Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ruland gives it to Iona; Rohrssen staying put

On Tuesday, former Iona coach Jeff Ruland really gave it to his former school and alma mater on WFAN.

Here's the link.

Also, the New York Post is reporting that Manhattan coach Barry Rohrssen is staying put and not joining newly hired Steve Lavin at St. John's University.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

McCaffery's a Hawkeye

What's your caption for this picture??

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Siena's recruits seem loyal

The subtraction of Fran McCaffery as the Siena coach probably affects the Saints' players the most.

Junior Ryan Rossiter, who was given the reigns to the team by McCaffery after the loss to Purdue said that the team has been talking with Trenity Burdine and Melsahn Basabe, the two players who have signed National Letters of Intent to play for Siena next season.

“We’ll all be in touch with them,” Rossiter said. “They’re two great kids and we don’t want to lose them.”

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McCaffery picture slideshow

Life after McCaffery

LOUDONVILLE - Fran McCaffery was introduced as the new Iowa men's basketball coach on Monday.

Shortly after, life started without McCaffery on the Siena campus.

Athletic Director John D'Argenio and juniors Clarence Jackson and Ryan Rossiter were made available to the media later in the afternoon.

McCaffery stayed five seasons in Loudonville and D'Argenio was asked if this is the amount of time that he can expect a coach to stay at Siena.

“I think to a certain degree that’s a by-product of a mid-major,” D’Argenio said. “What you want is somebody who is going to come in and be successful, like we have been. Whether it’s winning championships and graduating players and if that happens, somebody at the next level is going to be interested in that person. While we want people to stay here forever, we’re also realistic enough to know that you want somebody to succeed and do well.”

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McCaffery introduced at Iowa

Fran McCaffery is no longer the Siena coach.

At 11 a.m. central Iowa introduced McCaffery as their head coach.

McCaffery is getting a six-year deal, that starts out around $1.1 million and Athletic Director Gary Barta said it would escalate up to about $1.35 million.

That works out more than $7 million dollars over the length of the contract.

Some other notes:

McCaffery started out by mentioning Siena and saying it was a place he loved and was a great place.

Barta joked that there would be a seat belt on Margaret's seat over at the Carver Hawkeye Arena.

It was nice to see Barta comment on McCaffery's kids, they truly are the ones who had no decision in this and had to have their worlds changed. Hopefully and I'm sure it will work out for them.

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"McCaffery got Siena to its peak"

Two stories in today's paper.

Here's a great quote from former Siena guard and current Miami Heat guard Kenny Hasbrouck in today's story about Fran McCaffery, who is headed to Iowa.

“In my opinion, he was the one who got the program to its peak through great coaching and great scouting,” former Siena star Kenny Hasbrouck said. “He put together a team that played together and would be a family on and off the court. Honestly, if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have the confidence I have in myself to always prevail and I’m sure the other guys feel the same way.”

McCaffery heads to Iowa

Who's next at Siena??

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

McCaffery headed to Iowa

Siena coach Fran McCaffery is no longer Siena's coach.

McCaffery, who has been making the rounds of schools looking for a new coach, has reportedley taken the job vacated by Todd Lickliter at Iowa.

The Hawkeyes finished 4-14 in Big Ten play this season and 10-22 overall.

Iowa has had three straight losing seasons and the last time the Hawkeyes reached the NCAA Tournament was 2006.

While born in Philadelphia and a northeastern guy for most of his life, McCaffery does have ties to the midwest, as he was a former assistant coach at Notre Dame under Digger Phelps.

McCaffery led the Saints to three consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference titles and two NCAA Tournament victories, doubling the program's total to four.

He finishes at Siena 112-51 in five seasons in Loudonville. He has career record of 250-178 in 14 seasons at Siena, UNC-Greensboro and Lehigh. McCaffery has taken all three schools he's coached to the NCAA Tournament.

A formal introduction is expected to be made in Iowa City on Monday.

The coaching search now begins for Siena.

If you were Siena Athletic Director John D'Argenio, who would you be looking to hire?

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

McCaffery interviews at St. John's

It's been a busy offseason (eight days) for Siena coach Fran McCaffery.

After meeting with Seton Hall brass earlier in the week, the New York Post and New York Times are both reporting that McCaffery is interviewing for the St. John's opening today.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Hasbrouck gets second 10-day deal

Former Siena College star Kenny Hasbrouck has signed his second 10-day contract with the Miami Heat.

Hasbrouck still hasn't suited up for a game, but is the first former Siena player to appear on a NBA roster.

The Heat play tonight at Milwaukee.

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Broadus files case against BU

Binghamton coach Kevin Broadus has filed a racial discrimination suit against the University according to the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin.

Here's a quote from his lawyer.

“No coach in America is placed on leave because of a secondary violation,” said Broadus' attorney Don Jackson with The Sports Group in Montgomery, Alabama. “There is the perception out there right now that he did something wrong of a major nature.”

