Thursday, December 2, 2010

Breakdown - Siena vs. UAlbany, 2010

I decided to take a look at the matchups that will occur when Siena faces the University at Albany on Saturday night.

Rakeem Brookins vs. Mike Black This might be the most exciting matchup between two newer players to the rivalry, who are among the most athletic and creative with the ball. If Black (ankle) was 100 percent, this would be an even better matchup. Brookins is averaging 8.7 points per game and has burst onto the scene for the Saints. Black came on last year for the Great Danes and this season, the team has played well with him (he missed four games with the ankle injury). UAlbany is 2-2 with him in the lineup, but could have won the season-opener against Cornell if he hadn't misses the game's final 25 minutes. Brookins may end up being the better player, but he still has much to learn about playing point guard at the collegiate level. Right no,w Black is more essential for UAlbany's success and the more talented player.
Edge: Black

Clarence Jackson vs. Tim Ambrose
This is another terrific matchup between two players who will have scored 1,000 points in their college careers (Jackson is just 54 points shy of the mark). Ambrose has terrific athletic ability, which is well documented, but he also has had trouble making smart decisions over his career. Ambrose also is about as athletic as you can get, as his nearly 500 career rebounds shows. Jackson has the ability and frame to get to the basket and the shooter's touch to let it fly from anywhere on the court. The only problem with Clarence is he's too inconsistent and when he's off his game, you can tell. Ambrose is a terrific talent, but I'd take Jackson in this matchup
Edge: Jackson

Owen Wignot vs. Logan Aronhalt
This is a matchup that wouldn't have drawn much attention before this season. Aronhalt is finally healthy after dealing with a foot injury and it shows as he's up to 19.5 points per game and 25 points per game in their three wins. UAlbany coach Will Brown has said that he thinks Aronhalt can be an all-league type of player and he's certainly showed it the past few games. Aronhalt can shoot the ball and take into the basket. Wignot is a good player, who has shown flashes of being a real force for the Saints. He's got the ability to do some great things, a dunk against Georgia Tech comes to mind. Wignot is averaging 8.2 points and 3.3 rebounds per game and is still pretty much under most teams radars. He's also shooting 50 percent from the floor and 61 percent from beyond the arc. While I like Wignot, I have to go with Aronhalt here.
Edge: Aronhalt

O.D. Anosike vs. Luke Devlin
Devlin has started off as a nice player for the Great Danes and I think he will have a nice career. He gives UAlbany some size and the ability to shoot the ball. The Aussie has the ability to score and rebound and if he becomes a little more physical, I think he could be an all-league type of player for sure. If Anosike can stay on the floor and out of foul trouble, he's going be a dominating Robin to Ryan Rossiter's Batman down low for the Saints, especially come MAAC schedule. Anosike is a tremendously agile big and he can get up and down the floor. I like Devlin, but right now I like Anosike more.
Edge: Anosike

Ryan Rossiter vs. John Puk
Let me put this simply, Rossiter would win a one-on-one matchup with almost any big man in the country. I like Puk a lot (from what I've seen), but he's going to have his hands full with a guy who is averaging 20 points and 14 rebounds per game. Puk has been playing quite well, despite having a sore Achilles. Someone said to me recently, you can almost pencil in Rossiter for a double-double and that is incredible.
Edge: Rossiter

Both benches have shown signs they can be good, but both are still very inexperienced. The return of Kyle Downey would give the Saints an edge I think, but I don't think he'll play in this game. The Great Danes have had some players step up in the absence of Black like Jacob Iati and Ralph Watts.
Edge: Push

I like both staffs and I think they are pretty good at what they do. The numbers don't like though. Mitch Buonaguro is 5-0 all-time against UAlbany and has two NCAA Tournament victories. While Will Brown has gotten his team to the big dance twice, he hasn't won yet. That's surely not the only determining factor. Brown is also 1-8 all-time against Siena. In this matchup, the edge goes to the Siena staff.
Edge: Siena

That's how I see things matching up.

Let me know what you think.

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