Peacocks Buoyed By Veterans, Newcomers
With an overhauled roster that promises to give the Saint Peter’s University men’s basketball team depth and firepower, the Peacocks are looking to bounce back to their winning ways in 2013-14. It was just three years ago that Coach John Dunne guided the Peacocks to the MAAC Championship and the NCAA Tournament, and everyone in Jersey City is anxious to return to that high level of play.
Saint Peter’s was picked to finish ninth by the MAAC’s head coaches after a 9-21 campaign in 2012-13. But with the return of a solid nucleus and some new and talented faces to call upon, the Peacocks are looking forward to the upcoming season. Junior guard Desi Washington heads the list of returnees. The 6-2 Washington was chosen preseason second team All-MAAC after averaging 14.6 points last year. Washington is a solid threat from behind the 3-point arc, where he hit .370 of his attempts (81-of-219). Chris Burke, a 6-4 senior guard, averaged 5.5 points and 4.2 rebounds and is ready to take on a greater load this year. Junior Markese Tucker is solid up front at 6-5, 240-pounds, and averaged 5.1 points while shooting 48 percent from the floor in 13 minutes of action last season, and looks to take the next step. Among the newcomers that Saint Peter’s will call upon is 6-7 forward Marvin Dominique, who has the ability to score from the outside as well as in the paint. Dominique has two seasons under his belt after transferring from Fordham. Freshman forward Quadir Welton has good size at 6-7, 220-pounds and could provide a lift inside. In the backcourt, 6-2 junior Jamel Fields, 6-1 freshman Howard Sellars and 6-foot point guard Trevis Wyche will challenge for playing time.
Saint Peter’s opens it season against LIU-Brooklyn at the Barclays Center on Nov. 9. The Peacocks will also visit Kent State on Nov. 17, and play at Boston University on Nov. 30, and at Seton Hall on Dec. 14. The Peacocks make their MAAC debut on Dec. 6 and Dec. 8 when they play at Canisius and at Niagara. Saint Peter’s will be featured as part of the MAAC TV package three times this season. On January 20, the Peacocks are at Marist (ESPN3). on Jan. 31 they host cross-state rival Rider on ESPNU or ESPN3, and on Feb. 22 they are at another cross-state rival, Monmouth.
Experienced New Leaders Looks to Return Saint Peter’s to the Top
The Saint Peter’s women’s basketball has a rich tradition in the MAAC leading the league with nine total championships. The Peacocks of recent however have struggled finishing at or near the bottom of the league in the past several years. But with veteran new head coach Pat Coyle taking over and adding veteran Phyllis Mangina to her staff, the two-time MAAC Champion head coach looks to turn the program around. The Peacocks were chosen to finish 11th in the Preseason Coaches’ Poll after finishing last in the league last season.
Coyle will look to Preseason All-MAAC Third Team choice, senior guard Aziza May to lead the backcourt and Peacocks team. The 5-3 guard from South Euclid, Ohio ranked 6th in the MAAC in assists to turnover ratio and ranked 11th in 3 point field goals made with 39. May led the Peacocks with 106 assists and 3.8 per game. She needs 357 points to reach 1,000 on her career. May will be joined in the backcourt by Bronx, N.Y. native Antonia Smith. The 5-5 junior guard Smith averaged 5.4 points and shot .335 field goal percentages last season. The frontcourt will be led by 6-1 senior forward Kaydine Bent. Bent of the Bronx, N.Y. averaged 8.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game in the 2012-13 season. Younger talent will also have to step in to help out the Peacocks this upcoming season.
The Peacocks open the 2013-14 campaign on the road against Hampton on Nov. 10. They will open up league play on Dec. 29 against MAAC newcomer Monmouth on the road. Saint Peter’s will be featured as part of the MAAC TV package once this season on Feb. 20 when they host Canisius College on ESPN3 as part of a double header with the men’s team.