Tag Archives: Scott Machado

Are Some NBA Hopefuls Better Off Not Getting Drafted?

Scott Machado was not drafted but is playing summer league with the Rockets. (Credit: ICGaels.com)

There are worse things in the world than not being selected in the NBA Draft—like being selected in the NBA Draft.

“If the team is very excited about the player, that’s good. But if the team is just taking a flyer on a guy [late in the second round], I’d rather have him go undrafted,” said Mark Bartelstein, an agent at Priority Sports with as many NBA clients as anyone.
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Will Iona Get an NCAA Tournament Bid?

Springfield, MA—Iona led Fairfield by six midway through the second half of Sunday’s MAAC Tournament semifinal when the Gaels’ Scott Machado attempted a three-pointer. Iona had just forced a turnover and Machado was open on the wing. He missed, just barely, and Fairfield’s three-pointer on the ensuing possession started a 16-1 run that propelled the Stags to an 85-75 victory. A basketball game—and a chance at the NCAA Tournament—can change that quickly.

By losing in its conference tournament and therefore failing to secure an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, this is Iona’s predicament. But it’s also Drexel’s. It’s Middle Tennessee’s. It could be Long Beach State’s. If college football is split between the Haves and Have-Nots, college basketball gives us the Haves and the Have They Done Enough?
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Scott Machado Has Eyes on MAAC Title, NBA

Machado takes it to the hoop. (Credit: ICGaels.com)

To appreciate Scott Machado as a basketball player is to appreciate the simple: the bounce pass to a cutting forward; the chest pass to an open shooter; the awareness to seek the ball after a turnover. Sure, you’ll see lob passes for dunks and crossover dribbles and deep three-pointers. But if that is all you see, you’re missing a lot.

Manhattan coach Steve Masiello calls the Iona College senior “the best point guard in the country, bar none.” Others around the game think, at the very least, Machado belongs in the discussion: he is a finalist for the Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award. Scouts from more than a dozen NBA teams have visited New Rochelle’s Hynes Athletics Center to watch Machado, the nation’s leader in assists at 10.1 per game.
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Iona Gaels Basketball 2011 Season Review

After Iona started the season at a tournament in Cleveland and lost all three games, the Gaels returned home to face Richmond, an NCAA Tournament team the previous year that had started 2-0 and was expected to compete for an Atlantic 10 title (it finished third but won the conference tournament).

“My concern was that if we came in here and laid an egg, I could lose them this early in the year,” Iona head coach Tim Cluess would say after the game, referring to his players. “They’d say, ‘We worked really hard, coach, and we still didn’t win.’”

Instead of losing the game and potentially their confidence, the Gaels picked up a quality nonconference win, overcoming a six-point deficit with less than a minute remaining and eventually winning in double-overtime. They used the momentum to rattle off seven straight victories and embark on a run that took them all the way to the MAAC championship game.

In the title game, Iona ran into St. Peter’s, a team committed to a defensive philosophy that was able to hold the Gaels to their lowest output of the season in a 62-57 victory.

But the ride to the finals in Bridgeport was an impressive one. Iona played a competitive game with Syracuse, losing by just six. When the Gaels beat Niagara on Jan. 21, they improved to 7-1 in the MAAC.

Iona then hit its only rough patch of the conference season, dropping four in a row—by margins of two, two, three (in OT), and four. The Gaels picked it up from there, posting another seven-game win streak to end the regular season, with most of the games decided by hefty margins. The final game of the regular season was a victory over No. 1 seed Fairfield, which cemented Iona as the hottest team in the MAAC heading into the conference tournament.

And just in case there were any doubts, Iona eliminated three-time defending champ Siena in the quarterfinals, 94-64. In the semis, the Gaels looked like a well-oiled offensive machine once again, beating Rider 83-59, before stalling against St. Peter’s.

The 22 wins are the most for the program since 2006, when it won 23 games, and Iona has a chance to add to that total in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT). The Gaels play tomorrow night at Valparaiso. Future matchups are based on seeding, so Iona’s potential next opponent is unknown.

