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Fairfield Trio Twitter Handle up to 180,000 and growing

Carly Beyar of HempsteadSayville’s Shannon Fay and Alanna Locast of Wantagh are three Long Island soccer products who have seen their twitter handle SoccerGirlProblems (@SoccerGrlProbs) hit the roof since its start-up in 2011. In excess of 180,000 twitter followers, and still growing, the Fairfield women’s trio has been surprised by the cavalcade of tweets – more than the Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax and the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, and that’s a lot. It sure says something big about the popularity of this unique twitter handle.

When they started SoccerGirlProblems (@SoccerGrlProbs) in 2011, the Stags threesome could not envision how big it would become. All the teammates did know was that they had plenty in common with most other women’s soccer players on the collegiate level. And so, Beyar and Fay, both seniors at Fairfield, and Locast, a 2011 graduate, started tweeting out the little things they believed would somehow resonate with other girls who loved the game. Such topics as complaints about practice, social plans being interfered with by soccer, and the bond players have with teammates.

​Soccer Girl Problems has taken on a life of its own, to say the least. Through the power of today’s social media, combined with their humorous take, the girls have amassed an unexpected, six-figure twitter followers. Now approaching 200,000 followers,  @SoccerGrlProbs has expanded from an experiment to a business. Beyar, Fay and Locast have developed it into a brand, selling Soccer Girl Problems merchandise through their website, It didn’t stop there. Fans of the group pitched the idea of posting videos, and Soccer Girl Problems has responded with its own YouTube channel where the group acts out short comedy bits revolving around the life of a soccer player.

​Says Locast: “While the main focus is humor, it’s become a unifying thing among all ages of soccer players.”

​​As seniors Beyar and Fay get ready to graduate from Fairfield this spring after a successful season with the Stags that saw the team finish second in the MAAC conference, the group looks forward to not only growing Soccer Girl Problems as a business, but being able to stay connected to the soccer world that they love.

Forward Maurice Barrow (Queens, N.Y.) was named the 2014 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) 6th Man of the Year, the second straight year that the senior has captured the award. The award was presented at the MAAC’s annual awards presentation at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Friday evening.

Barrow completed his senior season by averaging a team-best 14 points per game, and was the team’s leading or co-leading scorer in six of the last eight games. During the season, he was the top scorer in 17 games, highlighted by his career-high 26-point performance against Iona in December. He completed the double-double that night with 10 rebounds.

​The forward finished his career with 1,309 points which places 15th all-time in school history, and added 709 rebounds throughout his career. He just missed the school record for career games as his 137 appearances was one shy of the mark.

Fairfield Salutes  “Voice of the Stags” on WICC (600 am) and WFAN Radio Personality Bob Heussler Bobblehead Day on Saturday, February 15, 2014 Benefits Fairfield University School of Nursing
​***Remembers his Loving Wife Marcia***

Join the Fairfield University basketball family in celebrating Bob Heussler's 25th anniversary as the play-by-play broadcaster for Stags basketball!

Bob Heussler will be celebrating 25 years of broadcasting Fairfield University men’s basketball games this year. To recognize his contribution to Fairfield University, the Department of Athletics will commemorate this anniversary with Bob Heussler Bobblehead Day on February 15 against Rider. The bobblehead is sponsored by the Connecticut Sun, with whom Bob has served as play-by-play announcer since the team's arrival in 2003. Bob has also been a WFAN Radio (660 AM/101/9 FM) personality and update man since 1993, and has been known as “Mr. Met” for more than a decade, dubbed so by the FAN’s Mike Francesa and Mike’s former co-host Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo.

In addition to celebrating his anniversary, the University will donate part of the proceeds from the day to the Fairfield University School of Nursing in remembrance of his wife Marcia. Marcia served others as an operating room nurse at Yale-New Haven Hospital for 20 years, putting the needs of her patients before her own. She was a loving wife to Bob and devoted mother to their sons Steve and Gary. She passed too soon when she lost her battle with cancer in 2011.

