Friday, November 19, 2010

Saints in search of identity and first win

LOUDONVILLE - It's been a little different feeling from the Siena camp this year.

Mostly it's been the feeling that Siena isn't going to win every time they step on the floor like over the past few seasons.

Still, I think this Saints (0-2) bunch has taken big steps over the first two games of the season and come MAAC play, the three-time defending champions will still be the team to beat.

Say it or not, Saturday's game against Northeastern (2-0) is hardly a must-win, but I'd say it's pretty darn close.

With all the questions surrounding this team, not picking up a win Saturday and possibly not against nationally ranked Butler, would put this team at 0-4, heading into their MAAC opener against Rider on Nov. 26.

That said, the Saints still seem confident.

"We just have to learn from our mistakes the last two games and try to correct them," said senior captain Ryan Rossiter, before Thursday's practice.

The feeling from the team is that they played better from first game to second game, but not winning is still not winning.

"I think we played a little bit better," Rossiter said. "We rebounded a bit better, but at the end of the day, I think we should have beaten that team and we're not proud of ourselves that we lost by x number of points. We wanted to win and we expected to win."

Rossiter had a big game against Vermont in the opener (27 pts. & 10 reb.) and fellow senior Clarence Jackson had a huge game against Minnesota (career-high 29 pts.), but the two haven't both played well on the same night.

"We have to have both of those guys Saturday, playing well against Northeastern," Siena coach Mitch Buonaguro said.

The Saints are still trying to piece things together early in this 2010-11 season and every player's contribution counts.

"The little things add up," Rossiter said. "The sooner we realize that, the better off we'll be."

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