Scott Machado, left, and Mike Glover, return next season. (Credit: Warren Rosenberg/ICGaels.com)

Looking ahead to next year, Iona loses just two seniors, Rashon Dwight and Alejo Rodriguez, though both were starters. Dwight, who averaged 8.5 points per game and led the team in steals, came on strong in the second half of the season. Rodriguez’s production was limited as he recovered from two offseason hip surgeries, but he was the second leading rebounder. The effort was there, but as Cluess pointed out after the title game, Rodriguez just didn’t seem to have the legs necessary to play three games in as many days.

Iona returns its two best players in First Team All-MAAC performers Scott Machado and Mike Glover. Machado is tied for the second in the country in assists as we head into the various postseason tournaments, while Glover posted 18 double-doubles and will likely be the frontrunner next season for MAAC Player of the Year.

They’ll both be seniors, as will guards Jermel Jenkins and Trinity Fields and versatile swingman Randy Dezouvre, giving the Gaels a nice senior core, which is often a component of conference championship teams, especially at the mid-major level. Kyle Smyth (third leading scorer at 10.1 per game) and Chris Pelcher (a 6’10 center who developed nicely this season and will take on an even greater role with the departure of Rodriguez) will be juniors. Sharpshooter Sean Armand returns, as does Jayon James, who missed most of the season due to injury.

Despite the hurt of falling just short of an NCAA Tournament bid, it was an extremely success first season for Cluess. Consider the average margin in Iona’s 11 losses was just 4.1 points, and only once did Iona lose by double digits this season, a 10-point loss during that rocky opening weekend. In other words, the Gaels were competitive in virtually every game.

There’s no reason to think Iona won’t be near the top of the MAAC standings again next season. With more seniors, the Gaels might have the added sense of urgency that is required to navigate all the way through a conference tournament.

Iona Beats Manhattan 102-65 on Senior Night

RIVERDALE, N.Y.—Last night was Senior Night for the Manhattan Jaspers as they hosted the Iona Gaels. There was a pregame ceremony recognizing the lone seniors on the squad, Nick Walsh and Andrew Gabriel, as well as the handful of seniors in the band and on the dance and cheer teams. Midway through the second half of the game, you had to feel sorry for them. Iona completely dismantled the Jaspers in a 102-65 victory.

The game got out of hand about as quickly as a game can. Iona led from start to finish. Its first double-digit lead came nine minutes in; two minutes later the margin was 17. The Gaels led 56-36 at half. They went up 41 with 4:57 left in the game.

Here are some of Iona’s statistics:

· 36/54 (66.7 percent) from the field
· 16/27 (59.3 percent) from three
· 19/26 (73.1 percent) from the field in first half
· Frontcourt: 15/17 (88.2 percent) from the field

Let those numbers sink in for a moment.

This is a rivalry game—the campuses are separated by fewer than 10 miles—and it was Senior Night no less. Yet the effort on the defensive end was abysmal. Iona often beat Manhattan’s defense down the floor to get easy baskets. If the Gaels couldn’t get anything off the initial fast break, it didn’t take them long to find an open look in their halfcourt offense.

“The speed of the game caught up to us and hurt us early on,” Manhattan head coach Barry Rohrssen said. “They hit baskets and got confident and it just continued for them.” Later, he added: “We’ve got to guard some people. If you want to win a game you’ve got to guard some people for 40 minutes. It doesn’t matter how many points you put up. It comes down to getting some stops.”

It certainly didn’t help that Iona was pouring in practically everything—point guard Scott Machado was shooting just 28 percent from deep entering the contest and hit six-of-eight from downtown last night—but such a small percentage of the shots were contested.

“I’m surrounded by a bunch of shooters on my team,” said Machado, the nation’s assist leader. “When you’re the worst shooter on your team and you’re hitting shots like that, you feel good. The basket looks like an ocean.”

style=”margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto;”>Iona Manhattan opening tip
It was all downhill after the opening tip for the Jaspers.

