The 6’6 Andujar is one of the main catalysts in the Manhattan Jaspers run to the NCAA Tournament. Not only the team’s leading scorer with with 16.5 points per game, Andujar also leads the team in rebounds with with 7.6 a contest. A lot of his drive comes from coach Steve Masiello, who might be Andujar’s biggest fan.
When Masiello was denied the right to become the next coach at South Florida because of complications on his resume, it was Andujar that supported him the most. The two have developed a strong bond, one which extends beyond the basketball court.
“He believed in me before anyone else,” Masiello stated.“My loyalty to him is probably unprecedented from any coach to player.”
Andujar recently testified in his slain brothers murder trial, and Masiello was right by his side, offering support the entire way. Of course, their relationship is a two-way street. When Masiello was fighting his way back to Manhattan after his failed attempt to coach elsewhere, Andujar pledged his loyalty to his coach.
“Taking him back was easy for me,” Andujar said. “I want him to be successful.”
The bond of coach and player has led the Jaspers to their second straight MAAC title, and another NCAA Tournament berth. If the strength of the team is as strong as the relationship between Masiello and Andujar, then Manhattan could be the Cinderella of the NCAA Tourney.