Thursday, December 31, 2009

Siena 64, Saint Peter's 53 final

It wasn't pretty in the first half, but Siena holds a two-point lead at the break.

Davis Martens played his first action for Siena and scored one point.

Edwin Ubiles has eight points to lead the Saints, while Nick Leon has nine points for the Peacocks.

Both coaches seem to be none to happy with the officiating.


Siena pulled away in the second half to win their 27th consecutive home victory and the program's 200th MAAC win.

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Jenkins out for Peacocks

ALBANY - Saint Peter's is playing without leading scorer Wesley Jenkins due to a mild concussion.

Jenkins had started all 12 games for the Peacocks and is averaging 14.0 points per game.

Still, Saint Peter's started off well and the score right now is Siena 14, Saint Peter's 12.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Siena roars to win over St. Joe's

ALBANY - Siena outscored Saint Joseph's 49-33 in the second half to propel them to a 92-75 victory at home.

The win matches the school's Division I record for longest home winning streak at 26.

Clarence Jackson went down hard late in the first half, but despite biting the inside of his cheek, which was a little swollen, he came back to terrorize the Hawks against with 23 points.

Edwin Ubiles scored 20 points in the second half, after foul trouble limited him to just seven minutes in the first half.

The Saints (2-0, 8-4) play Saint Peter's on New Year's Eve at 4 p.m.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Franklin earns MAAC honor

Siena senior forward Alex Franklin was named MAAC co-Player of the Week on Monday.

The 6-foot-5 Reading, Pa. native tied his season-high with 22 points on 9-for-13 shooting and added 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season against Rider.

Franklin shared the honor with Loyola (Md.) senior guard Brett Harvey.

Harvey led the Greyhounds to a 72-67 upset victory at Indians, scoring nine of his game-high 25 points in the final four minutes.

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Ginyard doubtful for UAlbany game

North Carolina fifth-year senior Marcus Ginyard will reportedly miss tonight's game against Rutgters and is doubtful to play against UAlbany on Wednesday.

Ginyard, who is averaging 11 points per game, sprained his right ankle while diving toward the basket during a practice on Saturday.

The No. 9 Tar Heels play Rutgers tonight on ESPN2 at 8:30 p.m.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Danes have Carolina on their minds

The University at Albany men's basketball team leaves Monday for North Carolina.

The Great Danes (4-9) take on the defending national champions on Wednesday at 7 p.m. on ESNPU.

North Carolina (9-3) plays Monday night at 8:30 p.m. against Rutgers on ESPN2.

UAlbany had their last Sunday afternoon before heading out of town.

Coach Will Brown said his wife, Jamie, is probably the person most looking forward to the game.

“Carolina’s been her favorite team in any sport since she was young,” Brown said. “She’s probably more excited about this game than anybody. My (Jackson) son probably has more North Carolina hats in his closet than he does Albany hats.”

Brown said he will be traveling to the GSK Holiday Tournament in Raleigh while down in North Carolina as one of his father's former players is the coach at Durham Riverside High School.

Brown said he will do a little bit of recruiting at the tournament, which is supposed to be one of the top tournaments in the country.


I asked Brown about what he said following the Loyola (IL) game about the veterans buying back in and this was his response.

“In the Loyola game, I thought we did a nice job in the first half defensively and I thought we did a nice job in the second half offensively. We’re trying to pressure a little more and we’re trying to do a few more aggressive things defensively that are going to take some time for us to get used to and then offensively, we’re too selfish. We’re bouncing the ball too much, we’re not moving enough and it does us no good. We’re trying to switch to a motion offense and it does us no good to switch to a motion offense if we’re going to pound the heck out of the ball.”

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Siena suspends Yard

Freshman guard Denzel Yard has been suspended from the Siena men's basketball team indefinitely for academics.

No more information was made available.

The Philadelphia native has played in eight games this season and is averaging 1.9 points and 1.0 rebounds per game.

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Griffin's first playing time

While Siena's victory over Rider was pretty sound and definite, the Saints got their first game contribution from junior transfer Kyle Griffin.

"I felt good," said Griffin, who finished with five points in 13 minutes. "Tonight, my main goal was just to try to go out and contribute as much as I could and get my feet wet."

Griffin realized that it's been a long time since he's suited up for LaSalle University and didn't want to rush things.

