Comments From This Week’s Media Luncheon With Jimmy Patsos

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Here are the comments from Siena Head Coach Jimmy Patsos at this week’s media luncheon.

“We played Fairfield twice. They were definitely angry because we kinda stole a game from them down there. We had a lead in the  second-half. All six (MAAC) games this year we’ve had the lead in the second half. That’s a  testament to how hard our kids are playing. Different people are stepping up. To have the lead in every MAAC game is really good for us because we’re a little shorthanded, not making excuses. We just have to sort of close out. We have to commit a little better to to defense, especially at the three-point line. You can’t just keep giving up 50% and say we’re going to win games.”

“Someone asked me about why are team’s shooting so well in the Times Union Center? I was at Loyola for nine years. This is an unbelievable trip. We loved Albany. We liked coming to the hotels, the restaurants, playing in the arena and shooting around in the arena. It has a pro feel, great lights, great crowd, fans are amazing. That fires the other team up and they’re really excited to play there. I’m trying to get our players to understand you have to do a little bit extra not a little less. Sometimes when you’re home you can get away with a little bit less but not at the Times Union Center because it’s such a great place to play.”

“Marquis Wright had the flu on Sunday but that’s not an excuse. We had to play him. I don’t think Marquis played up to his standards. I’m fine with him. He had the flu and probably shouldn’t have played but he gutted it out and we didn’t have any depth.”

“Ryan Oliver is really struggling because teams are keying on him defensively. Other teams have good scouting and coaching too. We’re not the only one. They look at our five and then they circle Ryan Oliver. That guy gets 10 points or more they’re going to win. He doesn’t they’re probably not going to win. So Ryan is facing really tough defense. That’s something we’re trying to work with him to just rebound and pass the ball, run offense and stay with it. Don’t become discouraged. We’re not discouraged as a team.”

“We’re very happy to be three and three. I didn’t know what we’d be especially with injuries. What’s interesting to me is that  there’s some minutes out there for somebody that wants to really commit to being that guy. Ryan should be that guy because he’s done it before. Willem and Jimmy Paige are young. I’m just, go play. Just get a rebound. Play defense. Block a shot. We’re working on it. I’ll tell you what. We’re not quitting. We’re very upbeat. We’re right in the middle pack of the MAAC and I think the MAAC’s going to go down to the wire.”

“Our zone last year was a good go-to thing but it hasn’t  really worked as well this year. Rob Poole was playing really well. He goes down with a bad ankle and Hammer was like, that guy shouldn’t be playing but he wants to play so I’m gonna let him play so I’m like okay. So, now where does it show up?  It’s side to side. It’s defensively where you’re struggling when you’re hurt. Now he gets beat off the dribble. We give up a three. They made threes. You’ve still got to make them. I think we’ve got to do some things defensively, most important taking it personally when a guy makes one on you. Okay you made one but don’t let him make another one, really close out on him. We can’t keep giving up 25 to 30 points a game on three-pointers. All I can do is preach that to the players. There working on it. We’re a work in progress.”

“Lavon was hurt. Now Lavon’s got to finally got to play the three. Willem, Javion, Lavon, Poole, Evan and Marquis are our six. I don’t know who’s going to start this Friday we may move some people around. Lavon wasn’t supposed to be back and now he’s back. What’s the thing he’s given up ? Defensively, because he can’t move that well laterally he has a high ankle sprain. I just admire him for playing. He didn’t have to play and he’s come back early so I’m grateful for that.”

“Javion’s going to turn into more of a four-man now. He’s benefited from these injuries. He’s a really smart kid. He gets great grades. Our GPAs just came out. We’re doing great in school. You’ve got to keep that in perspective. Javion’s like our leader on the floor because he always knows what’s going on. He’s not the vocal of a guy. I think the more emotional he gets the better he’s be. What he’s done for us is saved us. He’s been tremendous. He’s been very consistent. He’s putting up numbers. Javion is figuring it out. He knows what to do on defense. He’s really good at taking an open jumper. He’s willing to do the dirty work inside. He’s had a great year for us so let’s hope it stays that way, knock on wood.”

“There’s always challenges. We’re three and three or six and nine. I wish we were nine and six. Anybody out there who thinks were supposed to be 15-o, I’m not Urban Meyer and I don’t have Ohio State players or resources. in other words, it’s my second year. Where we came from, we’re doing fine. I’m happy that this program is back to where it is in the classroom, off the court, playing hard, the fans are great here. If some of the fans are mad, I like that. I want them to be passionate. I’m passionate. That’s okay. I don’t mind that. We are doing fine. We are in the process of a five-year rebuild. It doesn’t happen overnight. Just ask some other programs in this league. Ask some other programs around the country, it’s not that easy. Mark Turgeon’s a friend of mine at Maryland. This is the best year that he’s had by far it’s his fourth year. Sometimes you have little bumps in the road. I’ve never had this many injuries in 25 years, high school coach, 13 years Maryland, nine years Loyola. I haven’t had half this many injuries as we’ve had here. Maybe all that good luck is coming back to get me.”

