Coming off its worst season of the Brian Giorgis era, Marist women’s basketball was picked to finish tied for sixth in the MAAC’s preseason coaches’ poll that came out on Tuesday night.
The Red Foxes battled poor shooting and injuries during the 2021-22 campaign and finished 8-21 overall and 6-14 in the conference, ending the season with a loss to Saint Peter’s in the first round of the MAAC Tournament in Atlantic City.
Here is the full preseason coaches’ poll with first-place votes in parentheses and total points next to each team.
1 Quinnipiac (8) 117
2 Manhattan (3) 112
3 Niagara 94
4 Fairfield 74
5 Iona 71
T-6 Marist 62
T-6 Rider 62
8 Mount St. Mary’s 43
T-9 Canisius 39
T-9 Siena 39
11 Saint Peter’s 13
Marist saw several players elect to enter the transfer portal after the season ended in early March with Trey Kennedy (George Mason) and Anabel Ellison (Stetson) the two most prominent rotation players to leave. Emma Wax and Siobhan Boylan also entered the transfer portal and ended up with Division II programs.
The Red Foxes bring in a recruiting class that features four incoming freshmen — Jackie Piddock (guard), Jayne Whitman (guard), Ciara Croker (forward), and Morgan Tompkins (guard). Giorgis also hit the transfer portal to bring in Maeve Donnelly, a six-foot-five center who last played at Hawaii, and Samantha Chadwick, a guard who played at Central Connecticut last season.
Returning juniors Kiara Fisher and Zaria Shazer were the two Marist players to earn a spot on the preseason honor roll with both being named to the All-MAAC Preseason Third-Team.
Fisher showed flashes of brilliance mixed with inconsistency in her injury-shortened first season in Poughkeepsie. She averaged 12.6 points per game and 3.8 assists per game (both team-highs) but also had trouble taking care of the ball, piling up 63 turnovers.
Shazer saw her fortunes decline once her teammate Fisher went out in January with a shoulder injury. After posting a season-high 23 points against Niagara on Jan. 22, Shazer only scored in double-figures four times over the final month-and-a-half of the season and finished the year averaging 10 points and seven rebounds per game.
Kendall Krick should also play a key role as she returns for her fifth season. She became the team’s top offensive option late in the season with a memorable 21-point performance against Manhattan on senior night. She finished last season at 7.6 points per game, but if her scoring continues to trend upward, she will be an all-MAAC caliber player.
Here is the Preseason All-MAAC First Team:
Juana Camilion (Iona)
Dee Dee Davis* (Manhattan)
Angel Parker (Niagara)
Mackenzie DeWees (Quinnipiac)
Mikala Morris (Quinnipiac)
*Preseason player of the year
Marist begins play on Nov. 7 against Villanova at McCann Center and opens its conference slate Dec. 17 at Niagara.
Photo from Marist Athletics