Words With Mitch

Here are some notes and quotes from this week’s media luncheon with Siena Head Coach Mitch Buonaguro.

Commenting on the win over Marist and the improved output on offense

“Anytime Siena plays at Marist no matter what the records are it’s a challenging game. I thought our guys played really well. We got down 14 and I think the 10 minutes right after we got down was the best basketball we played all year. Guys were making shots. The offense has obviously gotten a lot better.”

On reincorporating Burdine into the lineup

“I made that little adjustment with Trenity Burdine that worked so as we move forward that’ll probably be a look. I’ve already started working on an offense with him incorporated. I don’t want to give my hand away but we’re going to start doing some different things offensively with him.”

More on Burdine

“Trenity offers a different dimension. When I recruited him two years ago I expected what we got out of him the last two games. He was a first-team all-state player, had a lot of potential. I think he’s been through a lot but now if he comes into his own these last 9, 10 games he’s only gonna make us a lot better. He’s a unique player in that he can get to the rim too. He’s athletic he’s 6-6. The only thing that hurts is we’re not as good of a rebounding team but I’m willing to give up rebounds for points at this point in the season.”

“He’s 6-6. He’s long and he’s athletic and in that press that I use that’s what you need up top. He makes the press better and he’s not a turnover guy either. He doesn’t turn the ball over and we’ve been stuggling with turnovers. The big problem with my team this year has been the fifth guy. We haven’t gotten any productivity from the fifth player. That puts even more pressure on the four guys that are scoring. If we can get Burdine to get double figures consistently or even 8, 9 points now we’re a much different team.”

On Evan Hymes’ improved play

“Evan has really played well the last three weeks. This week he has played great. I looked at his statistics in the league and they’re very good. His assist/turnover is a lot better. 30 points against arguably the best team in league. He played really well at Marist. Now against Manhattan they’re a team that really gets after you and presses. It will be interesting. He’s going to have to play a lot of minutes so against Manhattan he’s going to have to handle the ball well and I think he’s up for the challenge. When he plays that way we’re a lot better.”

On working on improving the offense

“I’ve spent a lot of time the last two weeks on offense. I take a day a week like today I’m just gonna do offense. I just felt when I look at this team we’ve gotta score some points. I love defense and enjoy the challenge of stopping another team but if you can’t score you can’t win. So, there’s been a lot of work done, a lot of confidence building, alot of shooting in practice. I talked to a good friend of mine, Pete Gillen. Pete and I talk every week and Pete said you’ve gotta spend time on shooting which I’ve made a concerted effort to do. Sometimes you get caught up in out of bounds plays and what the other team does and you don’t shoot enough. Like today we’ll do 35 minutes of shooting. That’s helped.”

On Poole and Burdine playing together

“Poole and Burdine are similar in the sense that they can make threes, they’re pretty good ball handlers. Poole’s stats in the league are really good. 45% from 3. Six rebounds a game 14 points and he’s playing really well lately so now you get Burdine who’s a similar player, more athletic and hopefully can give you the same numbers. So now you become a way better offensive team.”

On limiting Rahk’s minutes

“With our margin of error it’s hard to keep Brookins out. He’s really good. I asked before the game at Marist what he could do and he told me he could go. He’s a warrior. He’ll play the minutes the issue is will his back hold up. He was a big part of that win and played really well on Sunday.”

On adjusting the offense to deal with double teams

“Today what I’ll do is take each offensive set that we run and this new set I’m putting in and we’ll actually go over exactly what we want him (OD) to do. It’s a post pattern against the double. People have seen it on film. It’s basically dive a guy and spot up. It’s what the pro teams do. It worked against Marist. We were wide open.”

On importance of the next two games

“If we can somehow win Friday night then we’re tied for seventh and then if we can beat Fairfield we’ll probably move to sixth, tied for sixth. We wanna stay outta like last year we stayed out of the play-in round. We were sixth and that really helped. We were well rested for the Manhattan game. So we’ve got a lot to play for. There’s a lot of basketball and a lot of important basketball ahead.”

Imoh Silas is still considered day to day with a sprained ankle.

Update: On Wednesday it was announced that Ryan Oliver would undergo a scope on his knee (deep bruise/sprain) in the next couple days. He will be out at least a month and is likely to miss the rest of the season.

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