A year ago, Siena was 8-24 and struggled for much of the season. Now with new head coach Jimmy Patsos, the Saints are hoping that this week’s trip to Montreal will help forge their identity for this upcoming season.
Patsos takes over Siena after nine years at Loyola (Md.) and is thankful for the trip because of how beneficial the 10 extra practices and five extra games are for the Saints before the season begins.
With only two starters returning — shooting guard Evan Hymes and small forward Rob Poole — Patsos is using the trip to find the necessary depth to play his uptempo style, according to a story from Mike MacAdam of The Daily Gazette.
“I’m trying to get eight or nine guys,” Patsos said to the Daily Gazette. “I know we have three or four from returning. And I know a couple young guys can play just by virtue of what I’m seeing because of summer school, but I’m trying to figure out who the eight or nine guys are who can play this year, because we’re going to press and run this year. We can’t play six guys the way we’re going to play.”
Patsos must also see how freshman point guard Marquis Wright — who will likely start from day one — acclimates to playing at the college level.
The Saints must also work in a few other newcomers at the forward like a pair of freshmen — Javion Ogunyemi and Lavon Long — and Mike Wolfe.
Patsos will start the returning players — except Wright — during the Montreal trip since they have more experience.
“Marquis is the one, Hymes at the two, Poole at the three, Brett [Bisping] at the four, [Imoh] Silas at the five,” Patsos said. “Long looks really good so far. He’s a versatile guy that can do a lot of stuff.”
This will definitely be a rebuilding season for Siena, but with so many newcomers and a new coach they’re one or two years away from potentially making noise in the MAAC with a few more strong recruiting classes.