Manhattan sophomore George Beamon, who led all scorers with 21, preferred to talk about redemption in the Jaspers’ remaining games than analyze what went wrong against Iona. “It’s just one of those nights. It was crazy,” Beamon said. “We’ve just got to bring it next game.”

Manhattan is 5-22 (3-13 in MAAC) this season and was a double-digit underdog against the Gaels (17-10, 11-5). But the Jaspers were coming off a win over Siena on Sunday and you had to expect a more inspired performance given the circumstances. “I haven’t remembered a game like this in a while,” Machado said. “We came to play tonight.” In what was the last game at Draddy Gym for the seniors, Manhattan did not.

Iona Gaels Beat Richmond; Tim Cluess Gets First Win

NEW ROCHELLE—Tim Cluess is a first-year coach. This was the fourth game of the season. So it was surprising to hear him say this after Iona’s 81-77 win against Richmond last Thursday: “We needed [this win] for the kids’ psyche. My concern was that if we came in here and laid an egg, I could lose them this early in the year. They’d say, ‘We worked really hard, Coach, and we still didn’t win.’”

He was completely serious, which almost makes you wonder, just for a moment, whether he was joking when he laughed and said, “I figured if we lost this one I’d have to see if I was still working here come Monday.”

It was no secret that it was a critical win for Iona, even though it likely didn’t have postseason implications for the Gaels. The 0-3 start at the World Vision Classic in Cleveland was horrendous. Iona had late-game breakdowns against Kent State and Bryant, which posted a 1-29 record last season. The Gaels lost by a combined three points in those two games and shot 32/54 (59 percent) from the free throw line.

Many fans started to doubt Cluess, some of whom likely didn’t care for the hire to begin with. Cluess had coached—and won—a lot of games, but until Thursday he hadn’t won at the D1 level. Cluess still believed his style, his schemes, and this group of players could turn it around. “They worked so hard when we came back (from Cleveland),” he said. “After that road trip I said, ‘As beat up as we are, we’ve got to practice. We’re not going to get better unless we do that.’ Guys were hurting, but they didn’t complain; they worked their butts off. I knew they had it in them.”

They responded with an exhilarating double-overtime victory against a team that reached the NCAA Tournament last year, returned the Atlantic-10 Player of the Year, and was picked to finished third in the conference this season.

Scott Machado led the way with a career-high 28 points to go along with six assists, five rebounds, and three steals. “As we keep learning the offense and trusting in it, we’re going to get better,” Machado said. “We have to buy into it.”

Even in this photo you can tell Scott Machado is fast.

Part of Cluess’ strategy against Richmond was to shorten his bench. Or, more specifically, limit the reserves’ minutes. Senior Rashon Dwight, who started 25 games last season and two in Cleveland (averaging 21 minutes per game), didn’t play against the Spiders. You’ve got to imagine he’ll be worked back into the rotation, but in what was essentially a must-win game, Cluess decided Thursday was not the time to let Dwight shake his 6-for-22 shooting slump.

Each of the five starters—Machado, Jermel Jenkins, Kyle Smyth, Michael Glover, and Alejo Rodriguez—logged at least 37 minutes; all but Smyth played at least 44. Nine Gaels saw action, but only guard Trinity Fields reached double-digit minutes. Others were simply used to give the starters a quick breather.

These two big men, Alejo Rodriguez (under basket) and Michael Glover, were instrumental in Iona’s victory

“Conditioning is what got us through the game—us working hard every day in practice,” Glover said. The Gaels also converted the important foul shots. Machado hit all four of his attempts in double-OT, the second putting his team ahead for good. “Coach emphasized free throws,” the junior said. “We needed to knock down our free throws down the stretch. That’s what messed us up in Cleveland.”

This one game doesn’t vindicate Cluess or this year’s Iona team, just as the first three didn’t seal their fate. But Cluess’ postgame sigh of relief could be heard in Mount Vernon.