How To Get A Bobblehead
​Fans need to purchase a game ticket or a reception ticket through Ticketmaster in advance of the game. Upon selecting your $15 ticket, you will be able to select the bobblehead or reception voucher at checkout. Please make sure to select this option in order for a voucher to be prepared upon your arrival on February 15. Only one voucher per ticket purchased please!

The game ticket and voucher can be picked up at will call the day of the game. Fans will then exchange their voucher at the promotions table on the Webster Bank Arena main concourse. Bobblehead vouchers will not be available on the day of the game.

A reception will be held prior to the men's game (1-2:30 pm) in the Stags Club, located on the suite level of Webster Bank Arena. Fans can join Bob and his family as well as members of the local/regional media and the Fairfield University community for a memorable day. The reception includes hot hors d'oeuvres, soft drinks, and bottled water. A cash bar will also be available. Cost for the reception is $30 and includes your game ticket and bobblehead.

Ticket packages are as follows:
Game Ticket & Bobblehead $15 per person
Game Ticket, Bobblehead, and Bob Heussler Reception $30

Click here for ticket purchase

Direct Donations
If you cannot make it to the game, you can still receive a bobblehead by making a donation of $60 to the Fairfield University School Of Nursing by 
clicking here.
Donation Form Instructions:
1) Enter Amount
2) Under designation, select Other
3) Under honorary gift, enter Marcia Heussler
4) Under special instructions, enter School of Nursing

​These steps must be filled out correctly to receive a bobblehead. Thank you for your support.


Two iconic college basketball broadcasters – CBS Sports play-by-play announcer Verne Lundquist and his longtime partner at CBS, NCAA analyst Bill Raftery, also the lead analyst for FOX Sports college basketball game coverage – will be the recipients of the second annual Fairfield University Basketball “Stags Lifetime Achievement Award: Leader of the Herd” for long and meritorious service on Wednesday night, October 22, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City, it was announced today by Fairfield Athletic Director Gene Doris.

Two notable Fairfield alumni, Mark Beckwith (’80) and Diane Oakley (’75), will be the inaugural “Stags Distinguished Service Award: Leader of the Herd” recipients in recognition of their unwavering support of Fairfield Athletics. 

New York Daily News columnist Dick “Hoops” Weiss and Associated Press National College writer Jim “OC” O’Connell were last year’s inaugural “Stags Lifetime Achievement Award: Leader of the Herd” recipients.

The Basketball Tip Off event will begin with a reception at 6:00 pm, followed by dinner and awards presentation at 7:00 PM.Tickets are priced at $175. For tickets and more information please visit or contact the Office of Special Events via email at or by calling (203) 254-4000, ext. 2661.

Doris will be joined by head men’s basketball coach Sydney Johnson, women’s coach Joe Frager, and special guests in presenting the awards for “distinguished service and lifetime achievement with accuracy and journalistic integrity, while keeping the efforts of the student-athletes at the forefront.” Fairfield President Rev. Jeffrey von Arx, S.J. will be in attendance for the presentation ceremonies.

Bill Raftery is in his 30th season as an analyst for CBS Sports' college basketball coverage, while also serving as lead analyst for college basketball on FOX Sports, and an analyst for CBS Radio/Westwood One's coverage of the NCAA Men's Final Four.

Verne Lundquist first joined CBS Sports in 1982, during his tenure he has broadcast over 20 different sports for the Network. Currently, Lundquist serves as the lead play-by-play announcer for CBS Sports' coverage of college football, alongside analyst Gary Danielson. In addition he serves as a play-by-play announcer for the Network's coverage of NCAA Basketball, including the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. He provides commentary for the Masters, the PGA Championship, among other PGA TOUR events.

