Team preview: Marist

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 20, 2004, 3:35 PM ET
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As Matt Brady outlines his plan for the Marist basketball program, two characteristics quickly plant themselves at the top of his list: leadership and toughness.

Those are qualities Brady displayed as a standout guard at Paul VI High School in Haddon Township, N.J., and Siena College and sought in his 17 seasons as an assistant coach, including the last 11 years at Saint Joseph's.

They are traits that Jameer Nelson and Delonte West exhibited as the Hawks went 27-0 in the regular season on their way to the No. 1 ranking in the country, and they are something he'll insist that his Red Foxes display as they try to rebuild and become a contender in the MAAC again.

"There are a lot of good players on my roster," said Brady, who was hired to succeed Dave Magarity on April 26. "We just have to determine going forward who are the most ready to contribute in terms of toughness, being able to improve and accepting roles."

Brady, a respected shooting teacher, was able to spend 20 days working with his players on individual skills in the spring and was impressed with his team's natural ability.

"Across the board, we are fairly athletic," Brady said. "We are going to use our speed and quickness to go up and down the court and we are going to try to play much faster than they did last season."

Brady hopes that by increasing the tempo, the Red Foxes will improve in several areas where they struggled last season. Marist ranked ninth in the 10-team MAAC in field-goal percentage (.393), scoring (61.5 ppg) and scoring margin (minus-9.0), last in 3-point field-goal percentage (.312) and eighth in rebounding margin (minus-2.9).