Monday, March 14, 2011

St. Peter's Dunne To Talk With Buonaguro

A phone call to Saint Peter's coach John Dunne Monday afternoon provided the reminder that the team Dunne's Peacocks will face in the first round of the NCAA tournament is Purdue, coincidentally the team Siena also met (and lost to, 72-64) in last year's NCAA tournament first round.

Dunne said he would contact Siena's current head coach Mitch Buonaguro later in the day.

Buonaguro, though, probably beat Dunne to the punch.

When informed (by your blogging hoopscribe) that Dunne would be making a call to him, Buonaguro asked for Dunne's cell phone number and said he would make a call to the Saint Peter's coach offering whatever help he could provide as well as sending over Siena's scouting report, which he prepared, from the Saints' meeting with the Boilermakers.

"I'll definitely call him and offer to help out any way I can," said Buonaguro. "I'll fax him down my scouting report ... whatever I can do."

And, what message will Buonagura deliver to Dunne about Saint Peter's first-round match?

"Purdue plays man-to-man and they're very physical, so it should be an interesting game," said Buonaguro. "But, Saint Peter's is very good defensively, too. They're both great defensive teams.

"Saint Peter's is actually a little more athletic at a couple of positions. Maybe Saint Peter's with its combination of physical play and athleticism can stay in the game.

"The thing is that you have to score on them. You have to find a way to get some baskets ... it doesn't hurt to get some easy ones in transition. The one thing about Purdue is that they're very physical and they don't let you run your cuts.

"Last year we got down against them (56-41 midway through the second half0 and, then, came back a little when we pressed. Our press bothered them, got them out of rhythem."

Siena rallied to get within 66-63 with 1:03 remaining before Purdue closed it ou tin the final minute.

"The biggest key is making shots, which Saint Peter's can do. If it can get some shots ... and, it does have shot-makers ... it can stay in the game.

"The other thing you have to do defensively is to contain Johnson (Purdue's 6-11 forward JaJuan Johnson). You can't let him kill you, because he can. He hurt us last year (26 points, 15 rebounds against the Saints).

"You have to try to get them out of sync and, in the half court, play a little zone. They're not the greatest team against a zone. This should be an interesting game. Saint Peter's plays the type game you need to play to have a chance to beat Purdue."

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