Manhattan College didn’t look like itself in the first-half of its eventual classic Steve Masiello style, 84-77, win over Quinnipiac University. And all it took was a 15-minute halftime cooldown in addition to a pep-talk from Masiello.
“I said, ‘Let me tell you how this is going to go.’ (We spoke about faith and the process.),” Masiello said. “‘Believe in it. Just believe in it. Believe in what’s ahead. Don’t worry about what’s going to happen, how it happened– just know if you do what you’re supposed to do things will happen. There’s no way we’re not going to continue to not have a run, shoot the ball this bad. Good things will happen just stay with it.'”
Well, Manhattan’s win, obviously, didn’t solely rely on Masiello because then it could pretty much say goodbye to its chances at winning a third consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title. It also had the offensive punch from Sha– Zane Waterman (19 points, 11 rebounds); ESPN 3 Pepsi Player of the Game, Calvin Crawford (18 points, five rebounds, three blocks); Rich Williams (18 points, five rebounds, two blocks); and RaShawn Stores (15 points, three rebounds, six assists).
“I’m getting more comfortable with playing with these guys, knowing my role better– coach is emphasizing with me rebounding, that’s all I got to do,” Waterman said. “The points will come.”
“It was fun. The only word I can think of, and I know we keep saying it, but rebound; rebound,” Crawford said, “because [Quinnipiac] is crazy on the glass. All I was saying to myself, self-talk was rebound, rebound, and good things will happen from there.”
The almost mentioned Shane Richards was a focal point in Quinnipiac’s defensive effort, to the admission of its head coach, Tom Moore.
“We, obviously, focused a ton of attention and effort on Shane Richards,” he said, “and got the result we wanted but that didn’t really play with as much attention, focus, determination against Waterman, Williams and Calvin Crawford. All three of them played very well. We didn’t get the point across in the midst of them playing that, ‘We got to wake because these guys are playing really well.'”
Quiet night for the MAAC’s sixth all-time career three-point shooter
“We knew that coming into the game that they were going to take Shane away,” Masiello said, “and give them credit for doing that because that’s not easy to do.
“But the thing I was more of proud of about Shane was he goes and gets seven assists with one turnover. He facilitated from the point-forward spot.”
It has been widely chronicled across media the harsh reality that is the injury bug with Manhattan. Masiello hasn’t been able to consistently suit-up a full team on the floor or the bench. Even during practices coaches and managers have to dress in sweats to help to just have a practice.
However, as tweeted by New 12’s Greg Thompson, the growth of players such as Waterman and Crawford, and having arguably the best coach in the MAAC at the helm is what’s going to not only make the difference come March but for this program’s future.
“We have good balance,” Masiello said. “… When we can dig in defensively…when we understand that if we just stay with our system, [our] pressure, stay after [your man], wear teams down, have [our] run. That’s the most important thing because that’s how you win in March. … Don’t panic, don’t hit a code red, just stay with who you are. It’s not what you believe in, it’s the conviction with which you believe in it, and that’s my thing. You got to sellout to this system. There is no gray area. ‘Listen, this is what we’re going to do, happen, end of story.’ And it’s almost a blind fate that you have to almost be delusional, in a sense, about it. That’s what I got to get these guys to get to, and we’re trending that way a little bit.”