"As the games keep progressing, I'll be more and more comfortable and hopefully I can contribute more and more."

Griffin said he wasn't as nervous as he thought he would be, but was a little bit on his first free throw, which hit the front rim and on a pull up jump shot, which hit the front rim.

"It's a completely different feeling when you're warming up and you look into the stands and it's packed and you look to the other end of the court and it's Rider and it's a big conference game," Griffin said. "It's just a completely different feeling to be a part of it rather than sitting on the sidelines."

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Black and Allen starting for Danes

Freshman point guard Mike Black is starting tonight in place of senior Mike Johnson as UAlbany takes on Loyola (Chicgao).

Meanwhile, Billy Allen is starting in place of Tim Ambrose.

The game is just underway in Chicago.

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MAAC Tourney to Springfield??

Looks as if the MAAC has a new home for the tournament from 2012-14.

The conference has scheduled a press conference for tomorrow morning where it looks like the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass., will be named the host of the tournament.

The conference set a record last year with 50,860 fans enjoying the five-day tournament in Albany.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Siena/Rider: A huge game

Don't get lost in the presents and holiday cheer quite yet.

One of the biggest MAAC games of the season will be played in less than 48 hours, Wednesday in downtown Albany.

Siena (1-0, 6-4) vs.Rider(1-0, 8-5)

Some of the best games I've covered since taking over the Siena beat three years ago, have been the matchup between these two teams.

Let's take a closer look at some of the more recent encounters between these two teams.

Feb. 7, 2009: The Broncs spoil Siena's perfect MAAC season, handing the previously 12-0 Saints a 90-88 defeat at Alumni Gymnasium. Siena led 71-58 with 8:58 left, but Rider scored on 16 straight possessions and led 86-81 with 1:35 left. Ryan Thompson, who finished with 13 points, drove by his defender and scored with three seconds to go. Kenny Hasbrouck led the Saints with 29 points, while Justin Robinson scored a career-high 25 for Rider.

Jan. 9, 2009: In a nationally televised game, Siena's Edwin Ubiles' 360-dunk capped the Saints 91-81 victory. The Saints led 41-40 at halftime, but went on a 23-11 run to take their biggest lead of the game with 13 minutes to go. Ubiles led Siena with 19, while Hasbrouck added 18 for Siena. Alex Franklin had 15 points and 10 rebounds. Harris Mansell had 19 points to lead Rider, while Thompson and Mike Ringgold added 16 points apiece and Ringgold finished with 10 rebounds.

March 10, 2008: The Saints hold a 21st birthday party for lone senior Tay Fisher and 9,279 people show up to celebrate a 74-53 MAAC Championship victory, which punches Siena's ticket into the NCAA Tournament. Fisher helps break the game open late in the first half, matching a career-high six 3-pointers and finishing with a team-high 21 points. MAAC Player of the Year Jason Thompson finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds. You know the rest as Siena goes on to beat Vanderbilt and become darlings of March Madness.

Feb. 10, 2008: Junior Josh Duell drained a 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds to go to give Siena an 80-77 road victory. The victory pulled the Saints up to 11-3 in the MAAC alongside the Broncs. Jason Thompson made the game his by scoring 26 points and grabbing 24 rebounds. Franklin finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Ronald Moore had 17 points and nine assists.

Feb. 2, 2008: Jason Thompson made this game his own and very well could have really cemented himself as a NBA player. Thompson's 23 points and 21 rebounds served notice as Rider took down Siena 89-75 in Albany. Thompson had a double-double at halftime as the Broncs led 59-34. Siena was led by Hasbrouck's 23 points and 18 from Ubiles. The Saints have only lost twice once at home since this game.

Jan. 27, 2007: Hasbrouck scores a career-high 36 points in 36 minutes at Sovereign Bank Arena, but Rider comes out with a 84-78 victory. Jason Thompson had 31 points and 16 rebounds. Hasbrouck kept the Saints in the game, and Siena owned a 71-68 lead with 4:48 remaining. Terrence Mouton's 3-pointer gave Rider the lead for good, 76-73.