Broadus, who was named the 2009 America East Coach of the Year, has been on paid suspension since the entire Binghamton program, that he built, went up in flames before the start of this season.

Here's the link.

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Has Siena peaked?

While the question above seems pretty straight forward, I want to know what you think.

If Fran McCaffery leaves or doesn't leave, do the losses of Alex Franklin, Ronald Moore and Edwin Ubiles set this team back a couple of seasons?

Or do the Saints, helped by the newcomers and two remaining starters continue to dominate the MAAC and keep themselves on the national level for years to come?

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hewitt turns down St. John's

According to multiple sources, including the New York Post and ESPN, former Siena coach Paul Hewitt has turned down St. John's offer to become their head coach and will remain in Atlanta at Georgia Tech.

St. John's is apparently now looking at Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg or Cornell coach Steve Donahue.

Expect cuurent Siena coach Fran McCaffery's name to get brought up as well.

McCaffery had come forward to say that rumors about the possibility he would be meeting with Georgia Tech to be just that, rumors.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

McCaffery meets with Seton Hall

Multiple sources are saying that Fran McCaffery was in New Jersey on Tuesday to meet with the Seton Hall brass.

The longer this kind of stuff goes on, the worse it is for Siena in terms of keep McCaffery as their head coach.

Fran has always been a pretty straight shooter and if he thought Seton Hall wasn't an option, he wouldn't have met with them.

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Report: Seton Hall beyond McCaffery

The New York Post is reporting that Seton Hall has spoken with Siena coach Fran McCaffery and has moved forward looking at Robert Morris' Mike Rice.

The Post reports that Seton Hall is looking for a coach at $500-550,000 per year - far below most the contracts most Big East schools currently have with their coaches.

Here part of the story from the Post.

Shopping an approximate dollar figure -- $500-550,000 per year -- that is below Big East standards, Seton Hall personnel, a source said, have already spoken to Siena's Fran McCaffery and Richmond's Chris Mooney.

It is believed, though, that McCaffery, whose Saints lost in the first round to Purdue, is looking for a more lucrative contract elsewhere.

McCaffery will make nearly that much over the remainder of his contract at Siena.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Seton Hall pursuing McCaffery??

It wasn't a matter of if, but when and today The Bergen Record is reporting that Siena coach Fran McCaffery is at the top of Seton Hall's wish list.

McCaffery is coming off of three consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament with the Saints.

Seton Hall just fired former MAAC coach Bobby Gonzalez.

Here's the link.

What's this all mean?

Nothing really until something is offered or talks actually begin.

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday's coverage

SPOKANE, Wash. - Siena's season came to an end on Friday against Purdue.

Here are some stories from today's print edition.

One & done for Siena

End of line for Siena's sensational seniors

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Postgame reaction

Purdue 72, Siena 64

SPOKANE, Wash. - It was a big early second-half run that undid the Saints on this night.

Purdue started the second half on a 20-3 run to take a commanding 14-point lead.

Siena on 12-0 run to cut lead to three, 66-63, but couldn't get any closer.

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Siena 32, Purdue 29 (half)

SPOKANE, Wash. - It's been a pretty good first half.

Both teams started slow from the field, but things have picked up.

The Saints got things going as they mustered a 10-2 run to take a 3-point lead midway through the first 20 minutes.

From there, it's been pretty much back and forth.

The largest lead for either team was five, when the Boilermakers led 15-10.

Edwin Ubiles has 11 points to lead all scorers and Alex Franklin added 10.

It seems as if Franklin is getting to the basket whenever he wants to, although the referees were letting the teams play early and there were only about 10 fouls in the entire first half.

E'Twaun Moore leads Purdue with 10 points.

Clarence Jackson had not played for Siena.

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Downey in starting lineup

SPOKANE, Wash. - Kyle Downey is in the starting lineup for Siena, replacing Clarence Jackson.

Downey is making his second start of the year. He started in place of Edwin Ubiles against Niagara on Jan. 9.

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Jackson warming up

SPOKANE, Wash. - Siena has taken the floor and Clarence Jackson is warming up with his teammates.

That could be a good sign for Saints fans.

Siena and Purdue tip off in about 50 minutes.

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Gameday coverage

SPOKANE, Wash. - Hello all.

It's gameday here in Spokane.

The game is about an hour away, which means it almost mid-afternoon back home.

Here are the stories from today's paper if you haven't seen them.

Time for tip-off

Jackson plays waiting game

Purdue's Kramer sticks like glue


Siena fans ready to support team today

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The Big MAC

Late night comedian Jimmy Fallon has gotten behind Siena, picking them to go all the way.

This video shows a song to Siena coach Fran McCaffery.

It's hilarous

If this clip doesn't work, just go to hulu or google search Jimmy Fallon and Siena.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Jackson testing out his ankle

Clarence Jackson update

Touch down in Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. - After a long day of travel that included stops in Charlotte and Denver, I finally arrived here in Spokane, about 11 hours after I left Albany.

