This is some serious truth from Manhattan's second-year head coach, Steve Manitta:
“Our players deserve to play as competitive a schedule as possible,” said Head Coach Steve Manitta who is entering his second season in Riverdale. “I feel like we have given them the opportunity to prove themselves game in and game out.”
Considering where the Jaspers have been as a program, Manhattan isn't taking any shortcuts to victory. This is an aggressive agenda from the Jaspers, one that likely isn't going to yield all that many victories.
Here are some schedule highlights and games of note:
April 8: @Lafayette; April 12: Monmouth
Manhattan could have additional potential wins on its schedule for the coming spring (this is a team that knocked off a superior Marist team on the final day of its season in 2013), but looking at the Jaspers' slate only two games -- a trip to Easton and a home date against Division I-newbie Monmouth -- look like better-than-average opportunities for a Gatorade bath. What's difficult about that situation is that Manhattan is going to play 11 games before seeing the Leopards; that kind of docket screams Reverse Survivor contendership. This is a function of both the strength of the opponents that Manhattan will face and the Jaspers' overall competitiveness, a difficult combination to overcome.
Challenge the Throne
February 15: @North Carolina; February 25: Princeton
There's going to be blood everywhere.
A Return to May?
March 15: @Quinnipiac; March 29: @Marist; April 5: @Canisius; April 12: Monmouth; April 19: Detroit; April 26: Siena
The Jaspers last went to the MAAC Tournament in 2010, but haven't finished in contention for an invitation to the conference tournament since then (Manhattan is a combined 4-14 in MAAC play the last three seasons, only one win stronger than VMI's mark (3-15) over the same period). That's a difficult situation to deal with, but there is hope for Manhattan: The MAAC is a crazy place where monkey poo falls from the sky and insane things seem to happen (especially in the conference tournament). For the Jaspers, there is only one goal in 2014 -- carve out a position in the league postseason and let that havoc do what it does best. Now, there is strength in the MAAC in 2014 -- Quinnipiac, Siena, and Detroit look like the league's strongest teams -- but strength in the MAAC is relative: For example, Siena crushed skulls in the league in 2012 but were bounced from the MAAC Tournament in the finals against an inferior Canisius team. It's going to take three to four wins to move on to Poughkeepsie, and that's not a given for the Jaspers (in fact, Manhattan is going to need to substantially step up its game if it wants some extra dates in warm weather). But there is possibility, and in the MAAC that's all that matters.