As part of our offseason we are doing an early 2017 scouting report on every D1 team. The kid Jayskrem is also doing a great series called The Good, The Bad, & the Future; his last few posts were on the CAA, the Patriot League, and the Big East. You should definitely check them out.
Our last scouting report was on the Jacksonville Dolphins. We're doing our list from the bottom to the top, so our eighth report is on 2016's 64th ranked RPI team, Manhattan!!
Profile: While 2016 saw 3 times as many wins as 2015, 3-12 is still 3-12. Manhattan hasn't had a winning record since 2009 and 5 Ws is the the high-water mark the last six years. Though the Jaspers haven't been a threat to win the MAAC since 2010, they were quite successful in their first decade and a half of existence. Formed in 1997, the team made the MAAC tournament seven times between 2000-2010 and made the NCAA tournament in 2002. However, since 2010, the best Manhattan has finished is 5-9.
2016 Record: 3-12 overall, 1-5 conference record. While Manhattan struggled again 2016, they did have a pretty good win over Marist in overtime in April. While that win on the road was certainly an outlier, it demonstrated that when they play at their best, Manhattan can be a competitive team.
There were a few bright spots this season, as the Jaspers were more productive on the offensive end in 2016 than they were in 2015. In 2016 Manhattan was more accurate with their shots , scored nearly 2 more goals/game, had an increase in assists by nearly 30%, and held their opponents to two less goals/game than in 2015.
Roster: Manhattan had 5 seniors on the 2016 roster, though they don't lose much production, as Nick Strano led all seniors with 5 points last season. Most of the Jaspers are rising sophomores and juniors, as only 6 rising seniors are on Manhattan's 2016 roster.
The good news for Manhattan fans is that wunderkind, Parker Giarratana is coming back next season. Parker was named the 2016 MAAC Rookie of the Year, made it onto the MAAC All-Rookie team, and earned All-MAAC Second Team honors last year. The Delray, FL native finished 2016 with 44 points (31 Gs & 13 As), and nearly doubled the next highest goal scorer on the team. Additionally, Parker will have help next year from his All-MAAC Rookie Team teammate, Dylan Demuro. Demuro, a Yorktown Heights, NY native, was very effective on defense for the Jaspers in 2016. Dylan played in 14 games, started in 8 of them, and scooped up 12 GBs.
Conference: Manhattan needs some work this offseason, but it is not unreasonable to think of them in the MAAC tournament next year. Quinnipiac was excellent last season, however, Marist was the only other team in the MAAC to finish with a conference record above .500. If Manhattan can duplicate their performance against Marist next year and scoop up 1 or 2 more wins against the bottom half of the MAAC, they could be in contention for a MAAC tournament spot come late April.
The MAAC is a decent conference, but there is no reason for Manhattan to not be more competitive within the conference next year, especially with a dynamic player like Parker Giarratana on their roster. Get that kid a little more help on the offensive end, and Manhattan just might find itself in the MAAC tournament next year.
What are they doing this summer: Manhattan's another one of those teams that likes to keep their business close to the vest so there isn't too much public information available. But I bet they are on the recruiting grind like every other team in D1.
2017 outlook: I am going to go out on a limb here and say that Manhattan will get at least 5 wins next year and be in the running for the 4th spot in the MAAC. I think Parker Giarratana can be a special player and lord help the rest of the MAAC if he makes a sophomore leap next season. A couple more threats on offense and more improvement from the defense, and Manhattan might very well be in the MAAC tournament next season.
Non-Sequitor: "The unique nickname of Manhattan College’s athletic teams, the Jaspers, comes from one of the College’s most memorable figures, Brother Jasper of Mary, F.S.C., who served at the College in the late 19th century."