The “Leader of the Herd” plaques will be permanently displayed both in the Fairfield Athletics office, and at the Fairfield Stags Club in the Webster Bank Arena, “Home of the Stags,” in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

WFAN Radio update reporter Bob Heussler, the “Voice of the Stags on WICC Radio,” will serve as Master of Ceremonies at Fairfield’s Basketball Tip-Off Dinner.

“We are delighted to honor the accomplishments and careers of Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery, legendary broadcasters known for their enlightening commentary on college basketball,” said Doris. “Verne and Bill have furthered college basketball and the student athletes during distinguished careers, and truly have served both the sport and their profession in exemplary fashion with style and grace that is a model for aspiring broadcasters and for student-athletes as they prepare for their post-college careers.”


Senior Maurice Barrow (Queens/Christ the King) scored 14 points, leading a balanced offensive attack as Fairfield bested Sacred Heart 67-54 on Saturday night (November 9) at Webster Bank Arena in the season opener for both schools.

Amadou Sidibe (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Hayes) started the game for the Stags and added nine points with a pair of rebounds despite falling into foul trouble. 

Pittsburgh transfer Malcolm Gilbert had a dynamic debut setting the tone defensively with 11 rebounds and eight blocked shots. 

Leading 22-20, the Stags put together a 13-3 run on en route to a 36-26 halftime lead. Fairfield stayed in control during the second half, leading by as many as 18. The Pioneers cut the lead to 10 with 4:33 remaining, but could not get closer.

Barrow also shared the team-high nine rebounds with Marcus Gilbert, who added 13 points. Eight players scored for Fairfield.

Sacred Heart made only 5-of-26 3-pointers and the Stags held a 46-31 rebounding advantage.


​BRIDGEPORT, CT– Marcus Gilbert scored a game-high 23 points while local product Maurice Barrow (Queens/Christ the King) added 20 points to help the Fairfield University men’s basketball team post a 64-60 win over Northeastern University Sunday, December 15, at Webster Bank Arena. The win halted the Stags’ eight-game losing streak and gave the team a 2-8 overall record. 

Northeastern held an early lead at 5-4 but a three-point field goal by Barrow put the Stags in front at 7-5 with14:57 remaining in the opening half. The Huskies would tie the game on their next possession but Gilbert’s back-to-back three pointers regained the lead at 13-7 with 12 minutes remaining. The Stags’ lead would reach as many as 14 in the first half, holding a 31-17 advantage after a free throw from Gilbert at the 2:05 mark. The Huskies would finish the half with a 6-2 spurt that would bring them within 10 points by intermission, 33-23. 

​Fairfield built upon its lead at the start of the second half by scoring five of the first six points to make it a 38-24 advantage with 18:08 on the clock. Gilbert started the run with a three-point shot on the team’s first possession of the half. The Huskies would use a 16-0 run over the six minutes to take their first lead since the opening five minutes, pulling into the lead at 40-38. During that run, Scott Eatherton tallied eight points, including six from the free throw line. 

The Stags tied the game on their next possession courtesy of a layup from Amadou Sidibe to make it a 40-40 game. Northeastern took the lead three more times and Fairfield would rally to tie the game, the last of which came at 50-50 following a layup from Barrow. Reggie Spencer recaptured the lead for Northeaster with a transition dunk with5:07 on the clock. Barrow erased the deficit and nudged Fairfield in the lead with his second three pointer of the game, giving the home team a 53-52 advantage.

​T.J. Williams made one of two charity tosses on the Huskies’ next possession but Barrow answered with back-to-back layups to give Fairfield a four-point advantage at 57-53 with 2:05 remaining. 

Northeastern rallied to come with a point after a basket from David Walker and a free throw from Spencer, but it quickly became a two-possession game when Gilbert made a three-point field goal with 40 seconds left for a 60-56 lead. Northeastern came within a pair of points at 60-58 and 62-60, but Gilbert netted two free throws with four seconds remaining to ice the game at 64-60. 