Dec. 9, 2006:
Behind a game-high 27 points from Michael Haddix, Siena posts a 87-79 victory at Pepsi Arena. Hasbrouck scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half. Jason Thompson finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Ubiles, just a freshman, scored 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Former Siena player Joel Green scored eight points in a starting role for Rider.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gaels getting UAlbany's attention

ALBANY - University at Albany coach Will Brown does like to play up each of his opponents and after Tuesday's practice was no different.

“They’re a top three, top four, worst case scenario,” Brown said. “Any time you go on the road and win at Providence, beat Creighton and lose, I believe in overtime to Florida State, you’re pretty darn good.”

The only thing different is this Iona team might actually be as good as Brown is portraying.

Kevin Willard is in his third season as head coach and he has a pretty good, albeit young team this season.

Willard came over from Louisville and Brown said the pressure his Gaels use is nearly a clone of pressure from Louisville days, while also having some similarities to the Holy Cross teams his father Ralph coached.

The Great Danes are coming off of an overtime loss at Central Connecticut, but it seems like the team is over that game.

“I think that the Central game is pretty much out of our system,” said senior forward Will Harris. “It wasn’t for lack of effort and if we’re going to lose than we want to get beat.”


Through 11 games, UAlbany is shooting 43 percent from the field and 31 percent from 3-point range.

With the struggles last year's team had shooting the ball, I asked Brown is he thought his team shooting the ball better this season.

“I anticipated us being a much better shooting team,” Brown, citing injuries to Louis Barraza and somewhat slow starts of Jake Lindfors and Logan Aronholt.

He's like to be higher percentage-wise so that teams can't help more on drives or clog the lanes.

“I think we’re better yeah, but we’re still not good enough right now,” said Brown.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Pictures from Iowa

AP Pictures from Siena's Saturday night game against Northern Iowa.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

UAlbany falls in overtime 70-68

The Great Danes (4-7) got 16 points from Tim Ambrose, but struggled offensively in overtime and fell 70-68 on the road to Central Connecticut (3-5).

Ambrose missed a runner at the buzzer that could have sent the game into double overtime.

"It shouldn’t have came down to that," said UAlbany coach Will Brown.

Mike Johnson added 12 points and Fran Urli set a career-high with 10 points, while Brett Gifford tied a career-high with 10.

Vince Rosario scored a career-high 17 points for the Blue Devils.

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Danes in overtime

UAlbany's Will Harris missed a 3-pointer as regulation ended and sent their game with Central Connecticut into overtime, tied at 60.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

UAlbany looking for more from bench

ALBANY - While the Great Danes just had their best performance from their bench, coach Will Brown is looking for more consistent play.

“Whether it’s making open shots like Billy Allen did the other night or Derrek Tartt getting to the basket, just need some consistent production, regardless of who it is from our bench, not one guy in particular I don’t think,” said Brown.

UAlbany got 22 points from their bench in an 18-point victory over Penn on Tuesday and it was a little from everyone as four players scored four points and another, Allen, had six.

“I like how they contributed against Penn, but it would be nice knowing that you’re going to get eight to 10 points from this guy or that guy coming off the bench,” said Brown.

It was a big confidence boost for the team to a nice win, where a lot of players contributed.

“For our guys coming off the bench, I was happy for those guys,” said senior forward Will Harris. “They got in the game and they were aggressive and that’s what we need every night.”

While UAlbany has shown that they have three big guns in Harris, Tim Ambrose and Mike Johnson, Brown doesn't necessarily think that they need a single person to step into that fourth role, but that it does need to be filled consistently by someone.

“It doesn’t have to be the same guy every night, but we can’t have a game like we had against Florida Atlantic, where our bench shot 2-for-30,” Brown said. (The bench actually shot 3-for-15 against the Owls, but I'm sure it felt like 2-30 for Brown.)


Brown said after practice Thursday that he doesn't expect junior Louis Barraza back this season.

Barraza is dealing with a intestinal problem and has only played two games and only nine minutes this season.

Barraza also has torn ligaments in his right (shooting) hand.

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Moore helpers

LOUDONVILLE - While senior point guard Ronald Moore is still No. 2 in career assists at Siena College, behind Marc Brown, he is No. 1 on one list.

The nation's assist leader, Moore is averaging 8.3 assists per game through the first nine games.

Moore is more than a full assist ahead of Kentucky freshman phenom John Wall, who is averaging 7.0 assists per game.

