#104 Siena Men's Basketball 2016-2017 Preview

Siena Saints
2016-2017 Overall Rank: #104
Conference Rank: #3 MAAC
After another trip to the CBI, Siena has high hopes heading into the 2016-2017 campaign. The Saints finished third in the MAAC with a 13-7 record and, although the trip to the CBI ended after one game, Siena returns six of seven players who were part of the regular rotation. This year the CBI is not the goal and Coach Jimmy Patsos has every reason to hope for bigger and better things in 2016-2017.
2015-16 Record: 21-13, 13-7
2015-16 Postseason: CBI
Coach: Jimmy Patsos
Coach Record: 52-51 at Siena, 197-186 overall
Who’s Out:
Ryan Oliver is the only player lost who was part of the regular rotation. The 6-5 guard averaged 7.3 points and knocked down 40.5 percent of his three-point attempts. While most of the key players are back, Siena lost a lot of their depth due to graduation and transfers. Kinnon LaRose, Nick Cunningahm, Cameron Gottfried, Imoh Silas and Jimmy Paige are all gone. None of them averaged over six minutes per game, but there was some potential lost with the transfers.
Who’s In:
A trio of freshmen and Kadeem Smithen, a transfer from Richmond, will look to crack the regular rotation and at least fill in for all of the players who were lost. Smithen barely played for the Spiders as a freshman two years ago, but the 6-2 guard can do some scoring and his experience should lead to regular playing time at Siena eventually. The incoming freshmen are Khalil Richard, Thomas Huerter and Sammy Friday. Richard is a combo guard who can score. Sooner or later he could be running the show, but for now he will likely see a few minutes off of the bench. Friday may need some time to develop, but he is a big 6-9, 252 pound forward who can do a lot of work in the paint.
Who to Watch:
For the most part the Saints will rely on the same players they did last season. Brett Bisping is the leader of the team after averaging 15.9 points and 10.4 rebounds. The senior forward can score inside and out and he is always a tough matchup. Bisping is not the only scorer though. Big man Javion Ogunyemi averaged 14.9 points per game and added 6.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks. Bisping and Ogunyemi form a very tough duo in the paint on both ends of the floor and they are the main reason why Siena ranked 15th in the country with a 7.8 rebounding margin. Marquise Wright is another big time scorer. He missed a big chunk of last season and averaged 14.5 points per game. Nico Clareth and Lavon Long were the other double digit scorers on the team. Clareth is the team’s top outside shooting threat, especially with Oliver gone and Long runs the show. Long dished out 3.3 assists per game, but the turnover numbers were a little high. As a team, the Saints averaged over 16 turnovers per game and Long needs to spearhead the effort to keep the turnovers down. Kenny Wormley is not a big time scorer, but he is a typical glue guard.
Final Projection:
This is the year for Siena. Teams like Monmouth and a reloading Iona will not make it easy, but the Saints have the talent and experience to win the MAAC. And this needs to be the year too. With Bisping and Ogunyemi entering their senior year, this is Siena’s best chance to make the NCAA Tournament in the near future. As long as the Saints can find some depth, they will be able to compete with the likes of Monmouth and Iona. Even if this team does not win the MAAC championship, they will be on the cusp of reaching the NIT and sending out their seniors in style.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI / CIT / V16
Projected Starting Five:
Marquis Wright, Senior, Guard, 14.5 points per game
Lavon Long, Senior, Guard, 13.1 points per game
Kenny Wormley, Sophomore, Guard, 4.6 points per game
Brett Bisping, Senior, Forward, 15.9 points per game
Javion Ogunyemi, Senior, Forward, 14.9 points per game
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 78.2 (53rd in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 73.3 (212, 7)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.6 (46, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.7 (81, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.3 (238, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.8 (70, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.2 (91, 6)
Rebound Margin: 7.8 (15, 1)
Assists Per Game: 14.5 (95, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 16.1 (343, 11)