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Andujar and Pankey Earn All-Met Accolades

Ashton Pankey and Emmy Andujar. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495Sports

Ashton Pankey and Emmy Andujar. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495Sports

Manhattan seniors Emmy Andujar (Bronx, N.Y. / Rice) and Ashton Pankey (Bronx, N.Y. / Maryland) earned All-Metropolitan Area honors, the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association, announced on Wednesday, April 22. Andujar was a second-team selection while Pankey garnered third-team accolades.

The selections mark the second-straight year that head coach Steve Masiello has placed two student-athletes on the All-Met teams.

Andujar earned First Team All-MAAC honors after ranking sixth in the league in scoring (16.3 ppg), fourth in rebounding (7.6 rpg), fifth in assists (3.5 apg), third in steals (2.0 spg) and fifth in field goal percentage (.512).

A MAAC Championships All-Tournament team selection, he also was selected as a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 1 First Team and finished his career as the only player in school history to notch 1,300 points, 750 rebounds, 350 assists, and 150 steals.

Pankey, a Third Team All-MAAC selection, finished second on the team behind Andujar and eighth in the MAAC in both scoring (13.4 ppg) and rebounding (6.7 rpg) while also placing third in the circuit in field goal percentage (.529) and fifth in blocks (1.4 bpg).

At the MAAC Tournament, Pankey won Most Outstanding Performer honors after averaging 15.7 ppg, 8.0 rpg and 2.0 bpg while shooting 51.7 percent from the floor and 77.3 percent from the line.

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Big Ten and BIG EAST Announce Matchups for Inaugural Gavitt Tipoff Games

The BIG EAST and Big Ten Conferences on Wednesday announced the matchups for the inaugural Gavitt Tipoff Games, with eight men’s basketball games set to air on FOX Sports 1, BTN, or an ESPN Network from Nov. 17-20, 2015.

The Gavitt Tipoff Games is an annual early-season series played between the two conferences and named in honor of Dave Gavitt, founder of the BIG EAST and basketball visionary. The BIG EAST home games will be telecast on FOX Sports 1, while Big Ten home games will air on BTN or an ESPN Network.

“Our family is excited about the Big Ten and BIG EAST launching this new series, which honors the memory of Dave Gavitt and his passion for college basketball,” said Dan Gavitt, NCAA Vice President of Men’s Basketball Championships. “He would be most pleased that the student-athletes, coaches and supporters of these historic college basketball programs can look forward to annual competition at the highest level to help open the college season with a bang. We are thankful to the two great conferences for recognizing the Gavitt legacy with the intra-conference games featuring new and old rivalries and intriguing match-ups.”

The annual series will feature renewed battles between local foes and attractive intersectional matchups. Eight teams in the inaugural event advanced to the NCAA Tournament and won at least 20 games last season.

Below is the complete schedule for the 2015 Gavitt Tipoff Games. Start times and specific television assignments will be announced at a later date.

Tuesday, Nov. 17

Georgetown at Maryland

First meeting since 2008-09

DePaul at Penn State

First meeting since 1984-85

Nebraska at Villanova

First meeting since 1998-99

Wednesday, Nov. 18

Illinois at Providence

First meeting since 2003-04

Thursday, Nov. 19

Creighton at Indiana

First meeting since 1974-75

Iowa at Marquette

First meeting since 1982-83

Rutgers at St. John’s

First meeting since 2012-13

Friday, Nov. 20

Xavier at Michigan

First meeting since 1988-89

Beginning in 2015 and scheduled through 2022, the Gavitt Tipoff Games will be played on four consecutive days in the first full week of the college basketball campaign. The series will span eight years, with games played at home sites. Each BIG EAST team will participate a minimum of six times, while Big Ten programs will take part a minimum of four times. Teams from both conferences already meet in some traditional rivalry games, and those matchups will continue in the upcoming seasons.

The unique series between the two conferences is named to honor the late Gavitt, who had a profound and lasting influence on the sport of basketball on the collegiate, professional and Olympic levels. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

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Rovérsio and Restrepo Named to NASL Team of the Week for Week 3

Wálter Restrepo from the Cosmos Home Opener. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

Wálter Restrepo from the Cosmos Home Opener. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

New York Cosmos Defender Rovérsio and Midfielder Walter Restrepo (pictured) were named to the NASL Team of the Week for Week 3 on Wednesday.

Both have been huge parts to the Cosmos 2-1 record so far, putting in outstanding performances and making some huge contributions to the club.

