Words With Mitch

Here are commnents from Siena from Siena Head Coach Mitch Bounaguro at tody’s weekly media luncheon.

On playing St Bonaventure on his birthday

“Yeah there would be nothing better than to get a win against St. Bonnie’s.”

“It’s going to be another competitive game. People think because they lost Nicholson that they were gonna be way down. They’re not way down. I just watched their last game yesterday when I was in the office. I watched them play Ohio U and that was a great game, two really athletic teams. I think they’re a little underrated actually.”

“They also lost a couple other good kids. He’s instilled that they are playing really good defense. They get after you, they rotate well they help well. Our issues are on the offensive end so my concern going in is scoring. I think we’re going to defend them well but we gotta produce some points. So, in a day ive gotta come up with ways to score. The issue with them at home they’re a much better team it’s a tough place to play so we gotta stop their runs and keep the game close that’s gonna be important.”


“I think a lot of it is decision making. I think our decision making has hurt us in games. I think a lot of it is people trying to do too much. I don’t want to blame Evan because he’s a terrific player and we’re gonna need him to play well, but he’s got a lot of pressure on him. Without Brookins in the game he’s got to handle the ball 38 minutes. Teams are really pressuring him. I want to take the pressure off him. I think with Evan, he understands what he has to do to make the team win, he also has to score without Brookins on the floor so he’s feeling pressure from a lot of areas. Our assist to turnover ratio is .915. That’s bad, really bad.”

On freeing up OD offensively

“In the Albany game, as the game went on, we moved him to the high post. Albany was very physical. After watching the film they were really physical. They were pushing him off the block. Their philosophy was to really play him physical and get him off the block and double him . He’s more comfortable on the block but we can also get him on the block different ways and we’ve got to work on that.”

Rich Audu’s contribution

“I think he’ll be in there. He’s playing well. He came in and hit that big three and had a nice drive. He’s playing 11 minutes a game. I think that will increase certainly. I think he’s earned minutes.”

Evan under pressure

“I think he’s the kind of player that’s an attack player. So when he sees an opening he goes. The only thing is that teams watch him and scout him they’re probably now ganging up on him in the lane. So his decision making in the lane has got to be better. I don’t think it’s his talent level or that he’s a worse player. It’s the decision making once he gets in the lane. Sometimes when he gets in the lane he’s going up, he’s getting fouled and the shots aren’t dropping in and its frustrating for him. He also makes some great plays. If you watch his play this year he’s not playing that bad, he’s averaging 14 points a game. That’s pretty good.”

On using small line ups more

“The issue right now is scoring. We’re really having trouble scoring the ball. So people asking me why I’m going small, that’s the reason why. We are not getting a lot out of the other big man position so you have to adjust as a coach so that’s why we’re going small.”

“Trenity has given us good minutes. He’s played well. He’s averaging almost 6 points a game which is better than what the other two guys are doing. So you’ve got to adjust. You have to figure out what can get some points on the board .”

“Our defense is nationally ranked . Our issues are not on defense, The other night we played great defense . Our issue is on the other end, We cant produce points.”

Rob Poole

“Poole is a really good player. He’s going to start now emerging as a really good player. He’s driving more, he’s mores confident. He’s up to 12 points a game so he’s increased his scoring from last year from 7, so he’s made the jump. The problem is we don’t have another two guys like him that are giving us production. Certainly Brookins can but he’s not there. We need for somebody else on the offensive end to step up. The issue is not Hymes, Anosike and Poole. The issue is with the other guys. They gotta step up and score some points.”

Rahk and his recovery

“I think he can go on the court and shoot. He’s been in the gym but we want to very careful because we don’t want to lose him for the season. That’s all we need. So we’re going to take our time, let him get 100% and make sure we have him for January and February. That’s the game plan ”

Concern of him for good?

“The doctors haven’t really said that. They think that he can come back from this and be 100%. The concern with the injury was that it also inflamed the previous injury . so then he has another vertebrae issue so he really has 3 issues now. There’s always concern, it’s his back, but Rahk ‘s tough. The other thing we miss with him is his competitiveness. He’s tough. He really wants to win and you miss that. He is a veteran so we need him back. ”

On Bisping absent in Albany second half

“He looked a little shook to me. He didn’t look right. That’s a tough game for a freshman. That’s why I didn’t play him in the second half. I got to go with the guys I think I can win the game with. It was as simple as that. Burdine had been through an Albany game. He had played well against Albany when he was a freshman. He was playing well. I was not going to upset that. We were playing small. We couldn’t score with the bigger line up.”

On the upcoming MAAC season

“I just look at the MAAC and they are all topsy turvy. Most of the teams in the league have 3 or 4 losses so it’s going to be very interesting. It’s a very even league. On any night a team could come out of anywhere and win.”

On upcoming 2 week break

“Number one is rest. I’m going to give them two days off right away. When I look back at November with the travel the youth and the injuries, this team needs a little bit of a break from basketball. Hopefully we can survive this week with no injuries. It’s a tough week and then we move on. The whole season is ahead of us. I don’t want to put too much pressure on these kids. I want these kids to have some level of enjoyment. I think they’ve been through a tough start we all know that. We’ve just got to be forward looking. I’m excited about what we have ahead and that’s the way it’s got to be . I think that time will be a time for rest , improvement, talking to these kids, keeping them pumped up, get Brookins healthy, we’ve got to keep an eye on Rahk, and get him back for that LaSalle game.”

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