ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) — For the first time in five years, the Albany Cup returns this Saturday night. Siena and UAlbany are set to clash on the court of MVP Arena.
The two teams met with the media Thursday. The resurrection of this game dates back to UAlbany’s hiring of Dwayne Killings prior to last season. Killings reached out to Siena head coach Carmen Maciariello, and the two coaches helped facilitate the game’s return. “I didn’t see any reason why we wouldn’t play this kind of game,” said Killings. “Competition is king and it makes us all better. It makes me a better coach, it makes our program better, it makes our community better, so I didn’t see why we wouldn’t play the game.”
As for Maciariello, the Shenendehowa graduate and Siena alum is excited for the matchup, while maintaining a business-like approach. “For me it’s another game on the schedule,” said Maciariello. “We expect to win every time we step on the floor. This is another game. Obviously you’re going to win a cup afterwards and there’s going to be a great crowd and this is the first one in a while. Obviously its exciting. I want it to be exciting and fun for our players because these guys are student athletes. They should all be having fun. They should be enjoying their day to day.”
For Siena, Jackson Stormo is day-to-day with a back injury. Killings says the Danes are preparing for multiple scenarios with the All-MAAC preseason forward’s status up in the air. “Brett Nelson, the head coach at Holy Cross, is a good friend. We worked together at Marquette. One of the things he talked about was when Stormo doesn’t play, they’re a different basketball team, so which group are we going to have? We’ve got to be prepared for both,” said Killings. “I think the versatility of our program allows us to play any kind of way that we want. I anticipate them playing some zone, change up their defense, try to get us off balance. It’s our ability to react and respond”
Maciariello is preparing for a physical Great Danes squad. “They’re big, they’re strong, they’re tough, they’re athletic,” said Maciariello. “Reddish, Drumgoole, Neely, Da’Kquan, those guys are really going to put the pedal to the medal. They get out and run, they’re physical, they crash the glass, they all can make shots, and they play loose. They play aggressive. I think we’ve got to make sure we’re handling that the right way.”
Tip-off at MVP Arena is set for 7:30 PM.