Here is the full team from Week 3:

GK: Kristian Nicht (Indy Eleven) – Needing a strong team performance to earn any points on the road against the San Antonio Scorpions, Indy Eleven certainly achieved that. German goalkeeper Kristian Nicht led the charge between the posts, making four key saves to help his team defeat the defending NASL champions at Toyota Field.

DEF: Rauwshan McKenzie (Atlanta Silverbacks) – The Atlanta Silverbacks may have been on the road at WakeMed Soccer Park, a venue where they have particularly struggled over the years, but the tide could be turning. The Silverbacks have now won back-to-back games in Cary, N.C., and defender Rauwshan McKenzie led the defensive charge this time around. The former Michigan State standout was strong all night, helping the Silverbacks’ back line limit the Carolina RailHawks to very few chances. Atlanta was nearly able to keep a clean sheet, but a late goal from Blake Wagner meant they had to settle for a 2-1 victory.

DEF: Erick Norales (Indy Eleven) – After his team conceded a goal early in the second half to go down 1-0, Honduran international Erick Norales notched the equalizer 12 minutes later. The defender, who had a strong game in the back as well, nodded in Dylan Mares’ corner kick at the back post in Indy’s 2-1 road win over the Scorpions.

DEF: Rovérsio (New York Cosmos) – Playing against a long-standing rival in front of a sellout crowd in New York, the Tampa Bay Rowdies rarely looked like an attacking threat. A large part of that was due to the New York Cosmos’ defensive work, which on Saturday night was led by Brazilian center back Rovérsio. The former Real Betis defender helped limit the Rowdies to just two shots on goal in the 2-0 shutout win.

DEF: Rafael Alves (Ottawa Fury FC) – Minnesota United FC brought plenty of firepower to TD Place, but Fury FC’s defense stood tall. Thanks to efforts like that of towering center back Rafael Alves, the Loons were only able to get two shots on target, and neither managed to trouble Fury FC goalkeeper Romuald Pesier. It was a sterling display from the Brazilian center back, as Fury FC defeated Minnesota, 1-0 – a result that represented their first-ever win against the defending Spring Season Champions.

MID: Sainey Nyassi (FC Edmonton) – In FC Edmonton’s first win of the season, Sainey Nyassi turned in a Man-of-the-Match performance. He first assisted on Ritchie Jones’ opener after an impressive dribbling run, and later in the first half, the Gambian international drew a penalty – only to see teammate Frank Jonke unable to convert it. After the Eddies found themselves down a goal to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers late in the match, the Player of the Week smashed home a rebound to draw the match level in a game the Eddies would eventually go on to win.

MID: Sergio Peña (Indy Eleven) – Indy Eleven fought back to even the score in San Antonio and seemed destined for their third successive draw, but that’s when Sergio Peña stepped in with a moment of pure genius. The Honduran, who is never shy at pulling the trigger on shots from distance, chested down a headed pass from Wojciech Wojcik, let the ball bounce, and struck the ball cleanly and powerfully from 45 yards out for a stunning winner just before the final whistle.

MID: Walter Restrepo (New York Cosmos) – Playing on the wing, Walter Restrepo was dynamic throughout his 90-minute shift against the Rowdies, playing a part in both Cosmos goals. Early in the first half, one of his crosses was met by forward Mads Stokkelien, whose header came off the arm of Tampa Bay defender Darnell King to draw a penalty. Marcos Senna stepped up to convert the spot kick just a minute later. In the second half, the Colombian midfielder played a low cross through the penalty area to fellow midfielder Leo Fernandez, who made no mistake from close range to give New York a two-goal lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.

FWD: Tom Heinemann (Ottawa Fury FC) – Minnesota United FC’s back line could use a break from Tom Heinemann for a while. The American forward put the Loons’ defense under pressure throughout his 69 minutes on the pitch. Just before he was substituted, Heinemann got the goal that he deserved, beating several Untied defenders and coolly slotting the ball past goalkeeper Sammy Ndjock for what would eventually stand as the winner.

FWD: Shaka Bangura (Atlanta Silverbacks) – After playing to a scoreless first half in Carolina, it didn’t take much time for Atlanta to get on the scoresheet in the second stanza. Shaka Bangura’s shot from the top of the 18-yard box four minutes after halftime found the back of the net to set the Silverbacks on their way to their first victory of the 2015 Spring Season.

