We continue our conference previews with the MAAC. Every week on Twitter, we preview two conferences streaming live from the Mid-Major Madness account (@mid_madness), speaking with media members and coaches throughout the selected league.
For the full Twitter Space, hit the link below:
To open the conversation, Mid-Major Madness writer Nick Lorensen and guest co-hosts Sam Federman (Mid-Major Madness) and Jaden Daly (Daly Dose of Hoops) recapped what happened in the MAAC last season and so far this offseason. Although Iona dominated in the regular season, Saint Peter’s won the conference tournament. What happened after that, no one could’ve predicted. Maybe only Shaheen Holloway and his Peacocks.
Saint Peter’s would make one of the greatest Cinderella runs in NCAA Tournament history, beating the likes of Kentucky and Purdue en route to the Elite Eight.
There’s very little of that team remaining as most of the team has transferred out, and Shaheen Holloway is now the head coach at Seton Hall, but basketball has forever changed in Jersey City. Former Wagner head coach, Bashir Mason takes over the program and should have a good squad this season.
Mount St. Mary’s joined the league while Monmouth left. The Mountaineers will be the first team from the state of Maryland to compete in the MAAC since Loyola (Md.) left in 2013.
Mount St. Mary’s head coach Dan Engelstad (17:35) would join soon after to talk about his program’s new terrain. The Mountaineers made the NCAA Tournament in 2021 and were a constant title threat in the NEC.
“It’s an exciting challenge for our program,” said Engelstad. “The last time The Mount has played a MAAC opponent, that’s in the league currently, I think was 2011. I like the fact that they play on Fridays and Sundays, so I’ve been able to tune in and watch, and see the caliber that the MAAC is. We’re looking forward to the challenge of the competition that this requires. It seems like it’s a league where there’s no nights off.”
Mount St. Mary’s opens MAAC play on Thursday, December 1 at Saint Peter’s.
Soon after, Fairfield head coach Jay Young (44:25) joined the program to speak about the growth of his program. The Stags will open a new arena on Saturday, Dec. 3 against Saint Peter’s.
“[Leo D.Mahoney Arena is] just incredibly exciting on our campus,” Young said. “I think it’s going to be as nice as any arena in the country for a school our size. They’ve done an incredible job with it, all the bells and whistles that you can imagine. It’s really what we’ve been missing since I’ve got here.”
Jaden, Nick, and Sam then continued the conversation by previewing every team in the league. To hear about your team, advance the recording to each time stamp.
1:46:40 POTY & Title Predictions
Along with the Twitter Space, Nick talked to Siena head coach Carmen Maciariello about the program he has rebuilt at his alma mater. The Saints have never had a losing season under Maciariello.
“[We] just have tremendous support here, it’s a great community,” Maciariello said. “It’s been tremendous, just grateful, thankful, appreciative. When you do what you love every single day, it’s not a job. It’s passion, it’s a lifestyle.”
Along with the MAAC, preview articles for the Mountain West and OVC will also come out this week. Stay tuned for the Twitter Space previews on the Independents, Ivy League, and NEC.