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COLLEGE HEAD COACH: PREVIEW Q&A's

College Preview | Top 144 Previews | More Interviews

By Shawn Siegel

shawn@collegehoops.net

September 9th, 2006

 

Siena Head Coach Fran McCaffery

 

Taking over a new program is never easy.  But for Fran McCaffery, his second season at Siena might be harder than the first.  Besides losing leading scorer Antoine Jordan to graduation, the Saints must also deal with the tumultuous transfer of star guard Kojo Mensah.

 

Shawn Siegel (CHN): How hard will it be to deal with all-league senior Antoine Jordan?

 

Fran McCafferyFran McCaffery (FM): Antoine Jordan was a major factor to the teamís success last season.  Jordan led us in scoring and rebounding and was a leader on and off the court.  He spent the summer playing for the Washington Wizards Summer League team and recently signed a professional contract to play in Italy.  As a First team All-League performer, he will be difficult to replace.  We feel we have tried to address his loss through recruiting and we have great depth at that (small forward) position.

 

 

CHN: How does this year's schedule stack up to recent years?

FM: This yearís schedule is filled with difficult games on the road.  We play at Stanford to start the year (they will return the game at Pepsi Arena next season).  We are also at Maryland and Buffalo.  All three teams have advanced to the postseason the last three years.  We also host defending America East champion Albany as well as Colonial power Hofstra.  We will additionally host an ESPN Bracketbusters game.  The schedule is more challenging than last year.

 

 

CHN: What will the strengths and weaknesses of this yearís team to be?


FM:  Strengths: Athleticism and depth.  This will be my second year as head coach, and we have 10 letterwinners returning.  Therefore, I expect there to be a shorter learning curve.  Last year we played primarily a seven player rotation.  With the return of fifth year senior Mike Haddix (Second Team All-MAAC in 2005, 1,000-point scorer who red-shirted last season after rupturing Achillesí Tendon) and the addition of five talented freshmen, we should have a deeper rotation and be able to run more set plays on offense.  We can also pick up the tempo with more quality reserves available to substitute. 

 Weakness: Inexperience at point.  Either sophomore Kenny Hasbrouck (MAAC Rookie of the Year) or freshman Ronald Moore will run the offense.  Hasbrouck played primarily off guard as a rookie and Moore will have to make a quick adjustment to the college game. 

 

CHN: Talk about one or two of your guys that stands out as being an unheralded leader and contributor?

 

FM: Fifth-year senior David Ryan has been a steady contributor throughout his career.  He is a versatile forward who was asked to play the center position last year due to our lack of depth in the post.  With the return of Haddix, Ryan will create mismatches at either forward spot.  He also brings great leadership to the team.

CHN: What should we expect out of the incoming players. Who will make the biggest impact?

FM: 
We are excited about the addition of five newcomers.  Highly touted Edwin Ubiles (St. Thomas Moore, Conn.) is an explosive athlete who could make an immediate impact as one of the top freshman in the league.  Alex Franklin (Central Catholic, Pa.) is another long, athletic forward who can score in a variety of ways.  6-10 center James Carr (Wings Academy, N.Y.) adds much needed depth in the post and is a proven shot blocker.  Ronald Moore (Plymouth-Whitemarsh, Pa.) comes from a winning program and is a fundamentally sound point guard with great quickness.  Corey Magee (Fairport, N.Y.) is a physical power forward who can rebound the basketball.  We are also excited about the addition of transfer Josh Duell (Vermont), who averaged over 22 minutes in 25 games played last season, but will have to sit out this year per NCAA rules.

 

 

CHN: Are you pretty well settled with your starting lineup? If not, what should we expect to be the biggest battles for a starting position?

FM: There will be heated competition at several positions, and several players are versatile enough to play a variety of positions.  One potential rotation would be:

Kenny Hasbrouck (1), Tay Fisher (2), Edwin Ubiles (3), David Ryan (4), Michael Haddix (5)


CHN:
Realistically, what should we expect out of your team this year?

 

FM: We feel a winning non-conference record and a top-3 league finish are realistic.  The goal is to be playing our best basketball of the season at Tournament time.  If this happens, and we stay healthy, we have the talent to compete for a league title.

 

CHN: Thanks coach.  Good luck.

 

For complete information on Siena's team camps and up-to-date information on the team, please visit www.SienaSaints.com

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