Eatherton registered a double-double with 22 points and 14 rebounds, making 12 of 18 free throws. Spencer contributed 17 points to the Huskies’ offense with six field goals in nine attempts and five free throws.              

​Fairfield’s next game is slated for Saturday, December 21 at Wisconsin-Green Bay with a tip-time of 1 pm CST.

Fairfield University announced on Tuesday (June 18) that the men’s lacrosse program will join the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) as an associate member.  The Stags will begin CAA competition in 2015 with the University of Delaware, Drexel University, Hofstra University, the University of Massachusetts, St. Joseph’s University, and Towson University.

Fairfield Announces Men’s Lacrosse Will Join Colonial Athletic Association


​***Prominent New York PR Executive is former Knicks, MSG Vice President***

Fairfield University Athletics is pleased to announce that it has signed a multi-year agreement with prominent New York public relations executive John Cirillo, President of Cirillo World, to serve as public relations, marketing and special athletics events consultant for the Stags. The announcement was made today by Fairfield Athletic Director Eugene P. Doris. 

​Cirillo is the former award-winning New York Knicks and Madison Square Garden Vice President (1984-97), who founded New York City-based Cirillo World in 1997. 

"We are delighted that we have been able to enlist one of the top sports publicists in the country as a member of the Fairfield Athletics team," said Fairfield President Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J. "John's expertise and relationships in the media will be invaluable as we continue the mission to raise Fairfield Athletics to the highest level, and broaden our awareness." 

“We are thrilled at the opportunity to work with one of the most respected public relations specialists in sports,” said Doris. “John and his staff bring savvy, creative marketing, and strong relationships in the New York and national media to Fairfield, which will go a long way in enhancing Stags athletics.” 

Significant clients in collegiate athletics also include the Atlantic 10 Conference, and the A-10 Conference Championship at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. During a 30-year career in the public relations industry, Cirillo has worked with many notables including Patrick Ewing, Pat Riley, Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, Dave DeBusschere, Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Red Holzman and Earl Monroe during his 13 seasons with the Knicks, and since launching Cirillo World such top names as Bob Costas, Gary Carter, Oscar De La Hoya, Wladimir Klitschko, Vin Scully, Willie Randolph, Ron Swoboda and Tim Rooney. 

“It’s a privilege to work with such an outstanding Jesuit institution as Fairfield,” said Cirillo. “Its great success on the fields of play and commitment to its student-athletes in the classroom is a tremendous combination for success. We are looking forward to the relationship.” 

​Cirillo World had previously served as Fordham University Athletics media consultant since 1997. The company is retained by Fordham’s powerful public radio station, WFUV Radio, for the Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Broadcasting since its inception in 2006.  In addition, Cirillo launched the career of WFUV alumnus Spero Dedes, currently the Radio Voice of the New York Knicks, serving as his agent for the first seven years of his career.

Amadou Sidibe named Men's Basketball Captain

​FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Forward Amadou Sidibe (Bronx, N.Y.) was named team captain for the 2013-14 Fairfield University men's basketball season. The announcement was made by Head Coach Sydney Johnson. Sidibe, who attended Cardinal Hayes High School before enrolling at Fairfield, will enter his sophomore season in 2013-14.

"Amadou exemplifies everything that we want our student-athletes to stand for at Fairfield University," Coach Johnson said. "I expected a lot from Amadou as a freshman, and he exceeded our expectations."

Sidibe capped his inaugural season with the Stags by earning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Co-Rookie of the Year as well as a spot on the conference's All-Rookie team. He finished his freshman campaign by averaging 5.7 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. He played in all but one regular-season game in 2012-13, starting 28 of his 34 appearances in his rookie season.The forward posted two double-doubles during the season - 11 points and 11 rebounds against DePaul and 12 points and 11 rebounds versus Loyola. He secured a career-high 13 rebounds against Manhattan on February 12, a mark which he tied against Saint Peter's in the MAAC tournament first round. He earned the MAAC Rookie of the Week on January 25 after he averaged 9.3 points and nine rebounds in a 2-1 week for the Stags.

