Future Looks Bright For Siena Basketball
Siena's season came to an end, on Sunday, in Springfield, Mass., in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference semifinals.
The Saints fell to Loyola (Md.), 70-60, and finished with a 14-17 overall record.
Here is a link to my game story, from The Troy Record.
“Mitch Buonaguro did a great job," said Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos. "Six players – they execute well and play well.”
While Siena's record may stand a sign of a failed campaign, the Saints all seemed unified in the fact that they accomplished a great deal this season.
“We had a good this…we had a great year this year, not a good year," said junior forward OD Anosike, who's still the nation's leading rebounder (12.5 rpg).
Siena posted some incredible wins, knocking off Iona, Fairfield and Manhattan twice. The Saints also winning non-league games against Princeton, Florida Atlantic and UAlbany.
“This is the team that really, really, in my eyes, had a phenomenal season," said Siena coach Mitch Buonaguro. "It was a great season and I’m really proud of these guys.”
The Saints were met with a load of adversity, watching Rakeem Brookins and Davis Martens go down for the season with season-ending injuries, losing Trenity Burdine for the year, having two freshmen ruled ineligible by the NCAA and then having a player transfer.
Despite all that, Siena finished one place higher than they did a season ago, and also finished with one more victory overall.
“Out of the four years, since I’ve been here, this is probably the most proud year,” said senior Kyle Downey.
The Saints easily could have let everything overwhelm them and allow this season to really finish poorly, but they reached the MAAC semifinals and ended on a positive note.
“As a team, we really all pulled together,” said senior Owen Wignot.
The Saints have posted back-to-back losing season overall and in the MAAC, but the future certainly looks bright. OD Anosike returns, as does Evan Hymes, the most surprising story in the league this season. Add to that, the return of Brookins, Martens and Burdine and this team should be deep.
Brookins and Hymes should be the quickest and one of the most talented backcourts in the conference.Anosike will likely be the preseason player of the year and Buonaguro is high on incoming freshmen Richard Audu (6-foot-4) and Brett Bisping (6-8).