Ross, Junior Joseph just few of top players for Gaels


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Senior guard Isaiah Ross scored nearly as much as he did last season in less than half the games.

Giovanni Paolo Tagliafierro, Assistant Sports Editor

The Iona men’s basketball team featured new faces and new talent in the 2020-21 regular season, led by returning senior guard Isaiah Ross.  


The first year under head coach Rick Pitino did not exactly go according to plan, with two substantial layoffs at the beginning and end of the season due to COVID-19. The team, despite the time away from the court, kept grinding and churned out a 6-3 conference record in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference 


Ross dictated the offense for Iona throughout the year. When Ross was pouring in buckets, the rest of the Gaels offense was able to get better looks and play more efficiently as a squad, as the Gaels were 5-1 when Ross scored 20 or more points. 


Ross averaged 20.5 points per game, in addition to a .489 shooting percentage and a .418 three-point percentage. The guard led the MAAC in scoring by over 3 points and ranked fifth in three-point percentage.  


Ross stepped up to the challenge of being the leader for a young team under a new head coach, and his play throughout the season clearly makes him the team’s most valuable player of the 2020-2021 season.  


While Ross was putting up career numbers in his senior year at Iona, freshman forward Nelly Junior Joseph carved out a big role in the Gaels’ lineup.  


Joseph, in his first year of collegiate play, put up 12.0 points per game, while leading the team with 7.08 rebounds and 1.77 blocks per contest.  


The freshman gained more and more playing time as the year progressed, due to the versatility he showed as a complete player on both ends of the court, which was bolstered by his team-high .612 field-goal percentage.  


Senior guard Asante Gist took on the role as the secondary scoring option for the Gaels, but also served as the teams facilitator, leading the Gaels in assists with four per game. 


Fellow senior and forward Dylan Van Eyck, got his teammates involved with nearly three assists per game while grabbing 6.46 rebounds per contest.  


When it comes to defensive pressure, it is impossible not to mention Berrick JeanLouisThe junior guard, who knabbed 2.31 steals per game, came up big for the Gaels down the final stretch of regular season play.  


Iona was able to utilize their young talent throughout the season which provided  Pitino with a bench of capable rotation players. Freshman guard Ryan Myers stood out from this group in particular 


In his limited role, Myers showed that he is a true threat from deep, hitting 17-37 three-pointers over the course of the season and giving the Gaels a nice spark off the bench.  


The team looks forward to the MAAC tournament starting on March 9 in Atlantic City. N.J. when they take on Quinnipiac at 5 p.m. The match will be streamed on ESPN+.