Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Siena vs. Hewitt

Former Siena coach Paul Hewitt will take on the Saints Wednesday night in Atlanta.

I had the chance to speak with Hewitt last week and it was a great conversation about the time he spent coaching Siena.

“There are a lot of things that I learned how to manage as a head coach there at Siena, where I don’t think I would have had that opportunity at many places around the country,” said Hewitt.

You can tell that Hewitt has a great deal of respect for what current coach Fran McCaffery has done in a one-bid league.

It's a little ironic how McCaffery and Hewitt's career at Siena began - taking a team with not much success and turning them around very quickly.

The only difference is that McCaffery has stayed a little longer, but Hewitt said it was going to take a terrific opportunity for him to leave Loudonville.

“It was going to take a really special place for me to leave Siena,” he said, which is what was represented by coaching in the ACC against teams like Duke and North Carolinia on a consistent basis. “I was not just going to take any old job because that’s how much I thought of being up in that area."

Had he stayed at Siena a little longer, it would have been interesting to have seen if something similar to what is happening now, had occurred then.

Hewitt didn't have a negative word to say about Siena, the job or the community.

“The only people that really don’t recognize how great of a job that is, is the national media,” Hewitt said. “It’s a great job.”

While the Yellow Jackets have struggled recently, having a great freshman class and some key returning players puts them on the precipice of another great season and that would mean Hewitt would return to Albany next season to take on Siena at home.

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