"He is an extremely tough and a competitive player on the court," Johnson said. "Amadou is always working to become a better player. After inserting Amadou in the starting line-up in our fifth game of the season, he went on to lead our team in rebounding."Sidibe also excelled in the classroom this year, earning a spot on the University's honor roll in the fall and is on course to receive the same recognition in the spring."

With all of Amadou's promise and accomplishments, he remains a humble young man and is well respected by his fellow teammates and coaching staff," Johnson said. "Amadou has a bright future ahead of him at Fairfield University and I am pleased that he will represent our team as a captain."

Fairfield Star signs in Lithuania

Derek Needham will play with BC Siauliai 

The dream of playing professionally is one shared by everyone who picks up a basketball.  For Derek Needham, it is a dream that has come true. After a career full of shining moments at Fairfield University, Needham has signed a one year deal
with BC Siauliai to play professional basketball in Lithuania.

Needham, a native of Dolton, Illinois and product of De La Salle high school, enjoyed four years as a Fairfield Stag that were full of accolades. Needham was named MAAC Rookie of the Year as a freshman in 2009-10 and went on to become an All-MAAC honoree each of his four years at Fairfield from 2009-13. He finished his Fairfield career ranked third in school history in both points (1,875) and assists (535) and is the all-time leader in three pointers with 277. By any measure, he is one of the greatest players Fairfield has ever seen.

Needham caught the eyes of scouts with his performances earlier this summer in China. Needham was named to the US All-Star team that played a nine game schedule. His inspired play during the tour, which included a tournament best 24 points in a win over China, played a big role in convincing scouts that he was ready to play

​Needham will join BC Siauliai of the Lithuanian league. He follows in the footsteps of former teammates Rakim Sanders who signed in Israel, and Ryan Olander who signed in Lithuania, as he becomes the third Fairfield player in the last two years to sign a contract overseas. The Stags and head coach Sydney Johnson have a program that can help great players realize that dream of playing professional basketball. It might not be at the Garden or Barclays Center, but Derek Needham's dream has come true.

Fairfield Honors Dick "Hoops" weiss and Jim "OC" O'connell


Longtime college basketball columnist Dick "Hoops" Weiss and Associated Press college writer Jim "OC" O'Connell flank Fairfield University President Fr. Jeffrey von Arx, S.J. at the Stags Tip Off Reception Thursday night in midtown.  The media icons were presented with the inaugural "Stags Lifetime Achievement Award: Leader of the Herd" for long and meritorious service to college basketball.

​Together the duo has covered 77 NCAA basketball championships,  and are both honored in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame with the Curt Gowdy Award. 

A packed house of over one hundred friends, supporters, basketball aficionados, and players were on hand for the ceremonies including New York City hoops legend Howard Garfinkel, MSG's "Voice of the Knicks" Mike Breen, Fairfield men's head coach Sydney Johnson, Time Magazine's Sean Gregory (a teammate of Johnson's at Princeton), women's coach Joe Frager, Athletic Director Gene Doris, and WFAN Radio personalities Bob Heussler, Marc Malusis and Rich Ackerman.  Weiss lauded Fairfield for its just-announced 97 percent graduation rate for student athletes, which ranks 12th in the country, as announced earlier in the day by the NCAA.

Fairfield men's and women's player at the reception rushed to the stage following the presentation to congratulate and say thank you personally to Weiss and O'Connell. 

​Weiss, who covers top college events for the Daily News, including the BCS national championship and the NCAA tournament, and writes columns for Basketball Times, coach George Raveling's web site and Blue Star media, and O’Connell were accompanied by their wives Joanie and Anne.

