With Siena looking like it will have a couple of down years, the top of the MAAC is there for the taking.
Niagara took the first step towards retaking the conference on Thursday, when the Purple Eagles picked up commitments from Philadelphia prospects Juan’ya Green and Ameen Tanksley.
Green, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Archbishop Carroll (Pa.), chose Niagara over Temple, Saint Joseph’s, Maryland, George Mason, Drexel, VCU and Boston University.
“I liked everything about the visit,” he said. “Players, coaches, students and the campus – I felt comfortable there.”
Tanksley is a 6-foot-4 swingman who can do a variety of things on the court, helping lead Imhotep Charter (Pa.) to the Public School title in Philadelphia this season.
“He loved his visit,” Imhotep coach Andre Noble said. “[He likes their] style of play. I think he could have been a good player in the CAA or A-10. I think he will be very tough in the MAAC. A big, physical wing that has good range.”
Noble said Tanksley chose Niagara over Austin Peay and Old Dominion.
Green is a big-time scorer with deep range and a high-arcing shot who can also use his strength to get to the rim and finish.
“I’m a good playmaker, I can shoot, I can get to the hole and I bring toughness and never let down on the court,” he said.
With the commitments from Green and Tanksley, Niagara head coach Joe Mihalich has the Purple Eagles back on the way towards the top of the MAAC. Based on his reaction to Green’s news, he is looking forward to getting the two Philly products to upstate New York.
“He was so excited and happy,” Green said. “He was kinda lost for words for a minute.”