Manhattan's Masiello Talks Leave of Absence; Jaspers Open vs. Florida State | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / August 19.
  • Manhattan’s Masiello Talks Leave of Absence; Jaspers Open vs. Florida State

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    Manhattan opens the 2014-15 season Saturday afternoon at Florida State.

    It will be the first game for Manhattan coach Steve Masiello after an eventful offseason in which he:

    A) Took the South Florida job after playing Louisville close in the NCAA Tournament;

    B) Lost the USF job after it was revealed he had never graduated from Kentucky;

    C) Was placed on a leave of absence at Manhattan, and;

    D) Returned as the fulltime coach at Manhattan

    SNY’s Michelle Yu caught up with Masiello in the above video to talk about what went down.

    “I remember not leaving my room literally for almost 20 days straight,” Masiello said. “I didn’t leave my house. I didn’t want to go out, I didn’t want to hear what people said. It hurt. But my intent was never to mislead or misrepresent myself. It was a mistake I made at 21, 22 years old that almost cost me everything.”

    He added of what he learned: “Just because I didn’t have a piece of paper it doesn’t change the man I am.”


    Meantime, here’s a breakdown of the Florida State game.


    A great game with local flavor to keep an eye on this weekend is Manhattan at Florida State, Saturday afternoon at 1 pm. Manhattan will begin defense of their 2014 MAAC Championship against the Seminoles, who were picked to finish 8th in the ACC Coaches Poll last month. Coincidentally, Manhattan’s season ended in the state of Florida last year after closely losing to Louisville in the NCAA Tournament in Orlando.

    I recently caught up with Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello for his Keys to the Game:

    1. Transition Defense: One way the Jaspers could get in trouble on Saturday afternoon is if Leonard Hamilton’s team gets out on the break early. Sprinting back, stopping the ball and setting up the half court defense has really been stressed by the coaching staff the past several days. Florida State cannot get easy baskets if the Jaspers want to pull this one out.

    2. Contain Mr. Thomas: To quote Masiello directly, he’s stressed to his team to know where Aaron Thomas is “every second he’s on the court.” The 6-5 Thomas is an ACC Player of the Year candidate and last season impressed opposing ACC coaches with his stellar play at both ends of the floor. If Manhattan can pressure him in the full court and make him uncomfortable with their effective zone in the half court, it would greatly be to their advantage.

    3. Battle the Glass: The Jaspers cannot let the size and strength of FSU be to their advantage. The guards will have to help the post players on the defensive backboards and the offensive rebound totals of the Seminoles have to be held to a minimum.

    My take: Every time Manhattan has had a huge win in the Masiello era, they’ve used speed to their advantage. That includes getting easy baskets when the opportunity presents itself, limiting transition by the opponent and causing turnovers with their pressure. If the Jaspers have a great number in the ‘Steals’ column of the box score at the end of the game, it may very well be a MAAC over ACC upset down in Tallahassee on Saturday.

    Vin Parise is a college basketball studio & game analyst for SNY Television and Fox Sports 1. He will be contributing to ZAGSBLOG throughout the college hoops season and, like Adam Zagoria, is a diehard Bruce Springsteen fan.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.