Fairfield university yields graduation success rate of 97 percent for student Athletes

New York, October 29—Fairfield University has the highest Graduation Success Rate (GSR) among varsity student athletes of all 11 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) colleges and universities, and ranks 12th in the nation at 97 percent, according to the latest data released by the NCAA (2003-06).  

The men’s and women’s basketball programs, led by head coaches Sydney Johnson and Joe Frager, respectively, were among 15 of 19 Fairfield varsity teams with a 100 percent success rate during the 2003-06 period; in addition, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis, field hockey, women’s lacrosse, softball, men’s swimming & diving, and volleyball were on the 100 percent list. 

Gene Doris, Director of Athletics at Fairfield, said: “Fairfield University and its athletics program take great pride in the recently released NCAA Graduation Success Rate report.  This speaks to the values that Fairfield embraces, including a commitment to the whole person — body, mind, and spirit. We recruit outstanding quality scholar-athletes to our program and, once here, the faculty, staff and administration are strongly committed to the success of these young men and women, on the court, in the classroom and beyond.” 

The top 12 is as follows: Brown University (Ivy League, 99 percent); Dartmouth College (Ivy League, 99 percent); University of Notre Dame (American Athletic Conference, 99 percent); Bucknell University (Patriot League, 98 percent); Colgate University (Patriot League, 98 percent); Davidson College (Southern Conference,  98 percent); Duke University (Atlantic Coast Conference, 98 percent); Harvard University (Ivy League, 98 percent); College of the Holy Cross (Patriot League, 98 percent); Lafayette College (Patriot League, 98 percent); Yale University (Ivy League, 98 percent); and Fairfield University (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Overall, 97 percent).  Nationally, the GSR reached 81 percent for all student-athletes, a new high for Division I and one point higher than the last four-year average. All 11 MAAC schools had a GSR at or above the national average, with four, including Fairfield, above 90 percent. Siena College had a GSR of 93 percent while Manhattan College and Rider University each had a GSR of 92 percent. Brown University, Dartmouth College, and the University of Notre Dame were that national leaders with a GSR of 99 percent. Eight schools, including Yale University, Harvard University, and the College of the Holy Cross, had a GSR of 98 percent. 

The NCAA began compiling data with the entering freshman class of 1995 and developed the GSR in order to more accurately assess the academic success of student-athletes. The GSR includes transfer students and student-athletes who leave in good academic standing. The GSR measures graduation over six years from initial college enrollment. 

Fairfield also had a Federal Graduation Rate (FGR) of 79 percent for the 2003-06 time period. The FGR assesses only first-time, full-time freshmen and only counts them as academic successes if they graduate from their institution of initial enrollment within a six-year period. The figure does not account for transfers into or out of an institution. Nationally, the FGR for all student-athletes was 65 percent.

 For more information about the NCAA Graduation Success Rate and the Federal Graduation Rate, and a searchable database,click here.

Stags Face Sacred Heart at Webster Bank Arena…


Three original members of the MAAC conference – Fairfield, Iona and Manhattan – broke bread at O’Casey’s Restaurant in New York City earlier this week as they made their final preparations to tip off their seasons on Saturday night (November 9). 

Hamburgers were the popular order of the day, but the three basketball programs are by no means chopped meat, more like prime. The Stags, Gaels and Jaspers all have much at stake during the 2013-2014 campaign: Fairfield has the most MAAC wins during the past decade, posting 109 victories, and tries to continue that excellence; Iona defends back-to-back MAAC championships en route to NCAA appearances in two straight seasons; and Manhattan was selected the MAAC’s top team in the pre-season coaches’ poll. 

Head coaches Sydney Johnson of Fairfield, Iona’s Tim Cluess, and Steve Masiello of Manhattan look forward to the campaign with eager anticipation, particularly when renewing their local rivalries once the conference schedule gets underway in a few months.

