Siena basketball face to face behind closed doors

Siena basketball face to face behind closed doors

The Siena men's basketball team will finally get a chance next week to test a new head coach against Carmen Maciariello's system. Two options, actually.

The Saints play a couple of closed games. First they travel to Long Island University in Brooklyn on Sunday and then come home on October 26th to New Hampshire.

LIU is led by head coach Derek Kellogg, who is starting his third season. Previously, he was head coach at UMass, where he spent nine years. The Sharks have four starts back from a team that went 16-16, 9-9 at the Northeastern Conference a year ago.

"It's good to play someone who doesn't know your plays because, like our other guys, when you are in practice, they know your plays, so you start to cheat," Maciariello said. “It's getting a bit repetitive. It's always good to play against someone new. "

Head coach Carmen Maciariello speaks to reporters on Siena Men's Basketball Media Wednesday, October 16, 2019 in Loudonville, New York (Lori Van Buren / Times Union) Lori Van Buren / Albany Times Union

Head coach Carmen Maciariello speaks to reporters on Siena Men's Basketball Media Wednesday, October 16, 2019 in Loudonville, New York (Lori Van Buren / Times Union) Lori Van Buren / Albany Times Union

Jalen Pickett, No. 22, is considered the first official practice of the Siena Men's Basketball Team Season at Siena College on Thursday, September 26, 2019 in Loudonville, NY (Lori Van Buren / Times Union) Lori Van Buren / Albany Times Union

Point guard Jalen Pickett, who learned Siena's second step, described it as an opportunity to see Maciariello's faster offensive attack work against an opponent.

"Just compete and get a little bit of team chemistry," Pickett said. “Hopefully this system will work by pushing the ball up. If not, we will have to adjust. But now everything has gone the way we want it to. We have really been playing fast and playing the pace. I think we should be good. It's just a test to see how everyone is doing and how everyone is playing on the system. "

On October 26, Siena enters New Hampshire, where Maciariello played three seasons before moving to Siena. Wild cats were last selected to finish last Thursday in an America East Conference poll. They went 5-24 a year ago and have four starters returning.

On Saturday, Siena will hold an alumni day for its former players and managers. They are invited to catch up with Maciariello at 10:30 on the practice field, watch the Saints practice at 11-1 and then have lunch.

"You probably have guys in their 60s to 70s to mid to late 30s and wherever they are," Maciariello said. “I think it's important. I think what makes Siena special is the community and what we do for our players when they are done. "

He said at least 100 former saints live within a four to five hour drive of Loudonville. He has personally contacted some of his former teammates, including Austin Andrews, Micah Ogburn, Scott Knapp and Corey Osinski.

"I hope to see some of my former teammates, a couple of former managers, the guys I contacted," he said. “It's good to just catch up with the guys and I'm happy to see our basketball brand. I think they are proud. "

"I definitely see a lot of improvements to my game with all the changes made here," he said. “It's definitely been good. It's definitely different from high school. Everyone loves high school basketball here, but Siena basketball is just a whole different level and I love it a lot. "

He said he was looking forward to LIU's closed-ended sentence to try himself against an Division I opponent, see where his game needed to be improved, and find out what role the coaching staff played for him.

"Frankly, my role right now is probably just shooting if I can," he said. “I think I do pretty good shots. As long as I deal with the shots and play as hard as I can, I feel I will find my role on this team. "

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