Iona Gaels Basketball: Maroon Madness 2010

I attended “Maroon Madness” at Iona College last Friday night and had a great time. The event served its purpose, which was to get fans excited for basketball season. I think it could be a banner year for the men’s and women’s programs. Look for my MAAC preview in a few weeks, but right now I’d rank both the men and women a No. 2 in the conference, but both squads have a legitimate shot at winning the league title.

Below you will find photos and videos from Maroon Madness. If uncredited, it means I took the photo or shot the video. Click a photo to enlarge it. Enjoy!

Obligatory shot of Killian, the Iona mascot:

The veterans: player-turned-coach Thazina Cook (left), seniors Catherine Lutz and Suzi Fregosi. Iona women’s head coach Tony Bozzella told me, “To say I miss Thazina Cook as a player would be an understatement. But she brings a lot to the table as a coach. She has great insight in our meetings. She really understands what it takes to be a great player and she tries to talk to our players about that.”


The women’s team on the court, but not in their usual hoops attire:

A closer look:

A nice wide shot of Hynes Athletics Center. The court was redone in the offseason and looks great (Credit: ICGaels.com):

The men’s team is introduced. That’s first-year head coach Tim Cluess slapping hands with Killian:

Shortly after the team was introduced, they formed a layup line which quickly became a slam dunk show:

After that, Ra’Shad James put on a one-man show. Here he is jumping over teammate Scott Machado. Hard to believe James is still ascending here. Check out video of this dunk attempt below (Credit: ICGaels.com):

View from the opposite side. You can see James is starting to lose control of the ball (Credit: ICGaels.com):

After a few misses, the crowd chanted “One more time!” as Ra’Shad James attempted to jump over teammate Scott Machado, and dunk. It looks like he has it, but the ball bounces off the back rim (scroll down for more James dunks):

Tony Bozzella addressed the crowd and then passed the mic to Cluess (see video of Cluess’ speech below):

Here is video of Cluess addressing the crowd:

Then James did a nasty 360 jam:

And followed it up with a windmill, which he makes look easy:

But James’ most impressive dunk was probably this through-the-legs throwdown. I filmed this, but Killian got in the way! Here’s a much better version courtesy of ICGaels.com:

http://www.youtube.com/v/PfNGaYviDyE?fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b

That’s me getting my sportswriter on with Bozzella, who told me the theme for this year’s team is “Next level, next step” (Credit: ICGaels.com):

Talking with Cluess, who said “it’s always better coming into a situation where the previous coach had started to establish the program.” Now it’s his job to keep the momentum going (Credit: ICGaels.com):

Well, that’s all I’ve got. It was a great evening. Check back here for a MAAC/Iona preview before the season starts.

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