Loudonville, N.Y. — With more than a month before Siena Men’s Basketball takes the floor together for their first game of the season, head coach Carmen Maciariello has some time to decide on a starting five.
Jalen Pickett and Manny Camper are first-team All-MAAC and obvious starters for Siena, but there’s plenty of other spots to fill and a lot of talent on the roster looking to fill those slots.
“I think it’s wide open,” Maciariello said. “We’ve had great practices, that’s what we’ve been doing too is in our small groups been playing with different lineups.
“Obviously guys working hard that see there’s some positions open right,” Maciariello added. “You lose Elijah, you lose Don, Gary was a freshman now you hope he takes a step as a sophomore. Jordan King started a couple games last year, he’s worked tremendously hard.
“You need a guy up in the front court, do you play small, do you play big,” Maciariello said. “I let that stuff work itself out.”
He’ll have a better idea of the ideal lineup when full contact practices start November 2nd.
As for the two players locked in as starters as mentioned above, both Pickett and Camper are confident that last season’s success was no fluke and the Saints are geared up for another run.
The Saints were the top seed in the MAAC Tournament and looked the part before the cancellation of the season last March.
Now retaining key starters Pickett and Camper plus a ton of new and returning talent, Siena is confident they can hit the ground running and show this team can be as dangerous as they were last season.
“Very motivated,” Pickett said. “We felt like we had something special last year, and I mean our seniors weren’t able to get to March Madness or win the championship like they wanted to so we’re trying to do it for them and trying to do it for ourselves to prove it, and we just want to go out there and play.”
“We do have unfinished business,” Camper said. “We worked so hard last year, we were on a roll.”
“We weren’t able to win it, we weren’t able to get that atmosphere so it’s a lot of speculation around how successful we were last year, so we’re just going to continue to work hard and get better each day,” Camper added.
With their non-conference schedule still up in the air, Siena starts MAAC play at Rider December 8th.