Tag:Steve Masiello
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:31 am

Masiello earning keep at first head-coaching job

By Jeff Goodman

Steve Masiello knew what the skeptics were saying.

"Can he coach?"

Masiello was always regarded as a relentless recruiter, the former Rick Pitino walk-on at Kentucky who had a wide array of contacts - especially in his native New York.

"I think people still have questions," The Manhattan first-year coach said. "Rightfully so." But Masiello has the Jaspers -- who haven't been relevant since Bobby Gonzalez departed -- off to a 7-4 start, including a four-game winning streak (the program's longest in nearly five years). Masiello has already exceeded last season's win total and we're not even midway through December.

"We want to build this thing back up," said Masiello, a former assistant under Gonzo when in the early 2000's when Manhattan had it rolling. "I think this can be a great mid-major program -- not only because of the school, but due to the location."

Masiello admitted that he's trying to become a Triple-A version of what his mentor, Pitino, has done at Louisville.

"I don't care if you call us a mid-major or low-major version of Louisville," Masiello said. "That's a compliment as far as I'm concerned."

Masiello said being around Pitino for as long as he has (he spent the past six seasons as an assistant at Louisville), he's picked up some of the same habits.

"I catch myself folding my legs the same way," he said. "I don't even realize how much of an influence he had on me. The main things I learned from him are the unbelievable professionalism and to stay humble."

Manhattan was tabbed to finish eighth in the league in the preseason, but Masiello said that former coach Barry "Slice" Rohrssen hardly left the cupboard empty. Junior guard George Beamon leads the team in scoring at 15.8 points per game, senior Roberto Colonette has been solid up front (7.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg) and Rhamel Brown is averaging 9.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 5.3 blocks per game in the last four games. Masiello brought in four freshmen -- three that play -- including talented local kid Emmy Andujar.

"He did a terrific job evaluating talent," Masiello said. "We have some very good pieces. I'm fortunate to step into a situation like this, and that's a credit to Barry because they set the groundwork."

Photo: AP
Posted on: July 13, 2011 11:50 am
Edited on: July 13, 2011 12:44 pm

Masiello comfortable back in NYC

By Gary Parrish

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- It's always nice to see first-year head coaches out during July navigating the summer circuit in a different role. They usually seem a little more focused, a little more energized and a little more anxious to get things moving.

And they look different, too.

Which brings me to Steve Masiello.

I don't think I've ever seen him in a color other than red or black because he spent the past six seasons as an assistant for Rick Pitino at Louisville. But Masiello landed the Manhattan job last April. So there he was in Gym 3 of the Riverview Park Activities Center early Wednesday, decked out in Manhattan's colors of green and white, and watching a team from New York, which just so happens to be the state where Masiello was raised.

"It's great to be home," Masiello said here at the Nike Peach Jam. "It's great to be around people I know."

Including the New York summer coaches who control most of the area's top prospects.

Masiello helped build Louisville into a Big East power by recruiting New York, point being that he's long had relationships in and around the city. Consequently, Masiello didn't have to spend much time introducing himself to the power-brokers in the weeks after he was hired. He already knew them -- all of them. And so now the goal is to use those relationships to get the Jaspers back to respectability.

"The recruiting game has turned into nothing but relationships because of the success of the VCUs and Butlers," Masiello said. "Kids really think they can go anywhere today and get noticed and win. So if you have a relationship with good programs you can now get a kid who might be a definite Big East or Big Ten player to take a look at you. You can probably get involved with those kids now, and I'm definitely going to use those relationships and try do it."

Photo: AP
Category: NCAAB
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