As soon as Carmen Maciariello was elevated to the head-coaching position of the Siena men’s basketball program, he outlined his vision for how he wanted the Saints to be perceived during his time leading them.
“This program is not about me,” Maciariello said during his introductory press conference last year. “Siena is a players’ program. It has always been a players’ program.”
Those two words — “players’ program” — continuously popped up during Maciariello’s first season, a 20-10 campaign that closed with Siena on a 10-game winning streak and two wins away from heading to the NCAA tournament before the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of the rest of the college basketball season. While Maciariello — a 2001 Siena graduate — has made clear he always has viewed the Siena program as a players-focused one, the heavy emphasis on that quality coincided with his move from assistant coach to head coach, and the style he deployed in Year 1 of his Siena tenure displayed that desire to allow players — plural, not singular — to showcase their individual talents.
Harrison Curry? A 6-foot-7, 230-pound graduate transfer from Detroit Mercy, he saw how that all played out — and what the forward saw played a significant role in his decision Tuesday to commit to join the Saints for the 2020-21 season.
“The whole team is good — and they let the whole team play, which is good,” Curry said Wednesday in a phone interview, a day after he announced his commitment in a social-media post. “That’s attractive. You want to go to a program where the whole team is good. You want to play with good players and play in a program that lets good players be good players, and doesn’t hold anyone back.”
Siena will be Curry’s fourth college program, and the 2020-21 academic year will be Curry’s sixth in college. Generally, athletes are required to complete their four seasons of playing eligibility within five academic years. That means Curry will need a waiver to play for the Saints, but the 24-year-old from Ann Arbor, Michigan, said he’s confident he’ll qualify to receive one and be able to play immediately.
“It’s not a big issue in my eyes to get it done,” said Curry, who was recruited by a number of colleges as a graduate transfer.
Curry spent two years at Pensacola State — a junior college — before transferring to Louisiana Tech, where he only played one game because of a knee injury during the 2017-18 season. After spending a year at Louisiana Tech, Curry averaged 7.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game during the 2018-19 season for Detroit Mercy. He was injured toward the end of that season at Detroit Mercy, and then didn’t play at all during the 2019-20 season at Detroit Mercy as he finished his undergraduate degree in business administration and readied to become a graduate transfer. At Siena, Curry will enroll in the school’s MBA program.
The addition of Curry means Siena has no more open scholarship spots for the 2020-21 season, assuming that rising senior Manny Camper returns to the Saints after testing NBA draft waters. Curry projects as a player capable of helping replace the production of Elijah Burns, who averaged 14.4 points and 5.8 rebounds while earning a second-team All-MAAC selection.
“Excited to be in a winning program where everyone works hard and they know how to win,” said Curry, whose recruitment to Siena was led by assistant coach Antoni Wyche. “I’m one that doesn’t shy away from hard work, and I know what hard work looks like. I’m just excited to join a winning culture. That type of culture is very hard to find.”