INSIDE LOOK: Scouting Iona

The No. 4 seed LSU Tigers get ready to meet the 13th-seeded Iona Gaels tomorrow night in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Here is a close up look at Iona from the Metro Atlanta Athletic Conference.


Iona Gaels


Conference: Metro Atlantic Athletic


Overall record: 23-7


Conference record: 13-5


Record vs. NCAA teams: 1-2


Results vs. NCAA teams: Beat No. 23 Iowa State 89-72; Lost at No. 20 Kentucky 73-67; Lost at Seton Hall 73-59


Seed: 13


Points per game: 80


Points allowed: 71.9


Scoring margin: +8.1


FG percentage: .484


FG allowed: .430


3PT percentage: .411


3PT allowed: .337


3PT-to-FG attempts: .265


FT percentage: .694


FT totals: 502/723



Starting Five:

G         Sr.        Steve Burtt                 6-1       190      25.2

G         Sr.        Ricky Soliver                6-3       275      16.2

F          Sr.        Kiril Wachsmann          6-7       240      11.8

F          Jr.        Anthony Bruin              6-7       235      7.1

G         Sr.        Marcus McCullough        6-0       180      6.7



The skinny:

The Gaels are a senior-laden mid-major with lots of experience, leadership and savvy. High point of the season was an impressive 17-point rout of No. 23 Iowa State in Ames. Iona also played well in loss at Kentucky and Seton Hall. The Gaels are not stocked with lots of size starting no player taller than 6-7. However, they make up what they lack in size on the perimeter. Steve Burtt is one of the nation's leading scorers putting up 25.2 points per game. Ricky Soliver is the reigning MAAC Defensive Player of the Year. The Gaels rely on their defense to spark the offense, which is led by three, left-handed senior guards, all of whom have started for four seasons. Iona tends to allow teams to take big early leads, from which they have rallied eight times for victories after trailing by 10 or more points. Burtt and Soliver combine to form the nation's highest scoring backcourt duo so it is understood they will likely get their points. However, if the Gaels role players don't play well, Iona is doomed. The Gaels were 16-3 on the road and on neutral floors this season. Large crowds and adverse situations do not affect this senior-heavy squad.

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