I bumped into Ryan Rossiter's parents, Steve and Patti in the airport in Denver, so there will be at least some Siena presence here.

I guess it would be more news if Ryan's parents weren't here, since they are everywhere that the Saints go.

I will be uploading videos the next few days and adding things to the blog, so make sure to check back.

Siena's practice is at noon local time (3 p.m. for you back home) and I'll have tons of stuff up here after that.

Purdue practices at 1:30 p.m. local time.

Here are the stories from Thursday's paper.

Siena no longer a March mystery

Saints also take on jet lag

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wednesday's Siena coverage

Two stories on Siena and their trip to the 2010 NCAA Tournament in today's paper.

The links are below.

'Team Rebound Supreme' tough on the opposition

Purdue a dangerous team

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Jackson off crutches

LOUDONVILLE - Siena junior guard Clarence Jackson walked into the Siena locker room under his own power on Tuesday, seemingly miles from where he was Sunday during the NCAA Tournament Selection Show.

"About the same," Siena coach Fran McCaffery said in updating Jackson's status. "He's not on crutches, but I don't know about his ability to explode yet. He's not going to do anything today."

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Hasbrouck joins Heat

From the Associated Press.....

MIAMI (AP) - Kenny Hasbrouck impressed the Miami Heat last summer. The team didn’t forget.

Hasbrouck signed a 10-day contract Tuesday with the Heat, getting called up from the NBA Development League six months after nearly landing a spot on Miami’s training-camp roster. A broken rib derailed those plans, but the Heat never lost track of the former Siena guard, either.

"I’m going to work out a lot and hopefully I can just fit in," said the 6-foot-3 Hasbrouck, a shooting guard at Siena and a point guard with the Heat last summer. "I’m really just trying to focus on just being a good teammate, doing whatever they ask me to do and try my hardest to get a spot on the team."

Hasbrouck got the call from the Heat on Sunday night, traveled to South Florida on Monday, and the deal got done shortly after the team’s shootaround practice Tuesday morning.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Hasbrouck close with Heat

According to reports from the Associated Press, former Siena star Kenny Hasbrouck is close to signing on with the Miami Heat.

"It’s great for him especially and great for our program," said senior Edwin Ubiles.

The rest of the team felt pretty much the same way as did coach Fran McCaffery.

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Jackson "still questionable"

LOUDONVILLE - Siena coach Fran McCaffery said that junior guard Clarence Jackson is questionable for this week's NCAA Tournament games, after rolling his left ankle during Saturday's practice.

"He's getting a little better," McCaffery said Monday before the team's practice session. "Still questionable, maybe borderline doubtful, but we're holding out hope."

McCaffery said that sophomore Kyle Downey, who broke his foot back in January, but returned for the MAAC Tournament, would start if Jackson can't go.

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

NCAA Tournament times

Siena will play Purdue at 2:30 p.m. on Friday from Spokane Arena. Tim Brando and Mike Giminski have the call.

Brando and Giminski called Siena's games two years ago in Tampa, Fla.

The rest of the tournament's schedule is below.

Tuesday, March 16
At UD Arena
Dayton, Ohio
Arkansas-Pine Bluff (17-15) vs. Winthrop (19-13), 7:30 p.m.

First Round
Thursday, March 18
At New Orleans Arena
New Orleans
Kentucky (32-2) vs. ETSU (20-14), 7:15 p.m.
Texas (24-9) vs. Wake Forest (19-10), 30 minutes following
At HP Pavilion
San Jose, Calif.
Marquette (22-11) vs. Washington (24-9), 7:20 p.m.
New Mexico (29-4) vs. Montana (22-9), 30 minutes following
Friday, March 19
At HSBC Arena
Buffalo, N.Y.
West Virginia (27-6) vs. Morgan State (27-9), 12:15 p.m.
Clemson (21-10) vs. Missouri (22-10), 30 minutes following
At Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
Jacksonville, Fla.
Temple (29-5) vs. Cornell (27-4), 12:30 p.m.
Wisconsin (23-8) vs. Wofford (26-8), 30 minutes following

First Round
Thursday, March 18
At Dunkin’ Donuts Center
Providence, R.I.
Villanova (24-7) vs. Robert Morris (23-11), 12:30 p.m.
Richmond (26-8) vs. Saint Mary’s, Calif. (26-5), 30 minutes following
At New Orleans Arena
New Orleans
Notre Dame (23-11) vs. Old Dominion (26-8), 12:25 p.m.
Baylor (25-7) vs. Sam Houston State (25-7), 30 minutes following
Friday, March 19
At Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
Jacksonville, Fla.
Duke (29-5) vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff-Winthrop winner, 7:25 p.m.
California (23-10) vs. Louisville (20-12), 30 minutes following
At Spokane Arena
Spokane, Wash.
Purdue (27-5) vs. SIENA (27-6), 2:30 p.m.
Texas A&M (23-9) vs. Utah State (27-7), 30 minutes following

