the Gaels

They are led by Lamont “Momo” Jones, the transfer from the University of Arizona who along with Derrick Williams led the Wildcats to the Elite 8 in 2011. Momo is the definition of a pure scoring guard, averaging 23 points per game which is second best in the nation. He is lightning quick off the dribble and is not afraid of contact in the lane. If the game happens to be close, Momo will take the final shot. Iona runs a three guard lineup, with Jones, Sean Armand and Tavon Sledge. Armand averages 16.6 points per game and is the Gaels second leading scorer. As a team they lack size and 6-8, 240 lb sophomore David Laury anchors the middle, averaging 13 points and 10 rebounds per game. He may be undersized but he is a hard working big man that gets the majority of the rebounds and has the ability to score down on the post or hit outside jumpers. Laury had a great MAAC tournament as he dropped 20 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in their upset win over Niagra. Off the bench the Gaels have two guards, Tre Bowman and AJ English who can also score.

Iona plays at a very high pace on offense and they want to dictate the pace of the game. They play man to man defense (which doesn’t really work) and the Gaels win by outscoring their opponent, not by playing solid defense. They have a multitude of players who can score and score at will. Surprisingly, the Gaels do not turn the ball over much for a team that plays at such a high tempo.

So, that is Iona in a nutshell and we will have a game breakdown before the two teams tip off.

 

 

Comments

  1. I want to find a reason to be worried about this game but I can’t. This is a game OSU should win by 30. Amir Williams may even be able to hit 10 points and 10 rebs if he tries even a little.

  2. Dan Isaacs says:

    Sweet. Looking forward to seeing how well those guards do v Craft and Scott. I expect Thompson and Thomas to both have big games. And Ross may be the leading scorer. 🙂

  3. I’m a big fan of Momo (I went to UA) but Iona won’t be able to handle the type of defense that the Buckeyes will throw at them. I don’t see Iona winning a low scoring game, they would need the Buckeyes to play at their pace to have any chance of pulling off the upset

  4. So we have an immovable object (Craft’s D) versus an unstoppable force (Momo’s O) situation. Should be fun to watch for a while, but Craft should fluster him enough to let the Buckeyes distance themselves on the scoreboard.

  5. Momo will force shots and gets a bit out of control at times.Also, he hasn’t had to go against a defender like Craft this season or since the NCAA tournament a few years ago, I think Craft should win this match up

Trackbacks

  1. […] I talked about in the first preview, the Buckeyes should have their way with Iona’s defense. Accoring to KenPom, Iona has a […]

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