FWD: Tomi Ameobi (FC Edmonton) – While not involved in the match until the latter stages, Eddies forward Tomi Ameobi left about as good of an impression as he could have. Entering with 17 minutes to go, the English forward instantly lifted FC Edmonton’s spirits. After teammate Sainey Nyassi scored the equalizer, Ameobi was left unmarked at the back post to head home a Lance Laing cross in the 80th minute. The goal gave his team a 3-2 lead – a score that would stand to give the Eddies a thrilling comeback victory over the Strikers.

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Rodney Crawford and Willie Cruz named to men’s basketball staff at Fordham

Fordham University named Rodney Crawford assistant men’s basketball coach and Willie Cruz assistant director of basketball operations/strength training coach on Wednesday.

Rodney Crawford, who served as an assistant at Eastern Kentucky the past three years, was named assistant men’s basketball coach and Willie Cruz, former men’s basketball speed and agility conditioning coach at Eastern Kentucky, was been named assistant director of basketball operations/strength training coach at Fordham University it was announced by head coach Jeff Neubauer.

“I’m pleased that Rodney is joining me at Fordham,” Neubauer said. “He was a big part of the recent success we had at Eastern Kentucky and brings a wealth of experience to Fordham, including experience in the Atlantic 10. He did a great job coaching the defense at Eastern Kentucky and I’m sure that will translate that toughness here at Fordham.”

As a member of Neubauer’s staff at Eastern Kentucky the past three years, Crawford was tasked with changing the team’s defensive philosophy to a more aggressive man-to-man system. The results paid off as the Colonels had three of the most successful seasons in program history. Last year, the Colonels won 21 games, their third straight 20-win season, while the 2012-13 squad won a school record 25 games, including EKU’s first national postseason tournament win in 68 years. In 2013-14, the Colonels won 24 times, an Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Championship and made a trip to the NCAA Tournament where Eastern nearly upset second-seeded Kansas in the second round.

Eastern Kentucky’s 70 wins the last three seasons are the most during any three-year period in program history. Last winter, the Colonels led the NCAA Division I in turnover margin (+7.2) and they also ranked second in the NCAA in steals/game (9.1) while leading the Ohio Valley Conference in scoring defense (63.6). In 2013-24, EKU was second in the nation in turnover margin (+6.3) after forcing 16.9 turnovers per game. The team also ranked sixth in the nation in steals and second in the conference in scoring defense (70.9 ppg) while in 2012-13 the Colonels forced 17.5 turnovers per game and ranked fourth in the nation in turnover margin (+5.69). Eastern finished second in the OVC in three-point field goal defense and third in steals.

Before arriving at Eastern Kentucky, Crawford served the two seasons as an assistant coach at Duquesne where he helped the Dukes equal a program record with 10 conference wins in 2010-11.

Prior to entering the collegiate coaching ranks, Crawford spent four years coaching at the prep level. Crawford compiled a combined 102-12 record as head coach at Harmony Community School in Cincinnati and The Academy at Mountain State University in Beckley, W.Va. In that time frame, Crawford coached more than 20 future NCAA Division I players.

As head coach and director of student operations at Mountain State Academy, the Falcons posted a 22-4 record in 2009-10 which included an ESPNU nationally televised 59-53 win over Oak Hill Academy in the quarterfinals of the ESPN RISE National High School Basketball Invitational. Mountain State Academy finished the season ranked No. 17 nationally in USA Today’s Super 25.

As a collegiate player, Crawford played in 49 career games for head coach Bob Huggins at Cincinnati (2000-02). The Bearcats went 56-14 in his two seasons with back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances. The 2001-02 UC team finished 31-4 overall and ranked No. 5 nationally by The Associated Press.

Crawford was a four-year starter at Cincinnati Withrow High School. He and his wife, Tracy, have two daughters, Jocelyn and Jordyn.

For the past two years, Cruz served on Nuebauer’s staff at Eastern Kentucky as the men’s basketball speed and agility conditioning coach where he coordinated the creation of sport, position and energy specific drills to best prepare the athlete for game-like conditions. Cruz was responsible from evaluating and correcting the nutritional habits of the student-athletes.

“Willie will be a great addition to my staff at Fordham,” said Neubauer. “He has a strong background and a lot of experience in strength and condition coaching. Willie did a great job with the program at Eastern Kentucky and I’m confident that he will have similar results with the Fordham program.”

