top of page

College men’s basketball: Wagner’s key seniors decide to come back

Not that the college basketball oddsmakers spend all that much time figuring out who the heavyweights are in the Northeast Conference, but the scales got tilted in Wagner College’s favor this week when four seniors, including 2020-21 NEC player of the year Alex Morales, decided to return for an extra year of eligibility.

That means Bashir Mason will enter his 10th season as the Seahawks’ head coach with eight players returning from the team that won the NEC regular-season title in the pandemic-abbreviated 2020-21 campaign, and that is a fine head start in a league where only the conference tournament champ is likely to receive a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

Joining Morales for the extra year, granted by the NCAA to all athletes who were seniors in the 2020-21 school year in response to the pandemic, are Elijah Ford, Will Martinez and Nigel Jackson.

That means the Seahawks will return 82.6% of the team’s total minutes played and 89.4% of points scored from last year’s team.

Last season, Morales, Ford, Martinez, and Jackson accounted for 57% of all minutes played and 981 points, 68.9% of the team’s total.

Morales, the third Wagner player to be named conference player of the year, withdrew his name from the NBA Draft earlier this week.

The Paterson, New Jersey native was also a first-team All-Met and NABC District 15 first team selection.

One of the most versatile guards in the nation, Morales was named conference player of the week four times last season. He finished the regular season ranking in the top 10 in the conference in scoring (17.1, fourth), rebounding (7.4, eighth), assists (4.26, fourth), and steals (1.8, seventh).

The dynamic Ford was also an NEC first-team pick. He was second in the league

In scoring at 17.8 ppg., ninth with 7.4 rebounds per contest and third in steals (1.94).

One of the most efficient scorers in the country, Ford was among the top 20 in the nation in field goal percentage, hitting 59.5% of his shots.

Martinez, who like Morales was in his second season at Wagner after transferring from a junior college, show big improvement, raising his average from 5.8 points per game during the 2019-20 campaign to 12.4 points per contest.

Serving as the Seahawks’ sixth man for a majority of the season, the versatile Martinez scored in double digits in nine of Wagner’s final 11 games while recording three 20-point games throughout the season.

Jackson will enter his fifth season at Wagner in 2021-22 and has appeared in 86 games in his career. The Baltimore native has scored 571 points in four years.


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags