LOUDONVILLE, NY (NEWS10) — The Siena men’s basketball team held their media day on Monday, 21 days before they tip-off their regular season.

The Saints bring back nine players from a team that went 15-14 a year ago. They had some extra time to gel with the eight newcomers this offseason, bonding during a trip to Italy. They also went 2-1 against some pro teams during the visit.

Head coach Carmen Maciariello says the early chemistry this team is showing is a testament to the guys in the locker room. “There’s no egos,” said Maciariello. “It’s a group of guys that realize, ‘Hey, we came up short last year’. The goal every year here at Siena is to win a league championship and cut down the nets and go to the NCAA tournament.”

Roles have not yet been carved out, and the Saints have held competitive practices. “You know we don’t have a starting lineup yet but we got about two or three position battles of guys really trying to push one another,” said Maciariello. “My goal is that these guys care enough about each other where whatever’s best for the team, they’re going to say, ‘Hey, I want to come off the bench or I really like starting or whatever it may be.”

Graduate student Jackson Stormo welcomes the competition. “I love seeing practice get competitive,” said Stormo. “Those are the most fun practices when guys are starting to get really emotional. Not overly emotional, but enough to mimic a real game where you do have something invested.”

The Saints tip-off their season at Holy Cross on November 7th.