LOUDONVILLE - Siena's Ryan Rossiter
may only be just a sophomore, but his presence is being felt.
In fact, he gave Siena one of their best performances at the Old Spice Classic in Orlando.
In the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference opener, the 6-foot-9 forward finished with eight points, eight rebounds and two blocks in an 8-point victory over Loyola.
"I'm just trying to do my job on the team," said Rossiter before Friday's practice. "We have four outstanding players who start with me and we have great guys coming off of the bench, so my job is kind of easy I think, compared to what they have to do."
Rossiter is averaging 11 points and eight rebounds through six games and that was against some of the better teams Siena will face this season.
Rossiter has been a big reason as to why Siena's biggest problem from 2007-08, rebounding, has now been going in the right direction.
"Last year Coach got on us about the rebounding and rightfully so," Rossiter said. "This year, we're trying to take it a little more seriously because we lost some games because of giving up second-chance opportunities."
Rossiter says the biggest difference this season is the trust the coach Fran McCaffery has in him.
"Freshman year if I made a mistake, he might want to take me out because we had veteran guys in there that weren't going to make those mistakes," Rossiter said. "This year if I mess up once, he leaves me in there to just play through it and I think that does a lot for my confidence."
Rossiter posted the first two double-doubles of his career this season (vs. Cornell and Tennessee) and if he plays well on Saturday against the University at Albany, he could make a big difference in the outcome.
"He gives them a low-post presence with some size," UAlbany coach Will Brown said.
McCaffery had some high praise for UAlbany today before practice.
"I really like their team," McCaffery said. "If there's a better team in the America East, I haven't seen it."
McCaffery also said that even though there are a handful of Great Danes who haven't experienced this rivalry, he doesn't see them being nervous.
"They don't appear to me to be the kind of players who will rattle in that type of situation," McCaffery said. "At least that's my view of what I've seen on film and what I know about some of those guys from high school, (Anthony) Raffa in particular, who I've been very impressed with."
Senior co-captain Kenny Hasbrouck also weighed in on the Great Danes, including former teammate at Maine Central Institute, Will Harris.
"He is a tough matchup," Hasbrouck said. "I think (Tim) Ambrose is a real tough matchup, (Brian) Connelly's a good matchup. They have a lot of good players on their team."
On Thursday, Brown said what he thought of Siena's squad.
"They always put pressure on you," Brown said. "Ronald Moore is always looking to get in the lane, Hasbrouck's always looking to make a play, (Edwin) Ubiles is a very good 1-on-1 player, (Alex) Franklin is a beast down on the low blocks and Rossiter is much, much improved."
Labels: College Basketball, Fran McCaffery, Kenny Hasbrouck, Ryan Rossiter, Siena, UAlbany