First Round
Thursday, March 18
At Dunkin’ Donuts Center
Providence, R.I.
Georgetown (23-10) vs. Ohio (21-14), 7:25 p.m.
Tennessee (25-8) vs. San Diego State (25-8), 30 minutes following
At The Ford Center
Oklahoma City
UNLV (25-8) vs. Northern Iowa (28-4), 7:10 p.m.
Kansas (32-2) vs. Lehigh (22-10), 30 minutes following
Friday, March 19
At The Bradley Center
Oklahoma State (22-10) vs. Georgia Tech (22-12), 7:15 p.m.
Ohio State (27-7) vs. UC Santa Barbara (20-9), 30 minutes following
At Spokane Arena
Spokane, Wash.
Michigan State (24-8) vs. New Mexico State (22-11), 7:20 p.m.
Maryland (23-8) vs. Houston (19-15), 30 minutes following

First Round
Thursday, March 18
At The Ford Center
Oklahoma City
BYU (29-5) vs. Florida (21-12), 12:20 p.m.
Kansas State (26-7) vs. North Texas (24-8), 30 minutes following
At HP Pavilion
San Jose, Calif.
Vanderbilt (24-8) vs. Murray State (30-4), 2:30 p.m.
Butler (28-4) vs. UTEP (26-6)), 30 minutes following
Friday, March 19
At HSBC Arena
Buffalo, N.Y.
Gonzaga (26-6) vs. Florida State (22-9), 7:10 p.m.
Syracuse (28-4) vs. Vermont (25-9), 30 minutes following
At The Bradley Center
Xavier (24-8) vs. Minnesota (21-13), 12:25 p.m.
Pittsburgh (24-8) vs. Oakland, Mich. (26-8), 30 minutes following

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Jackson injures left ankle

LOUDONVILLE — One day before the NCAA Tournament bracket was released, Siena is hoping their bracket isn’t busted.

As the players were being introduced to the crowd on Selection Sunday, junior guard Clarence Jackson came out with crutches under each arm.

Jackson rolled his left ankle during practice on Saturday and said he couldn’t put any pressure on it.

“I’m definitely trying to get back out there,” said Jackson, after the Saints found out they would be playing Purdue on Friday in the first round. “This is a moment you don’t want to miss.”

Jackson started all 33 games and averaged 13.6 points per game for the Siena this season.

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Saints headed to Spokane

LOUDONVILLE - The Siena men’s basketball team will face Purdue in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

The Saints (27-6) were selected a No. 13 seed and are in the South Region where they will face the Boilermakers (27-5) on Friday in Spokane, Wash.

Siena will be making their third consecutive tournament appearance and sixth in school history.

The Saints earned the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s automatic bid after knocking off Fairfield 72-65 in overtime last Monday.

Siena’s 27 wins tie for the most in program history, matching both the 1949-50 team and last year’s squad.

Purdue enters the tournament after finishing tied for first in the Big Ten with a 14-4 conference record.

Siena and Purdue are meeting for the first time.

The Saints are 2-4 all-time against Big Ten opponents, but did beat Ohio State last season in the NCAA Tournament.

The winner of Friday’s matchup will play against the winner of No. 5 Texas A&M and No. 12 Utah State on Sunday.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Staying close to home

While it looks like more and more of the NCAA Tournament prognosticators are shipping Siena out west to either San Jose or Spokane.

The Saints players seemingly would prefer to stay closer to home (or go somewhere warm).

"I think I had rather be close to home, Providence (R.I) or Buffalo," said senior Edwin Ubiles before Saturday's practice. "That way we'd be able to get more fans. I would like to stay closer to home this time and hopefully not get sent out west."

Look for more on what seed Siena should get in Sunday's edition of The Record and look for full Selection Sunday coverage right here.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

McCaffery on St. John's radar

The New York Post is saying that current St. John's coach Norm Roberts' time is numbered.

The Post is saying that Siena coach Fran McCaffery is on a short list of possible replacements.

McCaffery has seven years left on his contract in Loudonville that runs through the 2006-17 season.

The Saints played the Red Storm this season at The Palestra, with St. John's winning 77-68 on Nov. 27.

Fellow MAAC coach, Iona's Kevin Willard, who won the conference's coach of the year, is also on the list.

Here's what the Post said.

Highly placed sources said that Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg, a Long Island native with ties to St. John’s, tops their list of realistic candidates. Greenberg is a two-time ACC Coach of the Year.

Several sources at St. John’s said the university was prepared to offer a long-term (six years), lucrative ($1.5 million annually) deal to the right candidate.

Hofstra coach Tom Pecora, who is highly respected by high school and AAU coaches in the metropolitan area, also is on the Red Storm’s wish list as is Siena coach Fran McCaffery, Iona coach Kevin Willard and Harvard coach Tommy Amaker, the former Seton Hall and Michigan coach.

