FTRS: Last season, you predicted a second round loss in the NCAA's. Siena made the tourney but was matched up with a fairly strong Purdue team. Was last season a success or failure?
SSB: I would say most in the fanbase consider it a failure. Last year the expectations were Sweet 16 or bust. Nationally, everybody got caught up in Siena love, as the Ohio State game of 2009 gave the nation the perception that we were one of the best Mid Majors in the country, despite mediocre play in 2010 against Top 25 opponents. Clarence Jackson hurt his ankle in practice the week before the NCAA tournament game, and losing that deep threat really hurt us against an already banged up Purdue team. At least the Boilermakers played pretty well in the tournament-- falling to the eventual National Champion Duke Blue Devils.FTRS: The Saints started the 2009-2010 with a 4-2 record before meeting Tech. This season they've started with a 3-6 record before the Tech game. Is this a function of losing Edwin Ubiles, Ronald Moore, and Alex Franklin or a function of a tougher opening slate of games?
SSB: Without a doubt, losing the "big three" completely changes the make up of this team. Ryan Rossiter and Clarence Jackson can score in bunches, but really, this team is rebuilding. They're searching for an identity-- most importantly, a third scorer. It appeared that Junior Owen Wignot was starting to emerge, until he recently got hurt. The most exciting part of our game right now is watching our freshman Point Guard Rahkeem Brookins run the floor with the speed that Ronald Moore brought to our program the last four years.
SSB: Clarence Jackson is the sharp shooter Tech has got to watch out for, he can fill it up. I would say our other deep threats would be Downey and Burdine.FTRS: Once again, what are the postseason goals of the Saints?
SSB: This year, I think getting anywhere near the MAAC title game would be a successful season. There are already some overly aggressive fans calling for Mitch Buonaguro's head.FTRS: Last year the Saints led at the half by 4 but an epically poor shooting performance doomed the Saints. What is your prediction for this season's match up?
SSB: I think it's GT by 11. I think Siena will hang around, but this team goes on way too many scoring droughts to hang with Tech, even at home. It seems like all it really takes is GT shutting down Jackson or Rossiter and Siena will look like chickens with their heads cut off.Thanks to the Saints' bloggers and good luck to the Saints. Go Jackets!
Best of luck Yellow Jacket fans, it's going to be a love fest Tuesday night. Many in this town have a very big soft spot for Paul Hewitt. We'd like to take a second to welcome him back to his stepping stone-- welcome back to Albany Coach!