Pitino Names Staff, Signs 8 Recruits

It’s been a busy first month for Iona College men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino.

Pitino, who was named head coach in March, named three coaches and a director of basketball operations to his staff, and announced the signing of eight players for the 2020-2021 season.

Tom Abatemarco, Casey Stanley and Ricky Johns were appointed to the coaching staff and all three are no strangers to the program. Abatemarco coached at Iona under Jim Valvano, and later was an assistant for Valvano’s 1983 national championship team at North Carolina State. Johns served at Iona the past three seasons under men’s basketball head coach Tim Cluess.

Stanley, an Iona graduate, grew up around Iona as the son of former longtime Iona radio play-by-play announcer Gary Stanley. The younger Stanley served on Pitino’s staff at Louisville and on the staff of Pitino’s son, Richard, at Florida International and Minnesota.

“The most important part for me was finding diversity in age and experience,” Pitino said in a press release from the college. “All three coaches also have ties to Iona College and are very experienced recruiters, which I also sought out in putting together this staff.”

Pitino also named Joey Kuhl as the program’s director of basketball operations and announced the signing of eight players for next season, including Ryan Myers of Christ the King High School.

Myers averaged 21.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game for Christ the King in 2019-2020. As a junior, he averaged 16.3 points per game and earned most valuable player for leading the Royals to the CHSAA AA state championship.

Myers is joined in the 2019-2020 recruiting class by Darreus Brown, Robert Brown and Tahlik Chavez, all of Texas; Berrick JeanLouis and Osborn Shema, both of Florida; Johan Crafoord of Sweden; and Nelly Junior Joseph of Nigeria.


CYO Night at Iona

CYO New York and Iona College are teaming up for the third CYO night of the season at Iona College in New Rochelle when the Gaels host Monmouth in women’s basketball action on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m.

Click here to learn more and to register for free tickets to Saturday’s game between Iona and Monmouth.


CYO Days at Iona Basketball Games

CYO New York and Iona College athletics are teaming up for Iona College CYO Days in New Rochelle.

CYO New York athletes and their parents will be admitted free into select men’s and women’s basketball games. Tickets are limited and must be ordered in advance at http://www.cyony.org.

Iona Basketball CYO Days are as follows:

Dec. 21 — Iona women vs. UMass, noon

Jan. 17 — Iona men vs. Fairfield, 7 p.m.

Feb. 11 — Iona women vs. Monmouth, 7 p.m.

Feb. 21 — Iona men vs. Rider, 7 p.m.


Iona Preparing for “Opportunity”

Iona College is off to Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, to play top seed North Carolina in the first round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament’s Midwest Region at 9:20 p.m. Friday.

The Gaels will look to join the 2018 UMBC team as the only 16 seeds to beat a No. 1 seed.

“It’s a great opportunity to play against one of the best teams in the country,” said Iona coach Tim Cluess on ICGaels.com after learning his team drew North Carolina.

“We’re going to go out and play the best basketball, the hardest basketball that Iona can play. Whatever the results are … You gotta believe you have a chance when it’s March.”

Iona became the first Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference program to win four consecutive conference men’s basketball tournaments when it defeated Monmouth, 81-60, in Albany March 11.

E.J. Crawford and Rickey McGill average 17.9 and 15.5 points per game, respectively, to lead the Gaels (17-15 overall), winners of 10 consecutive games.


Iona Men, Fordham Women Earn NCAA Tournament Berths

The Iona College mens’s basketball team and the Fordham University women’s basketball team earned automatic bids to their upcoming NCAA tournaments by winning their respective conference tournaments.

Iona became the first team to win four consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championships when it defeated Monmouth, 81-60, in Albany. Rickey McGill was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

The Gaels (17-15 overall) will learn Sunday where it will be heading for the tournament.

Fordham won its 12th consecutive game by defeating top seed Virginia Commonwealth, 62-47, for the Atlantic-10 title. Bre Cavanaugh finished with 22 points and seven rebounds for the Rams.

Fordham (25-8) will find out Monday where it will be playing its first NCAA game.