Siena men’s basketball talk scheduling challenges, shaking off rust in first media availability since quarantine

Sports

Loudonville, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Siena men’s basketball got out of quarantine last Friday and the big question on the fans’ minds right now — when will we see them on the court?

Siena’s first scheduled game is a MAAC showdown at Fairfield on December 11th. They’re trying to get a non-conference game or two in before then to get the guys ready for conference play.

But there have been road blocks. Coach Carm discusses the challenges in finding a game on short notice.

“The schedule is still a work in progress,” Carmen Maciariello said. “The problem is, everybody says they want to play the games, but they don’t want to commit to a game they’re not 100 percent sure they’re going to win.

“With that being said, I’ll take that as a compliment to our program and what these guys have done to give us some notoriety. I would say a cutoff would be Wednesday of next week. We want to, you know, I would say Tuesday of next week. We would play until Tuesday of next week.”

If they can’t get a non-conference game on the schedule, coach isn’t worried about Fairfield being their season opener. One positive is the Stags wouldn’t have any new game tape on the Saints.

The Siena men’s hoops players had basketballs and exercise bands in their rooms — but that was it for two weeks. So it’s no surprise they had to shake off some rust getting back to the court.

The team was able to come out of their respective quarantines around midnight following Thanksgiving and many of the players hit the gym right away. Manny Camper said a few of the guys were getting shots up at around 2 a.m. Friday morning. He and Jalen Pickett compared those 14 days to the frustration they felt at the end of last season.

“It was kind of like the beginning or end of March, when you got sent home and kind of had to go over those couple of weeks of trying to find a gym, or when you first got into it so it kind of brought those times back up,” Pickett said. “We’re just happy that we can finally get back out there and play together.”

“We’re all competitive even you know, having been rusty from the two weeks,” Camper said. “So it took a little while, we were joking making jokes with each other. About a half hour in we started to be able to find it. It was like riding a bike.”

Maciariello hopes to have his guys moving to full contact practice over the next week.

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