Siena, earlier this week, received its first verbal commitment from a player who will join the program for the 2010-11 season.
From extensive personal observation, this is a case of the proverbial rich getting richer.
Siena, the MAAC champion in the past two seasons, will lose an outstanding senior group after the coming season. But the first verbal commitment, from 6-foot-6 swingman Trenity Burdine, appears to be a strong first step in replacing the current seniors.
Burdine is entering his senior year at Reading (Pa.) High School, and is a close friend of current Siena standout Alex Franklin (who also calls Reading, Pa., home). Franklin, according to sources, strongly extolled Siena's virtues to Burdine in recent weeks.
Burdine plays for the York (Pa.) Ballers on the spring/summer AAU circuit, and his team made a Memorial Day Weekend stop in the area appearing in the GymRat Challenge Tournament at Siena.
This blogger got to watch Burdine play several games, and helped compile the "report" for members of that event's all-star team. Here it is:
"Trenity Burdine (6-6 SF/SG) York Ballers: Very skilled player with good handle and passing ability in half court and transition. Great range on jumper and showed ability to shoot off the bounce. His length disrupts defenses and be a factor on the glass. Interest from Siena among several other mid-major D-I programs."
Observers (this one included) compare Burdine to another current Siena player, senior Edwin Ubiles. The body size and skill set is similar. Burdine isn't quite the player Ubiles is, but Ubiles, is also four years older. It's not hard to envision that Burdine could make contributions at Siena similar to Ubiles'.
Of course, that's a very tall order. But Burdine's skills and style of play create the impression that he's capable of that.
"I just love Siena basketball," Burdine told Pete Iorizzo of the Albany Times Union. "Coach Fran (McCaffery) told me I was one of his main guys."
This blogger had heard that Burdine was one of Siena's two primary targets among players appearing at the GymRat Challenge event. The other is 6-foot-7, 250-pound power forward Dominic Morris, who played for The RAIDERS, a Philadelphia-based AAU team.
In the next few days, I'll submit a list of players, along with some insight, who will join conference programs for the coming season ... either as a freshman or as a transfer. But, this commitment came up, and with considerable first-hand viewing of Burdine ... just thought I'd pass along some thoughts.