On Monday Manhattan clinched an automatic bid with a 10-PT win over Iona in the MAAC tourney title game. The Gaels swept the regular season series but the Jaspers showed that the third time is indeed the charm to secure the school’s 2nd straight tourney berth. Earlier today Jon Teitel got to speak with Emmy Andujar about being the best all-around player on his team.
You grew up in the Bronx: what made you choose the Jaspers? I had a great feeling about the coach and it allowed my family to come see me play because it was close to home.
As a freshman in 2012 you led the team in assists: how were you able to come in and contribute right from the start? I went to Rice high school which is one of the best in the city so I just came in and competed right away.
In last year’s tourney you scored 13 PTS in a 7-point loss to Louisville: what did you learn from that game that you think can help you this time around? I learned not to play for the crowd and to just play hard and stick to your style of play. At a neutral site anyone can win.
You scored seven points in a loss to Northeastern back in November: did you think at the time that the Huskies were a tourney-caliber team, and what impressed you the most about them? They were a good all-around team who went 7 or 8 deep.
You had a record of 8-10 in late-January: how has your team been able to turn things around over the past two months? We just listened to our coaches. A lot of our losses came down to one or two plays so we also learned a lot from those situations.
You led your team in several different categories this year: how do you balance your scoring with your rebounding with your passing? There are some nights when I am not scoring so I try to rebound, and some nights when I am not rebounding so I try to pass. I just try to help my team win every night.
You had 18 points/11 rebounds on Monday in a win over Iona: how were you able to play your best when it mattered the most, and what was the reaction like when you got back to campus? That was my last go-around so I tried to leave it all out there on the court and play hard on every possession. Everyone on campus has showed us a lot of love.
Ashton Pankey was named conference tourney MVP: how crucial has he been to your team’s success? He has made big improvements since his freshman year and showed that he can explode to the hoop at any moment. He is one of the best big men in the conference.
You play for Coach Steve Masiello: what makes him such a good coach? He treats everyone equally whether you are the best player or a walk-on, and we practice the way we play.
What kind of seed do you think you deserve, and what kind of seed do you think you will get? I would be happy to get any seed, but I think we should get a decent seed and we will be a great team to watch because of how we compete.