Maroon and Gold scrimmage provides first look at the team

Junior guard Schadrac Casimir drives to the basket during the Maroon and Gold game.

Ryan McFadden , Sports Editor

Homecoming weekend at Iona College was filled with a wide range of sporting events and carnival style activities for students, families and alumni to enjoy. During the eventful Oct. 15, the men’s basketball team got together in the Hynes Center for their annual Maroon and Gold scrimmage.

The scrimmage gave fans their first look of the reigning Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champions until the season opener against Albany on Nov. 11. However, the scrimmage will be the last time the Gaels will play on their home floor until Dec. 2.

“It’s good to see the fans again,” sophomore guard E.J. Crawford said. “They’re loyal and it’s good that they came out to see us.”

This year’s Iona basketball team will have a different look than the last two years, as it features eight new players on the 15-man roster. The Gaels spent the offseason trying to get the new additions used to the fast pace system they run.

“They are giving effort and they are starting to get use to it,” junior Schadrac Casimir said. “At this point, that’s all we could ask for. It’s not going to come together overnight.”

Graduate transfer Zach Lewis, who spent time at Canisius and UMass, is one of the new players that participated in the scrimmage. Lewis showed off his ability to score the ball especially from behind the arc. Former Tulsa forward TK Edogi, who is likely to play both frontcourt positions, also put his athleticism on display.

Junior guard/forward Isaiah Still is another player on the Gaels that has the potential to be a threat from the three-point line. Unfortunately, Still will not be able to play this season due to the NCAA transfer regulations.

Freshman guard C.J. Seaforth showed off his speed, which will allow him to move up and down the court while getting past defenders.

“Everyone is coming along really well,” Crawford said. “We have a lot of good pieces, so I think we are going to be good.”

Crawford had the opportunity to play big minutes during his freshman campaign – he started in the MAAC Championship game against Siena. Crawford made it clear that his biggest strength is shooting, but he is determined to expand his game this year and become a better all-around scorer.

“I’m trying to expand my game because everyone knows I’m a shooter,” Crawford said. “I’m trying to mix things up with post moves and finishing with my right hand.”

Probably the biggest takeaway from the scrimmage was the way Casimir looked on the floor in a health perspective. Casimir, who has battled injuries throughout his collegiate career, was running the floor well and attacking the basket instead of settling for jump shots. For the first time in a while Casimir felt like his old self.

“This is the best I’ve felt since my freshman year,” Casimir said. “I think in the next few months, I won’t have any issues at all.”

The Gaels are set begin another quest for the conference championship. They understand it’s going to be tough climb to the top just like in years past.

“It’s another year,” Casimir said. “We got a target on our back so we have to come together again and take it day-by-day.”

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