"It's crazy to think about it," said Moore, before Thursday's practice. "I really just go into every game trying to find guys and at the end of the day, it's working out for me."

As far as the 6-foot Conshohocken native leading the nation for the whole season, Siena coach Fran McCaffery thinks it is possible.

"I think it's conceivable that he could lead the nation in assists, yeah, because we push it and we're going to score a high number," said McCaffery, earlier this week.

Moore currently has 637 career assists, 159 behind Brown's standard of 796, but at this rate, it would only take 19 or so games for him to get in that neighborhood. Siena has 21 regular season games remaining.

"Coming in here, as a freshman, you set goals for yourself," Moore said. "Me being able to find guys, dishing out assists is something I take pride in. If you ask anybody on the team, I really take pride in assists and not turning the ball over. That's something, as a point guard, that I take pride in and to be number one in the country right now is a great honor and hopefully I can carry it out the rest of the season."

The amazing thing about Brown is that he not only is the Siena all-time leader in assists, he is also the all-time leading scorer with 2,284 points.

Moore will likely surpass 1,000 points for his career, but he said to do what Brown did is more than incredible.

"It even suprises me not to see his number in the rafters," said Moore.

The only two numbers that Siena has retired are Troy native Billy Harrell's No. 10 and Kenny Hasbrouck's No. 41.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Early thoughts on Northern Iowa

LOUDONVILLE - While the Saints have five days before their next game, Coach Fran McCaffery and the rest of his gang turn their attention to an very good Northern Iowa team today after beating Iona 73-60 Monday evening.

"They're huge," McCaffery said. "(Jordan) Eglseder and (Adam) Koch, you talk about your four and five at 290 (pounds) and 260 and I think (Kwadzo) Ahelegbe, to me, is a guy that really down the stretch last year played extremely well and is playing as well as anybody right now. To go on the road and play a team that's beaten Iowa State and beat Boston College, could easily be the best team on our schedule."

The Panthers (5-1) are ranked No. 3 in the Mid-Major Top 25, according to, while Siena (6-3) is No. 9.

Ahelegbe scored 32 points agianst Boston College and Koch is averaging 16.0 points per game.

Koch and Eglseder both scored 20 points in the Panthers last victory over Iowa State.

It will definitely be a game of contrasting styles as Siena likes to get it and go and Northern Iowa likes to run sets and play physical and I'm sure the Panthers will remember the 81-75 defeat the Saints handed them last year in the ESPN BracketBusters game.

Northern Iowa, whose only loss is to De Paul, plays Iowa (3-5) tonight at the McLeod Center.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Ubiles feeling much better

NEW ROCHELLE - If there's one big positive to Monday's 73-60 victory over Iona, it was senior Edwin Ubiles returning to form in the second half.

Here's what Ubiles said after the game.

“I think it’s coming back slowly,” said of Ubiles of his injured right knee. “It’s still a little bit tender. I can definitely feel it getting a lot better every day. It’s not bothering me much after the game at all, so I can tell it’s getting better.”

Franklin told him he was back after the game and Siena coach Fran McCaffery said Ubiles' big second half was more a product of Iona's smaller lineup.

“They went with a downshifted lineup and he had some size advantage, so we just started going to him,” said McCaffery.

Ubiles said he was cramping throughout the game, but he did a good job shaking that off to score 14 points in the second half and be a big reason why the Saints pulled away.

While the Gaels did a good job of taking the game to a helter-skelter pace in the first half, McCaffery was impressed with how his team shook it off and finished the game.

“I thought the way we responded in the second half, in particular, was very impressive,” said McCaffery.

Something else to look at is Ronald Moore's minutes.

While I didn't mention him in the game story, but for missing a shot that Rossiter finished to start the game-changing run, the nation's assist leader played all 40 minutes, something that might draw the notice of some.

McCaffery said Moore, like almost every player doesn't want to come out and that he could have gone another 40 minutes after the game was over.

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Siena 73, Iona 60

Siena leads by three points at halftime, but the Saints have found it tough going since leading 25-15 with 7:11 remaining.

Alex Franklin has nine points to lead Siena, while Ryan Rossiter, Owen Wignot and Edwin Ubiles have five points apiece.

Siena was hurt by the fact the Clarence Jackson picked up two quick fouls and only played four minutes.

