The Siena men’s basketball team is now in the hands of Jamion Christian.
The program’s seventeenth head coach was introduced on Wednesday, and it was clear he’s up for the challenge.
“We’re coming at you and we’re gonna be in attack mode and we’re gonna do that from day one,” Christian said.
Christian spoke directly to the players for much of his press conference.
“We’ve gotta learn to do the tough stuff and to love doing it cause the better part of us is on the other side,” he said.
The tough stuff coming in the form of conditioning for one. His style of play: high pressure defense, an up tempo offense fueled by threes. He called it “mayhem” at Mount Saint Mary’s.
What do the players think about his mayhem style?
“Honestly, I love it; fast paced, rowdy,” guard Khalil Richard said.
“We’re excited to play that way,” guard Thomas Huerter said. “This is a style of play that, not only us, but a lot of younger players want to play. But we’re gonna make the sacrifices that come with that.”
It didn’t take long for the Saints to buy in.
“I like the group,” Christian said. “I like their toughness. I’ll tell you one thing I love about them: I love their hunger to get it right. Today, had a meeting with them, and they really had a chip on their shoulder.”
“Well, I think why we feel so motivated is we understand how important Siena basketball is to this community and we don’t want to let anyone down,” forward Evan Fisher said.
Wednesday’s introduction was certainly not a letdown for longtime Siena fan Phyllis D’Antonio.
“I think he’s wonderful,” she said. “I think he’s a charismatic leader; I really do. I feel it in my gut.”
“I think this team definitely needs that,” D’Antonio added. “And I think this team also needs, I think, a young person that they can relate to and someone that really cares about them.”
“Well, number one, I love them,” Christian said. “That’s the biggest thing.”
And that’s how he plans to lead.
“I’m gonna ask these guys what their dream is,” Christian said. “I’m gonna hold them accountable to what their dream is. What they want to achieve. And I think the best motivation is through love. We’re gonna love them up and hold them accountable.
So far so good.
“He’s amazing,” Richard said. “His character, he’s a stand up guy, how he carries himself. We’re a reflection of him.”
“Let’s be excited because we’re gonna turn the page on Siena basketball,” Christian said. “We’re gonna achieve our own set of history, and we’re gonna set a new standard that has not been seen before.”
Maybe those will get Prince Oduro, Roman Penn and Jordan Horn to stay. None of those guys, who are flirting with the idea of transferring, were in attendance on Wednesday.
Last month, Jimmy Patsos resigned the position following allegations he verbally abused a student manager.
Christian was formerly the Head Coach of Mount Saint Mary’s University men’s basketball program. He led the team to a trip to the NCAA tournament in 2014 and 2017.
Learn more about Christian by visiting his website.
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