Sources told The Post that former St. John’s and Knicks star Mark Jackson has reached out through third parties to gauge if there is interest on the university’s behalf. Although he has name recognition, he has no head-coaching experience.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

UAlbany in 2010 Legends Classic

The University at Albany men's basketball team will compete with teams like Syracuse, Michigan and Georgia Tech in the 2010 Legends Classic, as announced Wednesday by The Gazelle Group.

After regional round games and sub-regionals at Detroit and William & Mary, the classic culminates with the Championship Round in Atlantic City, N.J. on Nov. 26-27.

Other teams participating in the 2010 Legends Classic are UAlbany, Bowling Green, Detroit, Gardner-Webb, Mercer, Niagara, Western Carolina, and William & Mary.

Matchups for the Championship Rounds, as well as the entire bracket for the 2010 Legends Classic, will be announced at a later date.

“We are excited about the opportunity to play in the Legends Classic,” UAlbany coach Will Brown said. “I like the format where you play three games in three days. It simulates a conference tournament atmosphere where you have a quick turnaround in terms of preparation. Our program enjoyed hosting the 2K Sports Classic (subregional) this year and look forward to the Legends.”

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Saints host Selection Show party

Like last year, Siena will hold an NCAA Tournament Selection Show Party on Sunday from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Alumni Recreation Center on the school's campus in Loudonville.

The even is open to the general public and members of the Siena community.

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Hasbrouck on Versus

Versus will air the NBA Development League game on Saturday, March, 13 at 11 p.m. between the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and the Tulsa 66ers.

Former Siena star Kenny Hasbrouck is playing with the Valley Vipers, an affiliate of the Houston Rockets.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Three-Peat Complete

Cutting Down the Nets

Dancing Shoes are on

Moore MAAC Championships

Monday, March 8, 2010

Siena three-peat

ALBANY - The Siena players get carried off the court, MAAC Champions for the third straight time.

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Siena 60, Fairfield 60 (end of reg)

ALBANY - This game is headed into overtime.

Colin Nickerson missed a jumper from the corner, which would have given Fairfield the victory.

Siena rallied from down six with 10 minutes to go and actually had a two-point lead after Ronald Moore hit a 3-pointer with 2:05 remaining.

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Fairfield 38, Siena 29 (half)

ALBANY - Like much of their MAAC Tournament, Siena has come out a step slow and fallen behind.

They've overcome two second-half deficits so far, now they need a third.

Fairfield led by as many as 15 with five minutes to go.

The Saints have done a good job of not letting Anthony Johnson hurt them. He was in foul trouble for some of the first half. Meanwhile, Derek Needham has 11 points.

Edwin Ubiles has 12 to lead Siena, but no one has really asserted themselves.

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Madness is upon us

ALBANY - We're just about to tip off and both teams are just 40 minutes from a trip into March Madness.

This could be the last game in Albany for the Big 3, Edwin Ubiles, Ronald Moore and Alex Franklin.

Weird thought.

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Playing through pain

Siena junior Clarence Jackson talks about the bruise near his left knee.

Fairfield coach Ed Cooley said after the Stags shootaround, that stopping Jackson is one huge key, in addition to neutralizing the Saints on the glass.

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Ubiles staying positive

Patterson resigns at UAlbany

ALBANY - No not that one.

University at Albany women's basketball coach Trina Patterson has resigned her post, announced Monday.

Patterson recently finished her eighth season at the helm of the Great Danes, compiling an 82-153 record during her tenure and a 45-87 in America East Conference play.

Patterson just ended her fifth consecutive losing season, falling in the America East quarterfinal against Vermont.

Prior to her arrival, Patterson served as the head basketball coach at the College of William & Mary for eight years.

Director of Athletics Lee McElroy said a national search will be conducted for a new coach.

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Eyeing a title

Siena advances to MAAC Final

ALBANY - The Saints go marching in to their seventh MAAC Championship game on the strength of Ronald Moore, Ryan Rossiter and a huge 16-0 run in the second half.

Ryan Thompson finishes his career with the Broncs and played very well. It just wasn't enough to pull off the victory.

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RIder 30, Siena 28 (half)

ALBANY - This is shaping up to be a very good finish in the MAAC semifinal between Siena and Rider.

Ryan Thompson scored the Broncs first 12 points and made his first four shots, while the rest of the Rider team started the game 0-for-8 from the field.

Thompson has 15 points.

Ronald Moore hit a couple of shots, when Rider basically dared him to and he finished the first half with nine points.

Edwin Ubiles didn't play much as he coach Fran McCaffery didn't seem to pleased with his hustle after a loose ball.

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Marist wins fifth straight title

ALBANY - The Marist women's team has cut the nets down here in downtown Albany, taking home their fifth straight MAAC Tournament title by defeating Fairfield 66-49.

Most Outstanding Player Rachele Fitz finished with 15 points and four rebounds.

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fairfield joins semis

ALBANY - The Fairfield Stags have advanced into the semifinals, defeating Canisius 67-57.

Iona and Niagara just tipped off for the final spot in the final four.

