LOUDONVILLE – After an off season of change, there are naturally questions about what to expect from the Siena men’s basketball program this upcoming season.
Saints head coach Carmen Maciarillo gave his answer on Monday, shortly before the team began its first preseason practice.
“I think,” said Maciarillo, “we have everything we need to win a championship.”
The lineage of the saints was not peaceful. Only senior center Jackson Stormo is the only team to start season five from the finals, and 10 new players joined a roster that brings back only 29.3% of his scoring from the 2020–21 campaign, in which the Saints won. Won a part of MAAC on a regular basis. -Season Championship before losing to Iona in the MAAC quarterfinals. Meanwhile, Sienna’s six-person coaching staff includes three newcomers, as well as two returnees — Greg Fahey and Matt Minor — in new roles for Maciarillo’s program.
Sienna’s roster departures include first-team All-MAAC selections Manny Camper and Jalen Pickett, now pursuing professional opportunities and later playing for Penn State. So, too, are each of last season’s three assistant coaches.
But Maciarillo has consistently expressed confidence in how the Saints recreated this offseason with a mix of newcomers and transfers, and has already compared his current group to the 2019–20 Siena team several times. , who won his last 10 games and carried himself with confidence. The aura that the Saints of last season never achieved.
“They are all committed to the process of getting better every day,” Maciarillo said.
Anthony Gaines and Stormo echoed that sentiment. Stormo is Siena’s leading returning scorer and rebounder after averaging 10.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in 25.2 minutes per game last season, while Gaines – a Northwestern transfer – is one of several newcomers expected to play key minutes immediately.
Monday’s practice lasted about 90 minutes, and “setting the tone for the season,” Gaines said, was the most important thing to accomplish.
“People are just coming in, working hard, ready to compete every day, pushing each other, bringing out the best of themselves,” Gaines said. “That’s what winning programs do.”
Stormo said the attitude towards the team is positive. Stormo said that not all off-season departures of the program are weighing on the Saints.
“Everyone who’s here is here because they really want to be here. That’s the only thing that’s really clear,” said Stormo. “[Some] People are in other places, and we wish them the best, but I’m really focused on what we have here, right now, in this locker room today — and we have something really special.”
“We’re ready to get after this,” Gaines said.
The Saints did so in Monday’s practice in the 2021–22 season, starting with a November 9 game at Saint Bonaventure. The team was minus a few players, as newcomers Javien McCallum and Taihland Owens, and senior Jays Johnson were out of practice with injuries. Meanwhile, Andrew Playtek — a former Guilderland High School star who played four seasons in North Carolina — is enrolled at Siena but has not yet been added to the program’s roster.
The saints demonstrated reasons for optimism in the court on Monday. Aidan Carpenter, a freshman coming out of the season that saw him showing glimpses of his potential, saw the part of a player who took the offseason very seriously as he added 10 pounds to his 6-foot-5 frame and Now it weighs 195. After taking only two 3-pointers last season, Stormo scored several consecutive 3s in a drill. Overall, the Saints’ athleticism looked like it had gone up a level from last season.
Above anything else, Maciarillo said the “character” of this season’s team is what he likes. It’s a team with more patience than the Flash, and a Maciarillo — a Siena alumnus — would fit in as a player.
“They’re my type of guys,” said Maciarillo, who signed a contract extension during the off-season after guiding the Saints to the regular-season championship in each of his first two seasons.
names of captains
Maciarillo named four captains for the 2021-22 Saints, the schedule was announced on Monday.
Graduate students Gaines and Nick Hopkins, and seniors Robert Mahla and the Stormo Saints will serve as the leadership team.
Mahla – walk-on – also served as a captain last season with Camper, who won the MAAC Player of the Year as a senior.
DAGOSTINO joins the roster
Sienna announced Monday the addition of Saratoga Springs native Aidan Dagostino to its schedule.
A 6-foot-1, 147-pound guard, Dagostino joined the Saints’ roster as a walk-on player.
Dagostino graduated from Saratoga Springs in 2020, then played a year at South Kent School in Connecticut.
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