Siena Coach Jimmy Patsos Reflects On A Tough Season

jimmy bench

Fresh off his team’s valiant effort in a 74-71 loss to Iona in the MAAC Tournament Quarterfinal game, Siena coach Jimmy Patsos stood calmly in the team locker room and reflected on the newly ended season. After having already discussed the game itself, he moved on to discuss the state of the program after a disappointing year.

“I’m really proud of our team and I love our fans,” Patsos said. “As a coach I’m already evaluating myself. If we did anything this year, I think we learned a lot. That’s good.”

Now looking ahead to his third season leading the Saints, Patsos knows things need to improve. And with the excitement of a 20 win season and a CBI Championship behind, he looks ahead to continue to rebuild and improve on a frustrating 20-loss 2014-2015 campaign in year two of his tenure.”

“We’re close as a program,” said Patsos. “We took our lumps this year. The question about this year is, did you learn? I’ll take a week and re-evaluate and see where we go. We have to get better. Eleven and twenty is not acceptable. I didn’t come here to go 11-20 and I don’t think they hired me do go 11-20.”

The challenges were many for Patsos and the Saints this year. First, expectations were high, if not overinflated, following a major turn-around in year one, with all key players returning. Then, there were the injuries. Center Imoh Silas, an aggressive defender and rim protector was lost to a season ending knee injury before the season even started. Additionally, one of last season’s most valuable players, Brett Bisping went down with a toe injury that ended his year after just six games. And of course, there were the defections of promising transfer Patrick Cole and athletically gifted big man Michael Wolfe.

Still, Patsos says that those may be reasons, but they are not an excuse when reaching for a better result.

“I’m appreciative of the situation,” said Patsos. “There were times we had injuries and stuff but we expect better things than that for our program.”

All was not lost. Sophomore Marquis Wright continued his development as one of the top point guards in the league. Fellow sophomore Javion Ogunyemi was the team’s most improved players and their classmate Lavon Long showed at times he has the ability to dominate a game.

The losses of seniors Rob Poole and Evan Hymes will be felt. But, freshmen Willem Brandwijk and Jimmy Paige logged valuable playing time which should pay dividends down the road. Junior Ryan Oliver showed signs down the stretch that he is capable of being much more than just a three-point specialist, another positive note.

With a talented incoming class, and the return of Silas and Bisping there is reason for hope.  While clearly dejected by this season’s results as he sat quietly moments after the season’s end, Patsos is determined to continue the mission.

“I’m proud of the Siena Saints program,” Patsos said. “The fans, thank you so much.We’re just gonna keep building.”


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