LOUDONVILLE — The break in the Siena men’s basketball schedule became a bit longer Sunday.
The school’s athletic department announced Sunday the Saints needed to pause in-person team activities “following multiple COVID-19 test results stemming from the program’s Tier 1 personnel,” and that next Friday’s and Saturday’s games against Canisius had been postponed.
Siena has not played since it split a pair of games at Marist on Jan. 30-31. The MAAC’s ever-changing schedule had left the Saints without any games for the Feb. 6-7 weekend, and the team isn’t currently scheduled to play again until Feb. 19-20 at Niagara.
However, MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor said Sunday that the Saints’ schedule “is getting shuffled again,” and expected the team’s remaining schedule to be adjusted by no later than Monday morning.
In response to a request for comment, Siena head coach Carmen Maciariello text messaged that there was “nothing to talk about” and that the situation is “nothing we can’t handle.” Siena athletic director John D’Argenio did not respond to a request for comment, while a Siena spokesperson confirmed that the Saints’ latest positive test results were discovered from the program’s testing conducted on Wednesday.
Siena had three nearly consecutive pauses to close out 2020, but had no interruption since returning to the court for in-person team activities prior to starting its season with Jan. 3-4 games against Monmouth. Siena, the MAAC’s preseason favorite, is 8-2 on the season after starting 6-0 and splitting its last two series of games.
Siena’s announcement Sunday noted that the MAAC “requires teams to play their games as scheduled if they have at least eight student athletes who previously tested positive. The Saints currently do not meet this threshold, resulting in the decision to postpone next weekend’s games.”
Teams are allowed to play, by their choice, as long as they have six scholarship players in that pool of players who previously tested positive and are available to play. Asked if Siena could have played its games against Canisius, Ensor said league and Siena officials “didn’t really talk about that, frankly.”
The Siena women’s basketball team recently played one game with six available players, but then had its following back-to-back games postponed.
At UAlbany, the men’s basketball program recently restarted practicing after needing to pause because of a positive COVID-19 test result, while the women’s basketball team completed Sunday its fourth consecutive weekend of play.