At Eastern Kentucky, Cruz was a part of the 2014 Ohio Valley Conference championship team as well as back-to-back 20-win teams. Last year, the Colonels won 21 games, their third straight 20-win season, while the 2013-14 squad won 24 times, took home the OVC title and made a trip to the NCAA Tournament where Eastern nearly upset second-seeded Kansas in the second round.

Cruz was a two-year member of the Eastern Kentucky men’s basketball program, but his collegiate career was cut short by injury prior to his junior season. He served as a men’s basketball assistant strength and conditioning coach his last two years as an undergraduate and, as a senior, he also served as a strength and conditioning intern for the Colonels, assisting with the football, soccer, volleyball, golf, softball and baseball teams.

A 2013 graduate of Eastern Kentucky, Cruz earned a degree in sports management with a concentration in strength and conditioning.

Cruz played at L’Anse Creuse High School, located just outside of Detroit, Mich., where he averaged 20 points, nine rebounds and four assists per game as a senior. He earned all-conference, all-metro and honorable mention all-state accolades.

For more information on the Fordham University Men’s Basketball team fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:


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Juan’ya Green Named To All-Met Second Team

Juan'ya Green. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

Juan’ya Green. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

Hofstra University junior guard Juan’ya Green was named to the All-Met Second Team, it was announced on Wednesday by the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association.

Green sat out the 2013-14 campaign after transferring from Niagara. He had a stellar 2014-15 season for the Pride, eventually earning him All-Colonial Athletic Association First Team honors. In addition he was named to the CAA All-Tournament team and helped lead Hofstra to a 20-14 record this season and a berth in the College Basketball Invitational.

Green’s first season in a Hofstra uniform after transferring from Niagara was strong in every facet of the game. The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native led Hofstra in scoring, assists and steals, while ranking third on the squad in rebounding. He averaged 17.1 points, 6.5 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game.

He ranked sixth nationally in free throws made with 203 and remarkably scored in double figures in all 34 games this season including a season-high 26 points at Charleston. His assists per game average ranked ninth nationally and he was the CAA Player of the Week on December 29. Green led Hofstra with eight double-doubles and also had the program’s first-ever triple-double this season with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against LIU Brooklyn on December 28, 2014, at the Barclays Center. It was the first-ever triple-double, NBA or NCAA, at the home of the Brooklyn Nets.

The 203 free throws made ranks as the second-most made in a season in Hofstra history and his 220 assists are the third-most in a single season in program history.

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Sir’Dominic Pointer Named 2015 Haggerty Award Winner; Harrison Selected First Team All-Met and Greene IV Earns Third Team Honors

Sir'Dominic Pointer. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

Sir’Dominic Pointer. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

The Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association’s prestigious Haggerty Award will go to a St. John’s student-athlete for the second straight year. Sir’Dominic Pointer was named New York City’s collegiate player of the year on Wednesday, becoming the 22nd player in program history to receive the award which is named in honor of St. John’s basketball and baseball star Lieutenant Frank C. Haggerty. Pointer will be recognized tonight at the 82nd NIT/MBWA All-Met College Basketball Awards Dinner in Tarrytown, N.Y.

It is the 26th time a St. John’s student-athlete has won the Haggerty Award. D’Angelo Harrison, the 2014 Haggerty Award recipient, took home his fourth-straight All-Metropolitan award earning First Team honors for the third time in his career. Phil Greene IV was also named to the All-Metropolitan Third Team.

“I am humbled and honored to receive the Haggerty Award,” said Pointer. “This is a special award with great tradition and history that has a strong connection to St. John’s. Some of the great players who came through our program have won the Haggerty Award, so it is very special to now be among such a prestigious group. I am excited to bring this award back to St. John’s for another year after D’Angelo won it last year.”

“This is a great honor for Sir’Dominic and a tribute to his hard work,” said St. John’s Head Coach and three-time Haggerty Award winner Chris Mullin. “His four-year career was loaded with improvement; he led by example and played with heart and desire.”

Pointer was named the BIG EAST Co-Defensive Player of the Year and the conference’s Most Improved Player after a memorable 2014-15 campaign. He became only the second St. John’s player to receive each of the awards joining Mark Jackson, the 1987 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year, and Dwight Hardy who received Most Improved Player honors in 2011.

The 6-foot-6 senior from Detroit was an All-BIG EAST Second Team honoree who ranked 10th in the conference in scoring (13.7), fourth in rebounding (7.7), third in steals (1.9) and third in blocks (2.4). Pointer was second in the BIG EAST in double-doubles, recording his ninth of the season in the NCAA Tournament versus San Diego State with game-highs of 21 points and 10 rebounds.

