Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (27-6, 17-1)
Big Wins: 11/17 Northeastern (59-53), 12/7 at Iona (73-60), 1/16 at Fairfield (81-73)
Bad Losses: 11/27 vs St. John’s (68-77), 12/2 at Georgia Tech (61-74), 2/12 at Niagara (74-87)
Last NCAA Appearance: 2009, Second Round loss to Louisville
Coach: Fran McCaffery (1-4 in 4 NCAA appearances)
Why They Can Surprise:
Except for Kenny Hasbrouck, which is certainly a big loss, this is pretty much the same team that beat Vanderbilt in the NCAA Tournament two years ago and Ohio State last year. That makes this an extremely experienced group on the perimeter and it all starts with Edwin Ubiles. Ubiles is not a prolific outside shooter, but he takes smart shots and can knock them down when he is open. However, the 6-6 senior has good size for a wing in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and that makes it very easy for him to finish around the basket.
The outside shooter on the team is Clarence Jackson who has done an admirable job replacing Hasbrouck. Most of his shots come from beyond the arc and he will be the team’s go-to player next year if he can be more aggressive getting to the basket. The catalyst of the entire offense is Ronald Moore. Moore dishes out 7.8 assists per game and his quickness and offensive mindset will put stress on the opposing defense.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Surprisingly for a team that has such a talented group of guards, which also includes roleplayers Kyle Griffin and Kyle Downey, this is not a team that shoots very much from the perimeter. Siena is not used to being behind, but they will be at some point in March and they will need some quick points off of three-point shooting. If Jackson’s shot is not falling, the options are pretty slim. Griffin is a consistent outside shooter, but he rarely puts up many shots and Downey does most of his scoring around the basket. That leaves Ubiles, but he is much more effective attacking the basket.
Who To Watch:
The frontcourt has done more than just compliment the talent in the backcourt this season. Alex Franklin is the team’s leading scorer and is having a great senior season. Ryan Rossiter has progressed quickly and is suddenly a dynamic scorer who can battle in the paint and step outside and hit the mid-range jumper, but his most important asset is his ability to hit the glass. Rossiter is a double-double machine and has been quite consistent throughout his junior campaign. It is the lack of experienced depth behind Franklin and Rossiter that is a major problem and players like Owen Wignot and O.D. Anosike need to be more productive during their limited playing time.
Ronald Moore, Senior, Guard, 6.8 ppg, 7.8 apg, 1.9 spg
Clarence Jackson, Junior, Guard, 13.6 ppg, 2.5 rpg
Edwin Ubiles, Senior, Guard, 15.2 ppg, 2.3 apg
Alex Franklin, Senior, Forward, 16.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg
Ryan Rossiter, Junior, Forward, 13.9 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 1.1 bpg
O.D. Anosike, Freshman, Forward, 2.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg
Kyle Downey, Sophomore, Guard, 5.0 ppg, 1.1 rpg
Kyle Griffin, Sophomore, Guard, 2.4 ppg, 1.1 rpg
Owen Wignot, Sophomore, Forward, 2.6 ppg, 1.6 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.6 (46th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 65.3 (92, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.9 (56, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.8 (152, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.8 (289, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: na
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.1 (225, 8)
Rebound Margin: 4.1 (54, 2)
Assists Per Game: 14.6 (66, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.3 (63, 3)
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