Words With Mitch

Here are some notes and quotes from our weekly media luncheon with Siena Head Coach Mitch Buonaguro.

On the performance vs Iona

“I think the Iona game is how we envisioned the team playing all year. It was not a win but it was a tremendous team effort. We played with good discipline on both ends of the floor. Unfortunately we didn’t make a couple of plays but Iona is a really good team.”

“That was a disappointing loss because we need a win and I thought we played well enough to win. ”

On the following game vs Rider

“The game yesterday was a very interesting game in the sense that I thought we played very much the same way in the first half. And then it all went awry. The first five minutes of the second-half looked totally different than we did in the other three halves. I think the Rider pressure did it. We just didn’t handle the press as well which was surprising because we had handled pressure pretty well going into the game.”

Did team lack energy in second half?

“We kind of did. I don’t know why. We played with pretty good energy in the first half. We had a war Friday night. I didn’t use the bench a lot. I did a little more yesterday. Maybe we were a little tired. We had guys that played hard Friday and then we had a quick turnaround on Sunday at two. My guys play better when we have more time to prepare.”

On the play of Imoh and Brett

“I don’t know about yesterday with Silas. Friday night he played well. Yesterday he was in freshman heaven. I love Imoh. I really do. But yesterday he was lost. I think it was encouraging that he played well Friday night. Yesterday I called three plays to start the game and he didn’t move. He’s (like) a freshman who plays inconsistently. He plays well. Then he doesn’t play well. But he is coming on. He’s playing better.”

“Bisping in 25 minutes he’s 2-9. He took a lot of shots. He was aggressive. He made some nice plays but 2-9. He’s gotta make more shots than that.”

On Audu and Oliver on Sunday

“I thought Audu played pretty well. He couldn’t make a shot but he was aggressive. He deserves more minutes and he’ll get more minutes Friday night. I think Audu has picked up. He is playing a little more aggressively and I like that.”

“Oliver came in yesterday I thought looked a little dazed. I don’t know what it was.”

On team performing better with a few days to prepare.

“I have really emphasized scouting in the last couple weeks and I think that’s why we played better against Iona. With the quick turnaround in a day against Rider how much can you do. We can watch film. We had a walk through but we didn’t really practice.”

On Evan

“Evan’s come around, he’s playing better. He had a really good game, seven assists no turnovers against Iona. Yesterday he was 3 and 4. The problem with Evan is he’s not making any shots. In the last two games he was 2 for 20 I think. We need him to make some shots. Our backcourt in the two games believe it or not I just looked at it today was 6 for 40. It’s going to be hard to win because Hymes and Brookins have to score.”

On Poole

“He had a really good weekend. He’s playing the way I envisioned him when I recruited him. He was recruited higher than Siena. He had a Big Ten offer. He had a couple of Atlantic 10. Now he’s playing that way. It took a while with his inconsistency but now he’s pretty good. Yesterday I thought he played really well. Now what we need is the other guys to play like he’s playing, at a little bit higher level. We get really good play out of him and then we get what we get out of the backcourt, 2 for 20. We need to get consistency out of the team that’s been our biggest issue all year.”

Worried about Evan ans others being banged up and getting worn down?

“Yeah I am. I wonder if that’s why he didn’t shoot well. He looked banged up before the game he had a little issue with his finger. I asked him how he was feeling and he did say he was really spent. We gave them the day. Today they’re off which is great.”

“The other thing is we have a team that’s challenged and you want to practice more. We did practice a lot this week we did a lot. Maybe I’ve got to back off more now and make sure these guys stay healthy.”

On season so far and moving forward

“Essentially half the season is over now and the team is what it is. When you look at the team it’s a team challenged offensively. Is that gonna change in a week? Probably not. So they have to defend every game. We were doing that earlier in the year effectively. It kept us in all the games. We got lax with that a few games and then we found it again against Iona. Iona was our best defensive game. To hold them to 24 points in the first half to me was a monumental feat. They are averaging the second leading scoring team in the country.”

“Yesterday we played well in the first half but then it got away. The team is what it is. It’s got to develop some consistency. If we don’t make shots if you’re 15 for 56 you can be Houdini and you’re not going to win. 15 for 56 is not acceptable shooting on a high school level. So we’ve got to shoot better.”

On how transfers are impacting the league and can you still win with homegrown out of high school players ?

“Nurideen Lindsey’s pretty good. He makes Rider better. Momo Jones won the game Friday night. He was the difference in the game and he should be. He was recruited by Arizona and he’s a terrific player. I would say on our side, the men’s side it has become a transfer league. I’m not comfortable with transfers. I’ve never really taken them though I took Brandon Walters. I’d rather go with guys we have in the program. That’s the way my philosophy’s always been. But man if you look at the teams in this league, you’ve got Baron, Momo Jones, Nurideen Lindsey, Those are all the better teams in the league. So yeah I think it’s impacted the league and it made the teams better.”

Mitch and the team were attending a 4 hour seminar on leadership, on campus following the luncheon today.

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