Albany County

Siena men’s basketball’s Maciariello focusing on using open scholarships, hiring new assistant coach

Siena's Carmen Maciariello is shown during a game this past season.
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Siena's Carmen Maciariello is shown during a game this past season.

LOUDONVILLE — Siena formally announced Friday the contract extension of men’s basketball head coach Carmen Maciariello, who has an agreement in place to lead the Saints through the 2025-26 season.

There won’t be much, if any, time for the coach to relax.

The program lost starting guard Jordan King to the NCAA transfer portal Thursday, the same day that Harley Fuller posted on social media that he was leaving his job as one of the Saints’ assistant coaches.

So, for now, Maciariello has three open scholarships to fill, plus a vacancy on his coaching staff. Maciariello thanked Fuller for the three seasons he spent working for the Siena program during a Friday teleconference with reporters. Maciariello said he’d had a few conversations Friday regarding the opening coaching spot and that his “phone is blowing up” with calls and messages from those interested in the position, but that he hadn’t formally interviewed anyone.

“We’re always looking to make our program better, so it’s a chance to do that,” Maciariello said of replacing Fuller, who the head coach said he expects to pursue head-coaching opportunities. “Obviously, we wish Harley the best, but now [his departure] also gives us an opportunity to see where we can impact the program and grow.”

Most important to Maciariello in the hire he makes to add to his coaching staff?

“I’d love to have somebody that has some prior background with skill development,” Maciariello said. “I think that’s going to be key.”

Maciariello said his “hope [is] it stays the same” regarding the rest of his current coaching staff, and that he charged his remaining assistants — Bob Simon and Antoni Wyche — with using the team’s open scholarships to recruit “for a program that’s a little different” from the one the coaching staff took over after a 17-16 season in 2018-19. After winning at least a share of the MAAC regular-season championship in the last two seasons, Maciariello said he wants his coaching staff to make sure it gets the most out of the open scholarships it possesses.

“Now you can kind of set the bar a little higher and really try to zero in on what you want,” Maciariello said.

Maciariello said his program will be active in recruiting high school seniors and transfers. With the total number of Division I transfers quickly approaching 1,000, according to the database at verbalcommits.com, Maciariello said the program also needs to make sure it focuses attention on its current crop of players.

“I think it’s reality,” Maciariello said. “I think you’ve got to continually re-recruit your players and make sure they know you love them and want them.”

Categories: -The Daily Gazette, College Sports, Sports

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