Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Siena's Brett Bisping gaining confidence

ALBANY - When Jimmy Patsos first met Brett Bisping, he learned two things about the sophomore forward.

Jeff Couch/The Record
The Illinois native liked the Chicago Bulls and his favorite player was Michael Jordan.

That was funny to Patsos because, as a 6-foot-8 post player, Bisping and Jordan have nothing in common. (In Bisping's defense, Jordan was my favorite player growing up and we have even less in common than he and Bisping do)

Patsos suggested that Bisping look up former Detroit Pistons big man Bill Laimbeer and play a little like him.

Over the past two games, Bisping hasn't become a bad boy like Laimbeer was known for being in the NBA, but he has been playing very solid, especially in Siena's 72-70 victory over St. Bonaventure on Tuesday.

“I thought his play was inspirational," said Patsos.

Bisping finished with a career-high 13 points (on 4-for-7 shooting) and seven rebounds in the victory over the Bonnies. 

Asked if it was the best performance of his career, Bisping replied, “Yes. But that’s not what’s important.” 

Bisping has averaged 8.5 points and 5.5 rebounds over the past two games, as he's seen more action and seemed more comfortable. 

“Jimmy continues to push me no matter how I play," he said. “He always gives you a second chance to come in and try to play better. I’m just going to try to keep doing my job and help the team as much as I can, in any way.”

Patsos said when his mentor, former Maryland coach Gary Williams, stopped by practice a few weeks back, he liked what Bisping brought to the table.  

Bisping knows that his role on this team is to rebound, screen and do some of the dirty work. On Tuesday, with Javion Ogunyemi suffering an ankle injury and both Imoh Silas and Lavon Long fouling out in the second half, Bisping knew he could step in.

“I had to step up tonight," he said.

That's just what he did.

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