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Siena 78, Manhattan 61

ALBANY - Well it certainly wasn't easy, but Siena advances into the semifinals for a Sunday date with Rider.

The Saints, who won their 36th straight home game, finally took the lead for good, 50-49, with 13:28 to go.

Siena finished the game on a 71-43 run, after trailing 16-4, seven minutes into the game.

Alex Franklin finished with a game-high 23 points for the Saints, while Rico Pickett scored 18 for the Jaspers.

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Manhattan 40, Siena 36 (half)

ALBANY - If Siena was going to come out of the gates charging, they haven't showed up yet because Manhattan took it to the two-time defending champs early in the first half.

The Jaspers led 16-4 after the first seven minutes of action as the Saints had shot 1-for-12 from the field.

Siena got back in the game with an 11-0 run, but Manhattan hasn't folded and they've actually countered when the Saints threw a punch their way.

The Jaspers are 6-for-11 from 3-point land.

Rico Pickett has scored 10 points and has not made any friends on the Saints bench as he has had words for them on a couple of occasions, while heading back up the floor after baskets.

Alex Franklin lead all scorers with 17 points.

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Rider first into men's semis

ALBANY - While Saint Peter's came on strong in the second half, Rider hung on to win the New Jersey section of the MAAC bracket, 69-57 and advance to Sunday's semifinal.

Ryan Thompson led the way for the Broncs with 22 points, while Ryan Bacon scored a game-high 24 for the Peacocks.

Rider will meet the winner of the Siena/Manhattan game tomorrow at 4 p.m. on MSG.

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Rider 32, Saint Peter's 17 (half)

ALBANY - This looks like the Rider team we expected to see all of this season.

The Broncs thoroughly dominated the first half at both ends of the court.

Saint Peter's had a terrible time early, scoring just three points in the first 10 minutes, when they shot 1-for-11 from the field.

The Peacocks have already committed 16 turnovers, almost as many as point scored.

The game was slightly delayed after a fan fell down on the sideline and had to be taken out of the arena on a stretcher.

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UAlbany falls to Stony Brook

The University at Albany men's basketball team had their season ended on Saturday afternoon, losing 68-59 to Stony Brook in the America East quarterfinals.

Mike Black led the way for UAlbany with 17 points, Logan Aronhalt chipped in 16 points and Will Harris added 15 for the Great Danes, who finish the season 7-25.

Chris Martin led four Seawolves (22-8) in double figures with 15 points.

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Marist into 7th straight title game

ALBANY - Marist pulled away after a tough start from Niagara.

Three-time MAAC Player of the Year Rachele Fitz scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Red Foxes (25-7).

Jaclyn Konieczka scored a team-high 14 points for the Purple Eagles (13-18).

Marist, which has won four straight MAAC Tournament titles and five of the past six, and Fairfield split the season series, so it should be a great championship game tomorrow at 12 p.m.

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Fairfield women to title game

ALBANY - We're off and running on Saturday here in downtown Albany.

Stephanie Geehan scored a team-high 16 points as the Fairfield Stags advanced to their first championship game since 2001, when they were beaten by Siena, by holding off Iona 61-57.

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Siena vs. ??? (Manhattan)

ALBANY - We finally know who the Siena men's basketball team will be playing Saturday in the quarterfinals.

Manhattan got a game-high 33 points from Rico Pickett to advance past Loyola (Md.) 94-79 on Friday night.

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Yard withdraws from Siena

ALBANY - Freshman guard Denzel Yard has withdrawn from Siena College according to an email from the athletics department at the college.

Yard has been suspended for academic reasons, and last played Dec. 12 at Northern Iowa.

“I regret that things didn’t work out with Denzel,” said Siena coach Fran McCaffery. “We wish him the best of luck in the future.”

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Black earns All-Rookie honors

University at Albany freshman Mike Black has been named to the 2009-10 America East All-Rookie team.

Black averaged 6.8 points, 2.4 assists and 1.6 rebounds per game and started 21 of the Great Danes' 30 games.

Black joins five other UAlbany players, who have earned such an honor. Those are Jamar Wilson (2003), Levi Levine (2003), Jon Iati (2004), Brent Wilson (2005) and Black's current teammate Tim Ambrose (2008).

Sophomore Billy Allen was named to the conference's all-academic team.

The full award list is below.

2009-10 America East All-Conference teams

First Team
Muhammad El-Amin, Stony Brook
Marqus Blakely, Vermont
John Holland, Boston University
Gerald McLemore, Maine
Greer Wright, Binghamton

Second Team
Alvin Abreu, New Hampshire
Tommy Brenton, Stony Brook
Bryan Dougher, Stony Brook
Corey Lowe, Boston University
Joe Zeglinski, Hartford

Third Team
Evan Fjeld, Vermont
Chauncey Gilliam, UMBC
Maurice Joseph, Vermont
Sean McNally, Maine
Jake O'Brien, Boston University

Mike Black, UAlbany
Murphy Burnatowski, Maine
Freg Myrick, New Hampshire
Adrian Satchell, UMBC
Dylan Talley, Binghamton

Junior Bernal, Maine
Marqus Blakely, Vermont
Tommy Brenton, Stony Brook
Carlos Strong, Boston University
Garvey Young, Vermont

Kevin Roberson Player of the Year: Muhammad El-Amin, Stony Brook
Defensive Player of the Year: Marqus Blakely, Vermont
Rookie of the Year: Dylan Talley, Binghamton
Coach of the Year: Steve Pikiell, Stony Brook

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Siena women bow out

Siena women's basketball coach Gina Castelli and senior Merrick Volpe following the Saints 59-43 loss in the MAAC quarterfinals to Iona.

