Put Iona coach Kevin Willard
amongst those who believe Siena should be considered for an at-large bid.
“No offense to the other nine teams, us included, this is the best basketball team in the league,” Willard said of the Saints. “If they’re not being talked about for an at-large bid, they need to be because they’ve played a very tough schedule, they’ve played on the road against a tough schedule and they’ve taken care of business. I don’t see anybody coming in this building, any of the big guys. I think Stanford is the last team that came in here and they got it handed to them last year.”
If Siena wins out, including the BracketBuster game and loses in the MAAC championship game, they would be 27-6 and I believe they should certainly be considered.
After Monday's near defeat though, that discussion shouldn't start anytime soon.
I talked at length about Edwin Ubiles'
game-winning shot in Tuesday's paper edition, but here's a little more about the shot.
“I actually didn’t think the play was going to come to me,” Ubiles said. “Kenny (Hasbrouck) had hit two big shots before that, so I thought he was going to get it.”
Once Ubiles got the ball, he made the big play.
“Ubiles is terrific,” Willard said. “He hit a tough shot.”
While I'm sure Willard made some friends amongst Saints fans with his statement above, he won't make any with this. After mentioning that he thinks Siena point guard Ronald Moore is right up near the top of the list in terms of the top point guards in the league, he said this about his point guard, freshman Scott Machado.
“I think I have the best to be honest with you,” Willard said.
Moore and Ryan Rossiter combined to shutdown Iona's game-winning attempt with four seconds to go in a situation, which they said they go over in practice.
“Ronald was key on that play because our goal is not to allow their point guard catch it with a head of steam,” Rossiter said. “Ron cut him off, he had to stop and catch the ball and that really helped."
Rossiter also helped by tipping the ball twice before Machado could handle it.
“Rossiter was unbelievable,” Siena coach Fran McCaffery said. “He’s terrific on the ball.”
Junior Alex Franklin added another thunderous dunk to his resume on Monday.
He gave Siena a 10-point lead with his flush at 5:04 of the first half.
“I’ve just been getting in open lanes and I’m just trying to finish hard,” Franklin said. “I promised Coach (Andrew) Francis I would get him a dunk, so I had to get him one.”
Labels: Alex Franklin, College Basketball, Edwin Ubiles, Fran McCaffery, Iona, Kevin Willard, Ronald Moore, Ryan Rossiter, Scott Machado, Siena