But the matters at hand are Saturday night, when Fairfield plays host to its Connecticut rival Sacred Heart at Webster Bank Arena in nearby Bridgeport, while Iona and Manhattan hit the road to take on Cleveland State and LaSalle, respectively. 

The five top local players who joined their coaches at the season’s preview were: Fairfield’s local duo of Amadou Sidibe (Bronx/Cardinal Hayes) and Maurice Barrow(Queens/Christ the King); Manhattan’s senior swingman George Beamon (Roslyn); and Iona’s pair of Sean Armand (Brooklyn) and David Laury (East Orange, NJ). 

Here’s what the coaches had to say about the local rivalries and players:

Sydney Johnson 

"I think it does a lot for the younger guys in high school, watching all these games and seeing the lore of it. They're seeing the intensity and the high level of play. So from a recruiting standpoint it helps get kids from this area excited about coming to Fairfield, Iona and Manhattan. I think that's tremendously important.

“I think it's just human nature that, on some level, you believe more in something that you can do if you see somebody who is like you doing it. That's just human nature. So when they see a kid from Christ the King, a kid from Cardinal Hayes and a kid from Wings Academy in Justin Jenkins take the plunge and come to Fairfield and they see them being successful, they start thinking 'Yea I could do that too.' Literally it's just modeling for young kids who might be excited about playing Division I basketball that they can come and realize those dreams at Fairfield.” 

“I think road games in a way seem like home games for some of the players. I feel that way, too, because when we go 'on the road' to Iona or Manhattan or even St. Peter's that these guys are very well supported by their family and their friends and coaches. I think they really enjoy that. It's a lot of fun. It's great to play on TV and go to these exotic locations, some which we've done, but it's great to be able to play in your backyard."  

Tim Cluess 

"I think it's great to play the local teams. I think the rivalries that have been involved and all the people from the area who went to one of the local schools and the interest that it brings is a terrific thing for us to do. I wish more of the local teams played each other on a yearly basis."I think the history of Iona College both academically and athletically, and our style of play. The fact that we've had pros come out of the school and we've been to the NCAA tournament and we've led the country in scoring. I think those are all things that are very enticing to a young man who maybe wants some exposure and wants to play a fun style of basketball. 

"I think it's very different when you go on the road because you're playing against different types of teams in different environments than what you see in our league. But I think it’s really good for us and for our guys to kind of get that exposure and have a taste of what’s out there in the world. It’s really a nice thing."

Steve Masiello 

"It's very important for us as a program that plays in New York. I'm from New York and it's been a great thing for me to be able to come back and coach. I really want us to have exposure locally and to be known to kids in high school. I think playing being able to play locally is terrific. 

"For us it’s more about how the kids act as professionals. I want kids who can remain humble and understand that they really have a terrific opportunity to play Division I basketball in New York. Everybody who comes here, their number one concern is for the team.  

The Fairfield players discussed playing in their backyard and the goals for the season:

Playing Close to Home 

Barrow: "Back when I was being recruited, that was one of the main things I was focusing on; not being too close to home, but not being too far away so that people could still come and see my games. Some people who are from New York and then go to school in Texas do not get as much family support as they should. Being close to college is really enjoyable. It makes all the games better for us. Half of the teams that we play are in the local area so even if its not a home game people can still come out."

Sidibe: "I feel the same way. When I was thinking about schools I wanted to be far away from home but not so far; where if I play a game my family could still come. Every game pretty much feels like a home game because my family and friends can always be there."

Goals for the upcoming season

Sidibe: "Obviously we want to try and win the MAAC Championship and go to the NCAA tournament. That’s our main goal every day when we go to practice. Every day we wake up and that is what is on our mind. My goal every day is to get better as a basketball player and as an individual. It is a team sport so my main focus right is now is helping my team. I want to do whatever I have to do to help my team win a MAAC Championship."

Barrow: "I feel that way too. I want to help the team in any way, in every game. I know that in order for us to go to the NCAA I have to do my part as an individual and that will help me get better."