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Fairfield 70, Loyola 56

ALBANY - All-MAAC First Team selection Stephanie Geehan scored 22 points as the Stags advanced into the semifinals.

The Stags have a Saturday 9:30 a.m. date with No. 2 seed Iona.

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Iona 59, Siena 43

ALBANY - Siena had a slow second half and although Serena Moore stepped up, the Saints fell in the quarterfinal round.

Thazina Cook led all scorers with 19 for the Gaels, who advance to the semifinal round for the fifth straight year.

Moore had 14 to lead the Saints and Merrick Volpe scored 12 in her final collegiate game.

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Iona 25, Siena 19 (half)

ALBANY - There's basketball being played bright and early on this Friday morning.

Siena has hung tough here with the No. 2 seed, although I guess that should be expected since these two teams split the two regular season meetings.

The Saints, who are led by Merrick Volpe's six points, have already given up as many points as they did yesterday.

Thazina Cook and Kristina Ford have led the way for Iona, combining for 21 of the Gales' 25 points.

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Siena building a power

Siena coach Fran McCaffery talking about what it means to have back-to-back MAAC Players of the Year in Kenny Hasbrouck and Alex Franklin.

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Franklin wins Player of the Year

ALBANY - Siena senior Alex Franklin becomes the second straight and fourth player in school history to win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Year award.

Franklin joins Marc Brown (1990-91) and Doremus Bennerman (1993-94) along with former teammate Kenny Hasbrouck (2008-09) to win the award.

Here are the other postseason award winners


Rookie of the Year - Derek Needham, Fairfield
Sixth Man of the Year - Mike Evanovich, Fairfield
Defensive Player of the Year - Anthony Johnson, Fairfield
Coach of the Year - Kevin Williard, Iona
Player of the Year - Alex Franklin, Siena

Rookie of the Year - Kayla Stroman, Niagara
Sixth Man of the Year - Ali Morris, Niagara
Defensive Player of the Year - Stephanie Geehan, Fairfield
Coach of the Year - Kendra Faustin, Niagara
Player of the Year - Rachele Fitz, Marist

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Brown: Black best freshman in AE

ALBANY - University at Albany coach Will Brown said Wednesday that he thinks freshman point guard Mike Black is the best rookie in the America East Conference.

"In my mind, he is," Brown said. "I just think that he is the full-time point guard. He's our guy. Every time he steps on the floor, he's the smallest guy on the floor. I think he's just gotten better and better and better."

Black supplanted senior Mike Johnson at the point guard position and has started 21 games, while averaging 6.8 points per game.

The other choices seem to be Binghamton's Dylan Talley and Maine's Murphy Burnatowski.

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Canisius 65, Saint Peter's 57

ALBANY - Canisius takes down Saint Peter's in the second play-in game today in downtown Albany.

The No. 9 seed Golden Griffins will take on top-seeded Marist Friday at 1:30 p.m.

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Tough defense

Siena coach Gina Castelli talks about her team limiting Rider to a MAAC Tournament-record low 25 points in their play-in victory on Thursday.

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Siena 45, Rider 25

ALBANY - Siena advances into the quarterfinals and a 9:30 a.m. matchup with Iona on Friday.

The Broncs set a MAAC Tournament record for fewest points in a game.

The 70 combined points also sets MAAC record for lowest points in a game as far as I can find.

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Siena 18, Rider 11 (half)

ALBANY - That's really the score.

The Siena women's team has a 7-point halftime lead in the first game of the 2010 MAAC Tournament.

Serena Moore's seven poinst lead the Saints, while Amanda Sepulveda has five to lead the Broncs.

If you're wondering the record for least points in a tournament or regular season game is 27 by Loyola in last year's quarterfinal round against Marist.

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Bopp out for Rider

ALBANY - The Siena women's basketball team may be catching a break before the MAAC Tournament even begins.

Apparently, Rider freshman Caitlin Bopp, who averages 8.4 points and 9.6 rebounds per game, suffered a concussion Wednesday and won't play.

The Saints have beaten the Broncs twice this season, but this could make things even a bit easier.

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Complete MAAC Tourney Coverage

ALBANY - The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament is about 30 minutes from tipping off.

The Siena women's team just left the floor from warming up.

I'll be updating this blog throughout the tournament with everything I can get a hold of.

