LOUDONVILLE — Will Siena men’s basketball have its top star for its upcoming MAAC series?
Saints head coach Carmen Maciariello wasn’t sure of that Wednesday, but said junior Jalen Pickett (right hamstring) continues to make progress.
“He’s in a good spot,” Maciariello said during a teleconference with reporters. “He’s not feeling any pain, but you still won’t know [if Pickett can play] until you’ve got to sit in a defensive stance for 30 seconds, and box out, and dive for a loose ball, and come off a ball screen and stop on a dime and shoot a pull-up.”
“He hasn’t done any of that yet, so I have no idea,” Maciariello said. “That’s why he’s day to day.”
Presumably, though, the 6-0 Saints will try to have Pickett test his injured leg at some point this week before Friday’s home MAAC game against Saint Peter’s to see if the reigning MAAC Player of the Year is able to return after missing Siena’s last three games. Maciariello wants to make sure, though, that the Saints are cautious, and don’t rush Pickett back into action.
“But he’s shot. He’s ran up and down some,” Maciariello said of Pickett, who was not made available Wednesday to reporters. “He’s got a sweat. He’s ridden a bike.”
‘IT WAS EVERYTHING’
Pickett revealed last November that he had tested positive for COVID-19, but that he’d had very mild symptoms.
Siena freshman Colin Golson — who debuted last weekend after clearing Siena’s COVID-19 protocols — wasn’t as lucky.
“It was everything,” Golson said of the symptoms he experienced for a few days when he dealt with the illness. “Cold sweats. Chills. It was terrible. It was just bad.”
Golson missed Siena’s first four games. He was named Monday as the MAAC Rookie of the Week after he averaged 10.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in Siena’s two wins against Rider.
“It was just fun getting back out there,” Golson said.
He added: “I’m honored to take the rookie of the week, but I’m just doing what I’m told.”
LOOKING FOR MORE
Maciariello’s program has won 16 consecutive games, which is a Division I program record for Siena.
He described Siena’s play against Rider, though, as simply “OK” after the Saints nearly let Saturday’s victory escape from their grasp in the final minute because of some miscues.
“Obviously, I don’t think we played very well,” Maciariello said of Siena’s showing at Rider. “We haven’t put a full 40 minutes together yet. I thought offensively our execution was poor. I didn’t think we screened well. I didn’t think we moved well off the ball.”
Siena, Maciariello said, needs to be better against Saint Peter’s to keep its winning streak going.
“We need to be able to come and play a 40-minute game, which we haven’t done to this point in the season.”
Monday, sophomore Jordan King was named the MAAC Player of the Week — and the Albany native who was a walk-on last season before becoming a scholarship player this season didn’t downplay that the award had special meaning to him.
“It felt good,” King said. “Looking back at last season, I don’t think I would ever see myself getting this award.”
King played a consistent role off the bench for the Saints last season, but has started every game this season. Against Rider, he registered new career-high scoring marks on consecutive days with 21 points last Friday and 22 the next day.
“I’m just happy to see that hard work is paying off — and, also, I’ve got to give credit to my teammates and my coaches because, without them, this wouldn’t be possible, so thank you to those guys, as well,” King said.