Siena vs. UAlbany – for Albany Area Bragging Rights
There’s been a commerical on local television for the upcoming Siena basketball game,
against the University at Albany.
It says the contest between the two rivals is “the game of the year.”
That may be the case for fans, as an average of 11,280 fans have come out the past 10 years to see the Saints and Great Danes battle, but both teams downplay the significance, at least heading into the game.
“Maybe it’s the game of the year for them,” said UAlbany coach Will Brown. “But, for us it’s another game.”
Welcome to the game before the game. Both teams will turn the other teams’ weaknesses into strengths, say they are the underdog — anything to take the pressure off, heading into the game.
Quotes like this one are common. “It’s important because it’s another game,” said Siena senior Kyle Downey. “You want to build every day.”
Or how about this one. “I like being the underdog,” said UAlbany junior Logan Aronhalt. “But we consider ourselves the favorite in every game, going in.”
What does it all mean?
Well this is the most important game because it’s the next game on the schedule and it’s for all of the marbles, except it isn’t.
Both teams really want to win, but they don’t want to apply too much hype or make it seem like this is the biggest game on the schedule.
UAlbany (4-3) and Siena (2-5) play Monday evening, for the Albany Cup and bragging rights. The game can be seen on Time Warner-3.
“It’s a big game,” said Siena freshman point guard Evan Hymes. “A lot of people come out to see it.”
Last year, UAlbany claimed an 88-82 overtime victory, snapping a five-game Siena winning streak.
The Saints have had an issue with their lack of depth all season, but don’t tell that to Brown.
“Sometimes a short bench can be a benefit, as long as you can stay out of foul trouble,” he said.
That said, Brown still will try to tire out the Saints, by playing as up-tempo of a game as he can.
This game is one of the biggest events annually in the Capital District because the fans make it such a meaningful game.
“I think it’s a bragging rights thing,” Brown said. “A lot people work together, Albany and Siena alums.”