Tonight is the awards banquet and we'll have coverage of that.

Also, check out my colleague at The Trentonian, Ben Doody's blog.

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MAAC Tournament: Previews

Today marks the beginning of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament in downtown Albany.

Here are some previews from today's paper.

The Siena women kick the tournament off today at noon against Rider.

Lady Saints hope to gain momentum

The men's team is clearly the team to beat, having won two consecutive tournament titles and winning games in the NCAA Tournament each of the past two years.

Siena senior Edwin Ubiles will be playing for a little more this weekend.

Saints the team to beat

This is at the bottom of the article, but I've posted it here because it's a men's tournament primer.

Player to Watch (not wearing a Siena jersey) — Derek Needham, Fairfield

Needham has burst onto the scene in a big way, earning second team All-MAAC honors. The freshman from Illinois, who is a shoe-in for the Rookie of the Year award, is not only handling the ball for the league’s No. 2 seed, he leads the team in scoring, assists and steals.

Coach to Watch (other than Jimmy Patsos) — Ed Cooley, Fairfield

While watching Loyola (Md.)’s coach itself is worth the price of admission, Cooley is just as demonstrative and amusing working the sidelines.

Best player you probably won’t see — Rico Pickett, Manhattan

Pickett averaged 17.1 points per game in the regular season, tops in the MAAC. The Jaspers play in the first game on Friday and if they lose, Pickett’s stay in Albany may be over before it begins.

Most exciting team — Siena

It goes almost without saying. The Saints are the No. 1 seed, the clear-cut favorite and have won 35 consecutive games on their home floor, including the past two MAAC Tournament titles. Siena is also the only team in the country with four players averaging 14 or more points per game.

Quarterfinal matchup to watch — Niagara vs. Iona

If you had told me this game, between a team that has won 12 of their past 15 games like the Gaels and a team with as much veteran experience as the Purple Eagles would be a quarterfinal matchup, I’d have told you, you were crazy. Iona coach Kevin Willard said he wasn’t happy to see Niagara, despite the fact that his team beat them twice during the regular season. On what should be an incredible Saturday in downtown Albany, this matchup might just be the one to watch. With an approximated tip-off of 10 p.m. — known as the West Coast game in MAAC circles, you wonder how many people will be awake to see it.

Sleeper — Saint Peter’s

Under fourth-year coach John Dunne, the Peacocks won as many conference games this year (11) as they did total games in 2008-09. Saint Peter’s finally has a veteran team and they certainly could be dangerous. They’re biggest problem is that Siena is lurking on the same side of the bracket.

Upset Special — Niagara to finals

The Purple Eagles have had a tough season. Last year, they went to the MAAC Championship game, losing to Siena. They have explosive offensive players in Bilal Benn and Tyrone Lewis and a veteran coach in Joe Mihalich — all the ingredients necessary to make a deep run in the tournament.

If not Siena then who? — Niagara

The Purple Eagles are the only MAAC team to beat Siena this season. They were in the championship game last year and four of their main players are seniors. After winning the tournament three years ago, this is their final run.

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Monday, March 1, 2010

Binghamton out of AE Tourney

According to numerous speculated reports, the Binghamton University basketball team will not participate in the 2010 America East Tournament.

The Press & Sun Bulletin is reporting the team might not play and the Burlington Free Press is also speculating.

The America East did not reveal a bracket after Sunday's regular season games had ended and still has released no official bracket.

Apparently Binghamton will slide out of the No. 5 spot and every other team will move up, eliminating a play-in game between UAlbany and UMBC.

That would mean the Great Danes would now play Stony Brook in the quarterfinals at 12 p.m. on Saturday.

Other matchups will be

No 2. Vermont vs. No. 8 UMBC, 6 p.m.
No. 3 Maine vs. No. 7 New Hampshire, 8 p.m.
No. 4 Boston University vs. No. 6 Hartford, 2 p.m.

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Men's All-MAAC teams

LOUDONVILLE - Siena becomes the first team since 1993-94 to put three players on the All-MAAC First Team.

Canisius put Craig Wise, Binky Johnson and Michael Meeks on the first team.

It looks like they are the first team in MAAC history to put their entire starting five on the three All-MAAC teams.

Men's All-MAAC Teams

1st Team
Anthony Johnson, Fairfield
Ryan Thompson, Rider
Ronald Moore, Siena
Ryan Rossiter, Siena
Alex Franklin, Siena

2nd Team
Scott Machado, Iona
Derek Needham, Fairfield
Bilal Benn, Niagara
Tyrone Lewis, Niagara
Edwin Ubiles, Siena

3rd Team
Frank Turner, Canisius
Rico Pickett, Manhattan
Wesley Jenkins, Saint Peter's
Nick Leon, Saint Peter's
Clarence Jackson, Siena

Derek Needham, Fairfield
Kyle Smyth, Iona
Robert Olson, Loyola (Md.)
Candon Rusin, Marist
Daruis Conley, Saint Peter's

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