By: Kahlil Thomas
After an 18-12 season, including a 14-6 record in conference play in the 2019-2020 season, the Saint Peter's men's basketball team was looking forward to this season. After making it to the semifinals of last year's MAAC Tournament, the season ended abruptly due to COVID-19. The team felt that this season could be their coming out party. The MAAC noticed their success last season as the Peacocks were picked to finish third in the preseason poll.
As of press time, Saint Peter's sit at 6-5, with a record of 3-3 in MAAC play so far this season. In a conference as strong as the MAAC, it was no surprise that this season would be a season of attrition as everyone is jockeying for position. Saint Peter's inconsistency has plagued the team at times. After two consecutive wins, including one over Monmouth, the Peacocks dropped a weekend series to Canisius.
A bright spot so far this season has been KC Ndefo. The junior forward currently leads Saint Peter's with 12.8 points per game, but the most impressive stat is blocked shots. Ndefo leads the nation with 3.6 blocks per game. Defensively, he is the team's anchor and someone coach Shaheen Holloway leans on for stops.
Another player that has developed in Jersey City has been Fousseyni Drame. The forward from Mali is shooting 52 percent from the field and averaging 10 points and seven rebounds a game. Fousseyni added a perimeter game to his repertoire, shooting 36 percent from beyond the arc. Add in players like sharpshooter Doug Edert and Daryl Banks III (the man who beat Iona on a last-second shot last season), and Saint Peter's could be positioned to make a run in the MAAC.
Keep this in mind...the Peacocks played St. John's to the final seconds and lost by just one point on the road in their first game this season. That is the type of team that Coach Holloway has this year. If they can fix the small issues they have, a run through the MAAC Tournament once again is not out of the realm of possibility for Saint Peter's.