Game 8: Siena vs. Marist
While both teams are 1-0, the Saints were unanimously picked to win the MAAC, while the Red Foxes were predicted to finish last (10th).
Both teams won their first conference game, but Siena won on the road somewhat comfortably (although tell that to Saints fans), while Marist won at home on a last second shot.
New Marist coach Chuck Martin has this team playing differently. They like to dribble, drive and kick as opposed to the past few years with coach Matt Brady (a former Siena point guard), who liked to run set plays.
Siena has won all three games at home this season and all four evening games (only losses came before 1 p.m. at the Old Spice Classic)
The Saints have won 20 of their last 26 MAAC games.
Records: Siena 1-0, 4-3. Marist 1-0, 3-4
Player to Watch: Kenny Hasbrouck, senior Siena. Yes Hasbrouck is stuggling from the field. Yes he's struggling from the free throw line. He's struggling, I got it. Just like Siena coach Fran McCaffery, I'm going to continue to go to the preseason Player of the Year. Last time out against Marist, Hasbrouck scored 35 points, made five 3-pointers in a soldout game on national television.
Let me paste below a sentence from that game's press release.
The junior entered the game in a prolonged shooting slump, but made big shot after big shot to secure the win.
Sound familiar? I'm giving Hasbrouck my green light for tonight.
X-factor: Free Throw Shooting. While I don't think it will make a difference in the outcome of this game, Siena has to get this figured out. McCaffery isn't overly concerned or at least that's what he said on Monday, but Siena is shooting just 58.9 (99-168) percent from the line. Through 34 games last season, the Saints shot 68.9 percent. The team is shooting more shots in practice, but they say there is a little bit of added pressure knowing that everyone is struggling.
Injury Report: Junior Cory Magee (concussion) still isn't back practicing, but he worked out on Sunday for the first time since his injury and at the weekly luncheon McCaffery made it seem as Magee is on his way back.
Sophomore Ryan Rossiter (head) practiced Monday and is in the projected starting lineup for tonight's game. Since the Saints have eight days off for finals after this game, Rossiter should be a go.
Prediction: Siena 82, Marist 63 (I don't see this one being close. My Siena record is 5-2)