“Maybe it’s catching up to me all, the luck we’ve had with injuries. It’s letting some other guys develop. We’ll have a crucial decision on February 1st to make about Brett Bisping. I like our team. I think were coming around. To have the lead in the second half of every game that’s impressed me with this group. I didn’t know if they could do that. I’m happy with the way things are going. Do I want to finish? Yeah. Remember Siena’s always had the targets on it’s back and that’s one of the tough things about this job. Everyone in the MAAC knows it’s a great place to play and it’s a great road trip. We’ve had 30 years of success and pride, they circle us on the schedule. That’s how it goes.”

“You’re a good defensive team when you can press, run and then they go down there and Imoh Silas blocks it out or Brett Bisping takes a charge. Now I got them laying it up. I’ll take that as a coach and it’s my fault. I guess the only thing that saddens me and I’m not mad or anything just a bit disappointed, we know what to do defensively because Imoh showed us to block a shot and Brett Bisping, that guy took the  biggest charge last year to win at Fresno. We know what to do. I’ve got some other people that don’t want to do that. That’s on me. I’m trying to teach them. They’re young. There’s new guys playing different positions. When you’re hurt you don’t want to take a charge as much as you used to. I’m working on it.”

“We were a pressing, running team and that wears teams down but the last thing they did instead of dunking on us was getting swatted by Imoh Silas. That’s a real momentum changer. Brett taking the charge at the back of the press was really good. We’re not as deep as we were. Maybe we shouldn’t press so much but team’s shooting threes against us, that I don’t have an answer for. I’ll take it as my fault as the coach but I put some guys on the board and say, that guy shoots threes don’t leave him alone and I see him wide open and I’m like okay I might as well put, ‘Make sure you swim at dark into

rough waters.’ I’m like swim in the daytime near the shore to a little kid and I got them going out at midnight in like the riptide. So, what do you want me to do? I’m tryin’. I got the, ‘Do not swim’ sign up. I’m tryin’. Jaws, close the beach. What do you want from me? I’m like, that guys a good shooter don’t leave him alone. Take the same route. Don’t even let him catch it. For periods were doing that. Defense is a mentality. At some point you have to get angry enough to say to yourself, I’m not gonna let that guy make any more threes on me. I don’t see that in us yet. Whether that’s depth, whether that’s being a little bit tired, whether there’s teams being more fresh than us because they have more rest than us which is okay.”

“Ali has given us the good vibe. She went 2-0 out there (western NY). I look at the woman’s program and I show our guys. The Magnificent Seven. They’re doing it. We can do it with less too but you have to really play together. I see her seniors playing with a sense of urgency.  I’ve got Poole and Hymes approaching that. I need a couple more players to play with a sense of urgency. we’re doing fine. We’ve got to close some things out. We’ve got to pick some things up. We’re close.”

“I like a player that fits in at Siena. We just get kids out of high school that are going to come here, do well in school, fit in with the community, play hard, graduate. We have some limitations. The grad school thing is very interesting right now. People have fifth year players that have gone to other schools, graduated and then (gone on). We don’t have that. So I don’t have an instant…. I can’t go get a guy and say come here. My friend MIke Lonergan at GW is using that to his advantage. There’s nothing wrong with that. We’re probably going to recruit, get basically high school kids that are gonna come out, come here, get a good degree.”

“Willem Brandwijk and Jimmy Paige were going to red shirt on November 1. We had a meeting with our staff and they were going to redshirt. Two days later, Imoh’s hurt then the Brett thing happened. We’ve had some injuries. A couple guys we thought were going to be more important on the team, weren’t. It just happens. I’m going to continue to recruit the way we recruit. We got two good guys, Kenny Wormley’s playing really well in DC and Evan Fisher’s got a lot of swagger and he’s playing really well down in Baltimore.”

“We’ve got a couple scholarships.  I want kids that fit into the Siena mold.  That’s like coming out of high school, doing really well in school and coming here. If we get some at-risk kids that’s fine too. I don’t mind that. I like what we have but we’ve got some scholarships out there. So, if you’re interested in Siena and you can make three-pointers and stop your guy from making three-pointers my phone number is……”

“Cam Gottfried’s redshirting. I’m interested to see what he can do. He’s good in practice. We’ve got to redshirt him. I’m not gonna pull his redshirt now so he can play 10 minutes a game.I don’t know what Cameron’s going to do. Cameron’s going to decide at the end of the year. His deal was play one (as a walk-on) and get three (scholarship). Cameron came here and just wanted to see if he can play here and then he said I want a redshirt year.  Cameron Gottfried’s a great kid and he’s a good rebounder. We’ll figure that all out in the spring.He wanted to redshirt because he wasn’t going to play. Then he’s gonna weigh it out, what goes on this year. There’s times he’s shown some real ability to rebound and he’s really a two man more than a one man. He’s left-handed. We’ll see what he can do. Scholarship wise we’ll figure that out in like June I think.”


Note: Despite questions as to the status of Director of Basketball Operations, Garrett Kelly, due to his absence from the bench in recent games, he is still with the program and has been present at team practices and meetings.

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