Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Trenity Burdine could be fifth piece for Siena

Jeff Couch - The Record
LOUDONVILLE - Trenity Burdine may be No. 2 for the Siena men's basketball team, but coach Mitch Buonaguro is looking for him to be No. 5.

The Saints have gotten solid contributions from four starters, when healthy, but that fifth spot has been an issue, especially from an offensive production standpoint.

"If we can Burdine to get double figures consistently or even eight-nine points, now we're a much different team," said Buonaguro, at his meeting with the media Tuesday afternoon.

Burdine, who has missed time this season due to an athletic department suspension and an academic suspension, provided a huge impact this past weekend for Siena. 

"Trenity offers a different dimension," said Buonaguro.

When Buonaguro recruited Burdine two years ago, he thought the first team all-state player from Reading, Pa., could be a dynamic player. While Burdine's career has been hampered by injuries and off the court issues, he could play a big role down the stretch. 

"Now, if he comes into his own the last nine-ten games, he's only going to make us a lot better," Buonaguro said. "He can score."

Burdine scored 11 points on Friday against Niagara and followed that up with a 13-point game against Marist. In the two games, he combined to shoot 10-16 (62.5%) from the floor, as the Saints posted two of their three highest scoring games. When Siena fell behind Marist on Sunday, they went on a huge 31-10 run to end the first half, what Buonaguro called his team's best offense of the season. 

"We're going to start doing some different things with him," said Buonaguro.

Buonaguro also likes using Burdine at the top of his three-quarters court pressure defense, similar to the position that Edwin Ubiles played a few seasons ago.

"He's 6-6, he's long and he's athletic," Buonaguro said of Burdine. "In that press that I use, that's what you need up there. Yeah, he makes the press better."

Burdine has also only turned the ball over eight times, or just 0.67 turnovers per game, while the team averages 14.9 turnovers per game.

"He doesn't turn the ball over and we've been struggling with turnovers," said Buonaguro.

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