UAlbany/Siena a no-win for Saints
Naturally, we asked Siena coach Mitch Buonaguro about the rivalry meeting today at his weekly meeting with the media.
"Clearly the pressure's on Siena in this game," Buonaguro said emphatically. "We've only lost once (since the series was renewed). We've won five straight."
Buonaguro said he watched the tape from last year's game, which the Saints won 83-54, last night.
"First off, you have to throw out last year's game," he said. "I watched the tape last night. That was unbelievable. We just played phenomenal.
Siena has won eight of the nine games since the series was revived in 2001.
Siena fans expect to win and Buonaguro knows that.
"It is a no-win situation," he said. "If you ask people in the basketball community, anyone, we're expected to win."
It wasn't always like that.
When Buonaguro and Fran McCaffery got to town, Siena was the severe underdog, but they didn't lose to the Great Danes.
Buonaguro already knows this season's game will be close.
"Last year we were a Top 20 team, preseason, we were picked 20th," he said. "We're not that this year. We lost three geat players. Albany has improved. They're better than they were last year, so just on that alone, it's a much more competitive game."
Just seeing UAlbany play well against Detroit, a team thought highly of in the Horizon League, which has Butler, a team Siena played, is enough for Buonaguro.
"Just because they're rebulding, they still have (Tim) Ambrose, they still have (Logan) Aronhalt and they still have (Mike) Black," Buonaguro said. "Those are three really good players, so on any given night they're dangerous."