Alejo Rodriguez leads Iona with six points.

The Saints are probably lucky to have a lead because the Gaels have done a good job getting to the hoop, but just can't finish.

I'm really impressed by Scott Machado, who was an all-rookie selection last year. He's been able to get by Ronald Moore a couple times and is showing a very athletic first step to blow by the defense.

Siena had an interesting lineup at one point with Ubiles playing the five, along with O.D. Anosike, Moore, Wignot and Kyle Downey.


Siena looked pretty good in the second half, asserting themselves and coming out with a 13-point victory.

Ubiles looked good in the second half, scoring 14 points in the second half.

All in all, it was a good workman-like road victory to start of the MAAC season.

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Brown being treated for Lyme Disease

According to multiple sources, UAlbany coach Will Brown is being treated for lyme disease.

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Siena wins big

The Saints were never really challenged by UAlbany and cruised to an 83-54 victory in front of 12,960 on Saturday night.

More to come.

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Ubiles starting

Siena senior Edwin Ubiles is in the starting lineup for the Saints.

Ubiles was a game-time decision yesterday and is wearing a brace on his right knee.

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Women's Game: Siena 65, UAlbany 61 OT

Gina Castelli and Siena picked up their first win of the 2009-10 season on Saturday night .

It's Castelli's 300th victory of her career.

The Great Danes drop to 3-4.

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Albany Cup All-Time Leaders

Okay, so we only have two days to get ready for the big game (that's really not a big game), so I thought I'd start the discussion (arguments) with this.

Last year, Siena Sports Infortmation Director Jason Rich gave us a compiled stats list for all of the Siena/UAlbany games, dating back to the renewal of the rivalry in 2001.

I added in last year's game stats and here are the all-time leaders.



Name School Pts. Pts/gm
Jamar Wilson, UAlbany, 80, 20.0
Michael Haddix, Siena, 63, 15.8
Kenny Hasbrouck, Siena, 59, 14.8
x-Edwin Ubiles, Siena, 53, 17.7
Levi Levine, UAlbany, 50, 12.5

Points Per Game

Name, School, Pts./gm, Pts.
E.J. Gallup, UAlbany, 36.0, 36
Lucious Jordan, UAlbany, 22.0, 44
Jamar Wilson, UAlbany, 20.0, 80
Dwayne Archbold, Siena, 19.0, 19
x-Edwin Ubiles, 17.7, 53

3-Point FG Made

Name, School, FG
Brent Wilson, UAlbany, 9
Jon Iati, UAlbany, 9
Antoine Jordan, Siena, 7
Levi Levine, UAlbany, 7
E.J. Gallup, UAlbany, 7


Name, School, Reb., Reb/gm
Michael Haddix, Siena, 34, 8.5
Levi Levine, UAlbany, 30, 7.5
Jamar Wilson, UAlbany, 29, 7.3
Brent Wilson, UAlbany, 28, 7.0
Antoine Jordan, Siena, 24, 6.0


Name, School, Ast., Ast/gm
Jamar Wilson, UAlbany, 22, 5.5
x-Ronald Moore, Siena, 16, 5.3
Kojo Mensah, Siena, 15, 7.5
Earv Opong, UAlbany, 14, 7.0
Brian Lillis, UAlbany, 12, 3.0


Name, School, Stl., Stl/gm
Kenny Hasbrouck, Siena, 9, 2.3
Antoine Jordan, Siena, 8, 2.0
Earv Opong, UAlbany, 6, 3.0
x-Edwin Ubiles, Siena, 6, 2.0
Chris Wyatt, UAlbany, 5, 1.7


Name, School, Blk., Blk/gm
x-Alex Franklin, Siena, 4, 1.3
Chris Wyatt, UAlbany, 3, 1.0
Justin Miller, Siena, 3, 1.0
x-Edwin Ubiles, Siena, 3, 1.0
Kirsten Zollner, UAlbany, 3, 1.5


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Tickets going fast for Siena/UAlbany game

As of noon on Thursday, 11,600 seats had been sold for Saturday evening's women's and men's doubleheader between Siena and the University at Albany.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wignot in - Ubiles out

Edwin Ubiles is apparently out tonight against Georgia Tech and sophomore Owen Wignot is taking his place in the starting lineup.

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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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