The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference revealed the 2012-2013 preseason poll as voted on by the coaches today. The Siena men’s team was chosen to finish 10th in the now 11-team league. The results were announced in the MAAC Preseason Show on ESPN 3 today. Manhattan was chosen as the first place finisher with Iona, Canisius, Rider and Marist rounding out the top 5.
For the Saints who finished the 2012-2013 season in 9th place out of 10 teams, there is hope of improving on a difficult season with the return of some key pieces and the addition of 8 new players to the 16 man roster. With the departure of Loyola to the Patriot League and the addition of Quinnipiac and Monmouth to the MAAC, the Saints will seek to climb their way back to the upper tier of the conference under first-year head coach Jimmy Patsos. Although the Saints are rebuilding in many ways, Patsos knows a 10th place finish is not the goal.
“I really feel it’s our obligation to do well in the MAAC,” said Patsos. “I think we can battle for the league championship in terms of the tournament. It’s gonna take us a while to get better. I think the league’s wide open. If we get better as the year goes, I’d like to see what happens in the tournament.”
The Saints will look to take advantage of the head start they got from playing 5 games in a preseason trip to Montreal where junior Rob Poole emerged as the leading scorer.
“We’re really gonna press and run and I think Rob Poole is gonna excel in that system,” Patsos said. ”I’d like to see Rob Poole be our leader and I think he took a great first step in Canada.”
Siena will also rely heavily on incoming players to give the program a lift including freshman Marquis Wright who Patsos has named the starting point guard.
“The MAAC’s always been a great point guard league. You’ve gotta have guards to win in this league and he’s (Wright) gonna do a lot, Patsos said. ”Lavon Long can help him. He’s kind of a 3/4. I think Maurice White can help. Marquis can really play. He’s gonna have Evan Hymes and Rob Poole to rely on in terms of guiding him. He’ll learn quick in this league.”
Here is a look at the complete poll:
9. St. Peter’s