The Iona Gaels men's basketball team got off to a slow start in the 2015-16 season. They dropped 6 of their first 10 games and were struggling to find their rhythm. But Tim Cluess, their head coach, is of the philosophy that the measure of true character is what you do when you fail. His players could have felt sorry for themselves, packed it in, and quit ... or they could bounce back, work harder, and make good things happen. His team chose the latter.
This is the story of how -- behind the veteran leadership of seniors A.J. English, Aaron Rountree, Isaiah Williams, and Ibn Muhammad -- Iona was able to turn their season around despite the early losses and injuries like the broken hand suffered by English, their leading scorer. But Iona ultimately rallied together, with their unbreakable bond propelling them to a late-season surge.
In the MAAC Tournament, they advanced to the championship game where they faced a Monmouth team that gave them everything they could handle. In a classic, back-and-forth game, Iona was able to hold them off and come away with the huge win. All their hard work had paid off as they earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament where they'll try to keep their winning ways going in a showdown on Thursday against Iowa State.