Pointer became the 50th St. John’s player in program history to record 1,000-points. He also finished his career in Queens ranked third in St. John’s history for career blocks (172) and fifth in steals (200). No other player in St. John’s history ranks in the top five of both charts.

D'Angelo Harrison. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

D’Angelo Harrison. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

Harrison was named First Team All-BIG EAST for the second straight year after finishing second in the conference averaging 17.5 points per game. He finished his four-year career at St. John’s third on the program’s scoring list with 2,178 points and ninth in BIG EAST history with 1,178 points in conference games. He will graduate as St. John’s career leader in 3-point field goals with 264.

The 6-foot-4 guard from Missouri City, Texas, scored double-figures in 30-of-33 appearances in 2014-15, including 14 20-point performances and three 30-point efforts. Harrison was eighth in the BIG EAST in free-throw shooting percentage (.799) and sixth in 3-point field goals per game (2.0). Harrison was named a Senior CLASS Award Second Team All-American, while collecting First Team NABC District 5 and USBWA All-District II honors. He competed in the NABC Reece’s Division I College All-Star Game and was named to the Portsmouth Invitational All-Tournament Team after averaging 17.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists in three games in the annual event for the nation’s top seniors.

Phil Greene IV. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

Phil Greene IV. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

Greene IV collected All-Metropolitan Third Team honors. He registered the 11th highest scoring average in the BIG EAST with a career-best 13.0 points per game, while finishing second in the conference with a 39.1 3-point field goal percentage and 1.9 threes per game. Greene IV was one of two St. John’s players to start all 33 games and he scored in double-figures 22 times.

The Chicago native elevated his play against BIG EAST competition with a 13.3 scoring average and a 40.0 percent 3-point field goal rate. Greene IV was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Jan. 19 after averaging 18.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in two conference games.

One of his top performances of the season came on Jan. 14 in an 83-70 win at Providence. Greene IV scored 20 points and buried five 3-pointers against the Friars on a night he joined the 1,000-point club. His marquee performance was on Feb. 28 when he exploded for a career-high 26 points and six 3-pointers en route to an 81-70 Senior Day victory over Georgetown at Madison Square Garden.

Greene IV moved to 29th place on the program’s career scoring list with 1,243 points, and he is fifth all-time with 138 threes. The 6-foot-2 guard started 121 of 130 career appearances in his four years at St. John’s.



Sir’Dominic Pointer, St. John’s

D’Angelo Harrison, St. John’s

David Laury, Iona
A.J. English, Iona
Jalen Cannon, St. Francis
Jameel Warney, Stony Brook


Emmy Andujar, Manhattan
Sterling Gibbs, Seton Hall
Juan’ya Green, Hofstra
Maodo Lo, Columbia
Myles Mack, Rutgers
Damon Lynn, NJIT


Chavaughn Lewis, Marist
Ashton Pankey, Manhattan
Brent Jones, St. Francis
Marcus Burton, Wagner
Phil Greene IV, St. John’s
Kadeem Jack, Rutgers

Player of the Year: Sir’Dominic Pointer, St. John’s
Co-Rookie of the Year: Eric Paschall, Fordham
Co-Rookie of the Year: Angel Delgado, Seton Hall
Peter A. Carlesimo Co-Coach of the Year: Glenn Braica, St. Francis
Peter A. Carlesimo Co-Coach of the Year: Jim Engles, NJIT

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Tony Taylor of NYCFC Suffers Season-Ending Injury

Tony Taylor

Tony Taylor. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports


New York City FC forward Tony Taylor has suffered a season-ending injury, the Club announced on Tuesday.

Taylor, 25, suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture with lateral collateral ligament (LCL) damage in the 35th minute of the Club’s match against the Portland Timbers on Sunday evening at Yankee Stadium.

“It’s always very disappointing when you see a player suffer a serious injury,” New York City FC Head Coach Jason Kreis said. “Tony is a great young professional and I know his teammates are going to miss him on the field. Everyone at New York City FC is 100 percent behind him in his recovery and will be there to help every step of the way. I know that Tony will receive the best medical support, and I’m confident that he’ll come back fitter and stronger than ever.”

Taylor will undergo surgery later this week. The timeframe of his return will be determined following the operation.

Taylor, who was selected 10th in the 2014 MLS Expansion Draft from the New England Revolution on Dec. 10, 2014, made two appearances (one start) this season for New York City FC.

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