NEW ROCHELLE, NY - Following a series profiling teams in nine high-profile Division I conferences, ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman picked the 12 best teams from the remaining leagues Friday afternoon. The Iona College men's basketball team ranked No. 5 on the ESPN.com "Best of the Rest" Power Rankings list.
In an ESPN.com Insider exclusive that can be read here, Goodman picked the Gaels behind Gonzaga, Harvard, Wichita State and Brigham Young. The capsule featuring Iona reads:
5. Iona Gaels
The Gaels lost Lamont Jones and his 22.6 points per game, but I think Tim Cluess' team will be better this season. Iona is loaded at every position. Sean Armand (16.6 points per game) is one of the best wings in the MAAC, David Laury averaged a double-double (13.1 points and 10.3 rebounds per game) and Tavon Sledge is solid at the point. The Gaels also added Rutgers transfer Mike Poole, who should start at power forward, as well as Marshall transfers Kelvin Amayo and Isaiah Williams. A.J. English had a strong freshman campaign before going down with an injury in January, and he'll give the Gaels more quality depth.
Two of Iona's opponents on its 2013-14 schedule appear on the list. One of the program's biggest conference rivals Manhattan ranks No. 7 while non-conference foe and 2013 NCAA Tournament darling Florida Gulf Coast comes in at No. 11. The dates of the Gaels home-and-home matchup with the Jaspers will be revealed in September with the release of the full MAAC slate. The Maroon & Gold will travel to Ft. Myers to take on the Eagles on Dec. 1. Iona's full non-conference slate is anticipated to be unveiled later this week when the school receives the contracts for all nine contests.