LOUDONVILLE — On Monday, the constant rescheduling of the MAAC men’s basketball season hit a new level.
That level: Siena had a home game for this Wednesday on its schedule against Quinnipiac that lasted for approximately three hours before it was canceled.
And, for the moment, that change left Siena no longer in control of its own destiny in terms of chasing after the MAAC tournament’s top seed.
The MAAC schedule was again reworked Monday after further disruptions related to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member Rick Pitino’s Iona program, which Siena was supposed to play this weekend, announced Monday that “due to a positive COVID-19 result received by a Tier 1 member of the men’s basketball program, and subsequent quarantine and isolation protocols, Iona will not have the required number of student-athletes to compete for the remainder of the MAAC’s regular season.”
Iona, though, does expect to return for the MAAC tournament, and MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor confirmed Monday in a phone interview with The Daily Gazette that the league is expecting the Gaels to participate in Atlantic City.
Siena was supposed to play Manhattan Wednesday before taking on Iona this upcoming weekend and, then, would end its season with games against Quinnipiac.
With Iona’s latest pause, Siena then — at approximately 6 p.m. Monday — was rescheduled to play Quinnipiac this Wednesday, Manhattan this Friday and Saturday, and then Canisius on March 4-5 at UHY Center, the former Alumni Recreation Center.
And . . . then, at 9:21 p.m. Monday, Quinnipiac announced it would not play at Siena this week.
Instead, Quinnipiac — which played Iona last week — announced that “out of an abundance of caution, after a positive COVID-19 test from a recent MAAC opponent, Wednesday’s men’s basketball game between Quinnipiac and Siena has been canceled.”
That means Siena — it appears, at the very least — is without a game Wednesday, and now no longer has enough games on its schedule to allow it simply to win out in order to earn the top seed for the MAAC tournament.
The Saints are 9-3 and lead the MAAC in winning percentage, but the conference is seeding its tournament by total conference wins, which puts Siena one game behind first-place Monmouth, which is 10-4 in league play.
With the loss of the Quinnipiac game from its schedule, Siena is currently only capable of winning 13 conference games, while Monmouth can win 14.
But . . . Monmouth, which is scheduled to play two games each against Fairfield and Rider to close its regular season, played Iona this past weekend, so the Monmouth program announced Monday a “stoppage in team activity and a quarantine period,” but without a timeline on how long that will last. The team’s games Friday and Saturday against Fairfield, for now, remain on the Hawks’ schedule
CAMPER A FINALIST
Siena senior Manny Camper was selected Monday as one of 10 men’s basketball finalists for the Senior CLASS Award.
Camper is the second Siena athlete to be a national finalist. Tom Morr, a men’s lacrosse player who graduated in 2012, was the first. Previously, when Camper was named as one of 30 candidates for the award, he joined Brett Bisping (2017) and O.D. Anosike (2012) as the only Siena men’s basketball players to have earned that distinction.
The winner of the award is determined by a combination of votes from fans, media members and coaches, and will be announced during this year’s Final Four.
Fan voting takes place at seniorclassaward.com.
SIENA WOMEN’S GAME POSTPONED
The Siena women’s basketball team will not play Monmouth Wednesday because the Hawks have paused team activities.
Siena next plays Saturday and Sunday at Saint Peter’s.
Head coach Ali Jaques’ team is coming off a win Sunday at Quinnipiac.