LOUDONVILLE — It’s easy to focus on what’s been lost.
What’s been added to the Siena men’s basketball program this offseason, though, is plenty intriguing, too.
All three of Siena’s all-conference players from its 2020-21 roster have left the program during this incredibly busy college basketball offseason that doesn’t look likely to slow down any time soon. Meanwhile, the Saints have restocked themselves with a variety of perimeter players with athleticism and length, and added two more of them Wednesday when Anthony Gaines and Colby Rogers each announced with social-media posts they’re set to play next season for head coach Carmen Maciariello’s program.
In Gaines, Siena adds a 6-foot-4, 210-pound graduate transfer from Northwestern of the Big Ten Conference, a two-year captain with two years of remaining playing eligibility who is a physical perimeter presence known for his defensive abilities. In moving from the Big Ten to the MAAC, it’s safe to project that Gaines’ offensive numbers — he averaged 5.1 points in 22.8 minutes per game during his Northwestern career — will improve, while Rogers will look to build on a sophomore season at Cal Poly that saw the 6-foot-5, 190-pound guard average 12.2 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 31.8 minutes per game. Rogers made 35.3% of his field-goal attempts last season, 32.3% of his 3-point attempts and 83.7% of his foul shots.
Gaines will be immediately eligible to play as a graduate transfer, while Rogers — who has three remaining seasons of playing eligibility — will likely be able to play right away since the NCAA is expected to amend its rules to allow for all players to transfer once without needing to sit out.
Gaines and Rogers join Jayce Johnson (Middle Tennessee) as players transferring into the Siena program, while Siena recently gained a commitment from Taihland Owens, a 6-foot-5 perimeter player from Cherokee High School in Georgia, who joined Jared Billups and Javian McCollum in Siena’s group of incoming freshmen.
While those six players are heading into the Siena program, five scholarship players have left the Saints so far this offseason. That quintet includes all-conference players Manny Camper, Jordan King and Jalen Pickett, a trio made up of Siena’s top-three scorers from its edition that won a share of the MAAC regular-season crown before falling in the MAAC quarterfinals. Camper, the 2021 MAAC Player of the Year, has started his professional career.
The most-recent of those three departures was Pickett, who joined King in the NCAA transfer portal last week. Gaines, a Kingston native who played for the Albany City Rocks AAU program, said the loss of Pickett “didn’t change too much for me, except that there were more pieces to be added” now to the Saints’ roster by Maciariello.
“And I trust him,” Gaines said of his new head coach who first recruited the player while he was an assistant coach at George Washington,
Rogers voiced a similar confidence in Maciariello to keep Siena as the type of “winning program” he wanted to join after two seasons with a Cal Poly program that won 11 of 54 games. Rogers played more than 30 minutes per game last season, but said it was “very attractive” to join a Siena program loading up on perimeter players.
“You can see that it’s not going to be a one-man show,” Rogers said.