Basketball never stops. Especially when attempting a foray into a professional career overseas. Continue reading
A pair of prodigal sons will square off in tonight’s MAAC championship game. Siena’s Nico Clareth and Iona’s Deyshonee Much each took a leave of absence from their respective programs this season, but as Monday night rolls around, they will be among the players their teams turn to in the most crucial game of the year. Continue reading
Lavon Long did not see the court until Siena’s fourth game of the season, but it is the embattled senior who could make the difference in the Saints’ final games of the year. Continue reading
Sitting at 7-6 in MAAC play following a loss to Canisius in early February, the Siena Saints seemed destined for a middling finish. But the return of star sophomore Nico Clareth and an emphatic win over Iona in New Rochelle propelled the Saints to a 5-2 finish and into a third-place tie with the Gaels at 12-8 in the final standings. Continue reading
As they say, it’s like déjà vu all over again. In a scene reminiscent of their win in New Rochelle last season, Siena stormed back from a 13 point second half deficit to upend Iona 81-79 Tuesday night. Continue reading
It was a bit disquieting watching seemingly helpless Quinnipiac be destroyed on the boards Monday against Siena in an 84-75 loss, almost like an empire whose time had finally faded away. The Bobcats went 10 straight seasons among the top 10 offensive rebounding teams in the nation (nine of them in the top 5) leading into 2016-17, and was sixth on the defensive glass as late as two years ago.
Quinnipiac was renown as a rebounding capital of college basketball America, it led its media notes, it was their signature, their claim to fame. So a 52-27 rebounding advantage for an opponent that included 22 offensive boards (55.0%) was difficult to look at in the boxscore.
However, our dear numbers told us that Quinnipiac’s rebounding demise didn’t exactly start this evening. While they did lead the MAAC in offensive rebounding, it was barely (35.5 to 35.3%) ahead of Siena, and the Bobcats (8-14, 5-7) are a fairly dreadful 294th on the defensive boards (67.5%). The Saints are full of veterans, and Lavon Long (16 total rebounds), Brett Bisping (14 total), and Marquis Wright (yes, the point guard) had five offensive rebounds each in the contest.
Just six weeks ago, Nico Clareth almost single-handedly buried Fairfield at the Times Union Center, leading a 27-4 first-half run, and then when the Stags had somewhat amazingly come all the way back to tie it, hit a few more big shots to make sure Siena held on 80-73.
In all, the talented Clareth finished with a career-high 33 points, and it seemed like both the sophomore who was a MAAC All-Rookie selection a year ago and the team had turned a corner after a tough start.
Then Siena lost six of its next seven games, and Clareth scored just 24 in the last three.
After that, Jimmy Patsos played him just 17 minutes against Saint Peter’s, but the Saints won. Then, he was in and out quickly against Quinnipiac and Siena won again. Soon after, Clareth decided to take a leave of absence from the team, just in time for the return game with Fairfield at Webster Bank Arena.
After a Tyler Nelson layup cut Siena’s lead to 9-8 over Fairfield in its MAAC opener Saturday night, the Saints showed what they are capable of in the next five minutes: Nico Clareth was drilling three-pointers, Marquis Wright was finding Javion Ogunyemi for dunks, Lavon Long slashed to the rim on the next possession, when the Stags played off Wright he hit a jumper.
Meanwhile, at the other end, Brett Bisping was getting steals and rebounds, Fairfield’s guards could not get anywhere near the paint against Wright and Long, and by the time everyone looked up, Siena led 27-8 and was well on its way to a comfortable victory.
Only five of the 16 players named to the All-MAAC teams at the end of last season will not make a return to the court. With plenty of young talent yet to reach their full potential, along with some fresh new faces by way of recruits and transfers, and there is sure to be a fight to secure those limited all-conference spots come March. Continue reading
This season may very well be a big one for the MAAC. Many of the league’s most talented players return, including the reigning Player of the Year, Monmouth’s Justin Robinson. Continue reading