#121 Siena Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Siena Saints

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #121
Conference Rank: #2 MAAC

#121 Siena Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Before Coach Jimmy Pastos arrived last season, Siena went 8-24. Coach Pastos quickly boosted that win total up to 20 last season. The Saints only finished 11-9 in MAAC play and then they lost their opener in the conference tournament to Canisius. But Siena earned a berth in the CBI and they took full advantage. They beat Stony Brook, Penn State and Illinois State before taking two of three from Fresno State in the championship series. That run, a rare example of a tournament like the CBI doing good for a team, has propelled Siena to much higher expectations this year. With every player who was part of the regular rotation back, this is a Saints team looking for much more. And Rob Poole should once again lead the way. The 6-6 senior guard led the squad with 14.6 points per game last season and is a dangerous scorer from everywhere on the floor.

2013-14 Record: 20-18, 11-9
2013-14 Postseason: CBI
Coach: Jimmy Patsos
Coach Record: 20-18 at Siena, 165-153 overall

Who’s Out:
The only losses come from a couple players who just played a few minutes on rare occasions. The Saints return their top ten minute earners from a team that basically went nine deep on a regular basis.

Who’s In:
Despite the logjam of returning talent, there will be minutes for Patrick Cole. Cole started his collegiate career with a 25 point effort against USC when he played for Coppin State. During that 2012-2013 campaign, his only one with the Eagles, he averaged 10.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists. At 6-5, Cole is another big shooting guard who can attack the basket and help out on the glass. Freshmen Willem Brandwijk, Cameron Gottfied and Jimmy Paige will find minutes harder to come by. Brandwijk, a 6-8, 229 pound forward, has the potential to add some frontcourt depth right away.

Who to Watch:
Marquis Wright, Lavon Long and Brett Bisping will once again join Poole in the starting lineup. Wright had a very impressive freshman campaign and was a huge reason for the big Siena turnaround. He can create for his teammates and dished out 5.2 assists per game, while adding 8.7 points. His 3.1 turnovers per contest are a little high, but that will get better with experience. Long, a 6-7 wing, is another sophomore who did more than just show potential as a freshman. He started 36 games and averaged 9.4 points and 4.9 rebounds. Bisping, the power forward, can stretch the defense with his mid-range jumper and emerged as a consistent interior scorer. Bisping is also the most consistent rebounder on the team. The starting center spot is a little more up for grabs. Imoh Silas started most of the time in 2013-2014, but played just 16.8 minutes per game. He is strong on the glass and experienced, but will not add much of a scoring option. Javion Ogunyemi would be the other option. He has not proven to be a scorer either, although he is just a sophomore and has a higher ceiling.

Final Projection:
The amount of depth this team now has is going to be very nice for Coach Pastos. Evan Hymes was once a starter, turned into the sixth man last season and could find himself even further down the pecking order now. At the least he is a good backup for Wright at the point and could earn more minutes if his shot is falling. Ryan Oliver and Maurice White add even more backcourt depth, while Michael Wolfe will look for minutes in the post. This is a big, lanky team and they can score by attacking the basket. However, their outside shooting was quite poor most of last season. A year in the system and another year of overall experience, not to mention the addition of Cole, will need to boost their shooting percentage if Siena wants to seriously compete for a MAAC title. Otherwise it may be back to the CBI.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Marquis Wright, Sophomore, Guard, 8.7 points per game
Rob Poole, Senior, Guard, 14.6 points per game
Lavon Long, Sophomore, Guard, 9.4 points per game
Brett Bisping, Junior, Forward, 11.5 points per game
Imoh Silas, Senior, Center, 3.8 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.3 (219th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.1 (175, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.9 (286, 8)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.4 (70, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.4 (329, 11)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.8 (NR)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.0 (100, 3)
Rebound Margin: 2.7 (98, 2)
Assists Per Game: 13.5 (103, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.8 (295, 8)


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