Siena's loss is Marist's gain ... or, so it appears.
The "gain" for the Red Foxes' women's basketball program is Sydney Rosales, a very talented 5-foot-10 combo guard with long-range shooting ability.
Rosales is entering her senior season at Colonie High School, about three miles away from the Siena campus. At one time she and current Siena player Tehresa Coles were teammates, and they remain close friends.
The expectation was that Rosales would eventually join Coles at Siena, and Rosales made that intention known last summer when she gave a verbal commitment to the Saints.
But, this past March, Siena fired long-time head coach Gina Castelli, for whom Rosales had hoped to play for, and the player withdrew her commitment (oral commitments are not binding).
Siena's new staff did attempt to "re-recruit" Rosales, but she appears to have found a future home for her talents at perennial MAAC power Marist, according to a report in today's Albany Times Union newspaper, written by good friend and veteran high school sports reporter James Allen.
"The reason I committed to Siena so early was the relationships I developed with those coaches," Rosales told Allen, about the former Saints' staff. "The relationships I've built (with the Marist coaches) over the past month are strong. He (Marist head coach Brian Giorgis) isn't going anywhere, which was very important. He's got a good thing going there, and it's close to home (about 90 miles south of her home)."
Since de-committing from Siena, Rosales had drawn interest from, among others, St. Bonaventure, Delaware, Hartford, Sacred Heart, Central Connecticut and Canisius.
She led Colonie High School to the Section II (upstate New York) sectional Class AA (large school) championship this past season and was that tournament's Most Valuable Player. She averaged 13.6 points, 5.2 assists and 5.2 steals this past season for her high school team.
Rosales has also been a standout at the AAU level, playing for the Saratoga Sparks program. Two years ago, after her freshman season in high school, she led that program to an age-division title in the competitive GymRat Challenge event held in the Albany area, and was her division's MVG (Most Valuable GymRat).
She recently helped the Sparks to a second-place finish in the AAU National tournament.
Your Hoopscribe has seen Rosales play well over a dozen times, both in high school and AAU games and can attest to her abilities.
In leading her AAU program to the GymRat Challenge title two years ago she played point guard through championship bracket games when a teammate, a Mormon, opted not to play on Sunday. She has often played the point in high school, too, but said she expects to play shooting guard at Marist.
She will immediately be one of the best long-range shooters in the MAAC when she begins play in the 2013-14 season. The former Siena staff was enamored with her deep long-range skills, claiming she was comfortable making shots several feet beyond the three-point stripe. And, at a legitimate 5-10 height, she is able to shoot over most guards.
"I know coach Giorgis recruits very good players, so it is an honor for me to be going there," Rosales told the Times Union. "I'm really excited to get there and for him to develop my game more."