2007-08 Siena Basketball Preview
Overall Rank: #86
Conference Rank: #1 Metro Atlantic
2006-07: 20-12, 12-6, 3rd (t)
2006-07 postseason: none
The backcourt wins championships in the MAAC and Siena is second to none in that category. Kenny Hasbrouck is a prolific scorer and averaged 16.0 points per game last year. Often overlooked with his lofty scoring output is the 6-3 junior’s stellar defense. Ronald Moore is a shutdown defender himself, but it is his ability to find the other scorers on the perimeter that make him one of the best point guards in the conference. Moore will find Edwin Ubiles on the wing plenty of times during the 2007-2008 campaign. Ubiles, who averaged 11.8 points and 4.0 rebounds, had a solid freshman season and is expected to continue to develop as a sophomore. Tay Fisher saw his minutes decrease with the influx of talent on the perimeter, but the senior is a great experienced option off the bench.
The frontcourt losses are big and replacing Michael Haddix and David Ryan will not be easy. Haddix led the team with 16.3 points and 7.5 rebounds during his senior campaign. The 6-6 center may have been undersized, but he made up for it with his heart, hustle and skill. Ryan was not much of a presence in the paint, but did develop into the teams most consistent outside shooter. Center Mousse Diop and guard Mike Beers saw limited playing time during their senior campaigns. Walk-on guard J.G. Braga has opted to transfer after playing in just six games during the 2006-2007 season.
Josh Duell, a transfer from Vermont, will add some much needed depth to the frontcourt. While Duell is a not a dominating post scorer and will spend a lot of time on the perimeter, he is a big body and will work hard on the glass. The junior averaged 7.4 points and 3.9 rebounds during the 2005-2006 season with Vermont, but his numbers dwindled when he did not have Taylor Coppenrath by his side and taking up all the focus of the opposing defenses. Coach Fran McCaffery does not need any of the incoming freshmen to provide much this year. Ryan Rossiter and Steven-Ryan Priestly will add more depth up front and both have the potential to contribute this year if the returning frontcourt runs into problems. Chris De la Rosa will provide plenty of excitement over the next four years. The 5-10 point guard is a clutch performer, but will likely spend the year learning from the returning players. Clarence Jackson is a great shooter, and Siena could really use that particular skill, but as a freshman Jackson will not see the floor too often.
Who to Watch:
The frontcourt is obviously where the questions remain. At 6-5, Alex Frankin is undersized, but showed plenty of potential at the end of his freshman year. Like Ryan, the player he is expected to replace at power forward, Franklin is not a back to the basket post player. However, unlike Ryan, Franklin is not a long range shooter either. Franklin has developed a solid mid-range shot, but stepping beyond the arc will not happen with Franklin. Cory Magee saw limited action in all 32 games as a freshman and will provide a solid post presence off the bench. If the 6-8 forward can develop as much as Siena fans hope, Magee could find himself in a starting role. James Carr only saw action in six games as a freshman, but at 6-10, he has the size to contribute more, especially after a year hitting the weights.
The backcourt can be dominating, but there is a problem with the outside shooting. Hasbrouck, Moore and Fisher are all capable shooters, but nobody on the team is a real consistent long range threat. Yet, between the three of them, at least one will emerge as a go to shooter. As long as the new look frontcourt can hold their own on the glass and provide enough of an interior scoring threat to open up the perimeter, Siena will take home the MAAC championship. Otherwise, it is a year too early for the Saints and the big seasn will be in 2008-2009.
Projected Post-season Tournament: NCAA
Projected Starting Five:
Ronald Moore, Sophomore, Guard, 7.4 points per game
Kenny Hasbrouck, Junior, Guard, 13.1 points per game
Edwin Ubiles, Sophomore, Guard, 22.2 points per game
Alex Franklin, Sophomore, Forward, 9.1 points per game
Josh Duell, Junior, Forward, 9.1 points per game