Thursday, January 28, 2010

Where does Siena's MAAC Streak Rank?

Siena has now started conference play with an 11-0 record, one of the best starts to league play in MAAC history.

The fastest start ever was accomplished by the 1989-90 La Salle team which went through the season unbeaten winning all 16 of its league contests.

Since then, your blogger believes the best start to league play took place last year when Siena started 12-0 before dropping a 90-88 overtime decision at Rider on Feb. 7, 2009.

The Saints will be heavily favored to match last season's 12-0 start, playing its next game at Marist, the league's worst team, Saturday in Poughkeepsie.

After that, Siena meets teams currently tied for second in the MAAC standings, tangling with Iona on Feb. 5 and Fairfield on Feb. 8., Those two teams, after victories on Thursday, are both 8-3 in league play.

But, both those games are on Siena's Times Union Center home court where it has a 32-game unbeaten streak overall.

For sure, the countdown is on and the speculation is already strong about whether Siena can become the conference's only program other than La Salle (16-0 in 1989-90, and 14-0 in 1987-88) to go through league play without a loss.


Mulldog said...

They got it done without Ubiles too. Rossiter put together an unreal stat line. I must say I disagree with Downey being out hurting Siena. I'm sure you would never come out and say such but I think the kid is not a good basketball player. He's a shooter who can't shoot. Griffin hit 1-2 from deep tonight and although he didn't do much, coming off a nice effort against Manhattan, I think he is a better bet to be the player they thought Downey would be than Downey is. If Siena could only shoot they would pose a threat to any of the major conference teams that lack dominant big men, in my opinion.

Steve Amedio said...

Mulldog --
I know you're more astute than to be so critical of Downey without knowing his situation.

He dealt with a severe back situation all summer, prohibiting him from even touching a basketball for nearly three months. He was no where near 100 percent when the season started. He has worn a restrictive back brace throughout this season, both in practice and in games. His conditioning and lingering back woes inhibited his play early.

In recent weeks,though, he has been relatively healthy.
In the last six games prior to his loss with a broken foot ...
He averaged 7.5 points per game in a little over 18 minutes of average time. He made 17 of 29 shots in those last six games (.586 percent), including 6-of-15 (.400 percent) from 3-point territory. He ranks second on the team in steals per-minutes played.

He is a perfect fit for Siena, a high energy guy who is a defensive pest, a good rebounder and a versatile offensive player who can score driving to the basket and who has a good outside shot, as evidenced by his recent shooting stats.

I think you're judging him on his early work, when he was still struggling with his physical situation, and not his latest efforts when he has been healthier.

And, remember, he was a MAAC all-Rookie team selection as a freshman.

As for Siena's outside shooting. If you look back over McCaffery's time here, this is a team that does not stress outside shooting. He prefers to attack the basket at every opportunity, a strategy designed to get into the bonus situation early and to get more free throws than opponents.

In every year McCaffery has been here his teams have made more free throws than opponents have taken, which is the case again. Siena has made 362 FTs; opponents have only taken 276 and only made 169, barely more than half the made FTs of Siena.

Obviously, it's a winning way to play. If Siena concentrated on taking more outside shots, it would lose that significant advantage it has on the foul line.

Troy said...

wow .. that is another article in it self ... but good points.