Siena Men To Be Led By Senior Core


With a new season fast approaching, Siena will look to a talented core of seniors to lead them to the top of the MAAC. Coming off a 21-win season in 2015-2016, the Saints return a group that has played a key role in their program’s resurgence. The veterans made up of RS-senior Brett Bisping, along with seniors Javion Ogunyemi, Marquis Wright and Lavon Long are poised to use that seasoning in their final march toward a championship.

“Our four seniors have done a great job,” said head coach Jimmy Patsos. “Javion’s (MAAC) Defensive Player of the Year. Brett First Team all MAAC, one of the top 20 small forwards in the country, named by Lindy’s magazine. Marquis, despite his injury, has had a tremendous three years here. Lavon’s just been a do-it-all guy. He’s really grown up. I couldn’t be prouder of the four seniors. They deserve to have a good year.”

It is no secret that good year for this group would be to win a MAAC Championship. While it is a goal that is certainly within reach, it will not be easy. Having experienced some ups and downs should serve as a valuable lesson into what it will take. With a good deal of talent in the sophomore and freshmen classes as well, it is not all about the seniors. Still, there is no substitute for experience.

“The guys who’ve been here for a while, we’ve been through a lot,” said Ogunyemi. “We’ve had successful season. We had a down season. We’ve had injuries. We’ve had good wins and we’ve had losses when we were up. I feel like we’re very experienced and this year will really show it. As a group I think we are ready but every day we just have to get better and learn.”

With regular season champs Monmouth returning the bulk of its group, always dangerous Iona in the hunt, and a few other MAAC teams with a legitimate chance, a title will have to be earned.

“When you look at our schedule, it’s gonna be a great test but it’s about the MAAC,” said Patsos. “Monmouth‘s clearly gonna be the favorite with (Justin) Robinson and them back but I like our guys. I never count out Iona and I know Manhattan’s got a really talented team. Rider has some fifth year guys. It’s gonna be interesting.

“I don’t know what it’s gonna take to win this year (in terms of a win total)”, Patsos said. “I know we have a lot of pieces. We just have to step up and win games.”

Widely picked to finish second in the standings, the Saints have a more lofty goal in mind, cutting down the nets at the Times Union Center in March.

“We’ve got a chance. I know that for sure,” Patsos said. “It will be a test every night but by March I know one thing. We’ve got a chance to win the whole thing and that’s great.”


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