LOUDONVILLE — Kyle Young is no longer with the Siena men’s basketball program.
The school’s athletic department confirmed that Thursday, days before the Saints are set to open their preseason Monday.
“Kyle felt that it would be best for him to take a year away from basketball, and we support him in his decision,” Saints head coach Carmen Maciariello said in the school’s press release.
In an interview Thursday with The Daily Gazette, Maciariello confirmed that Young remains on scholarship at Siena through the 2021-22 academic year. Young, Maciariello said, had not been participating with the men’s basketball team in recent weeks, and is not expected to return to the program.
Young’s departure from the team thins Siena’s rotation at the 5; the 6-foot-9 Young ended his sophomore season as the Saints’ primary backup to starting center Jackson Stormo, who is back for his senior season.
“Jackson Stormo was going to play big minutes, regardless,” Maciariello said. “But Michael Tertsea and Michael Baer both can play the 5, too.”
Stormo is Siena’s leading returning scorer and rebounder. Stormo averaged 10.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in 25.2 minutes per game last season. Young, who started the season as a starter, averaged 5.9 points and 3.5 rebounds in 11.4 minutes per game during the Saints’ 2020-21 season.
The departure of Young from the basketball program continues an offseason of change for Siena, which brings both a reworked coaching staff and roster into the 2021-22 season. Aidan Carpenter, Nick Hopkins and Stormo are the only scholarship players on the 2021-22 roster that played last season for Siena, which has won at least a share of the MAAC regular-season championship in each of Maciariello’s first two seasons guiding the program. Meanwhile, Siena’s six-person coaching staff includes three fresh faces, plus two returners — Greg Fahey and Matt Miner — that have a new role with Maciariello’s program.
As he has throughout the offseason, Maciariello expressed confidence in what the Saints are bringing into the 2021-22 season, which starts with a Nov. 9 game at St. Bonaventure. Siena lost its top-three scorers from last season’s roster, a trio that includes the last two MAAC Player of the Year winners in Manny Camper and Jalen Pickett, but restocked with a combination of transfers and freshmen that Maciariello is optimistic will keep the Saints in contention for a MAAC title.
“There’s going to be great competition for starting spots and minutes because we had guys doing the right things all the time during the offseason,” Maciariello said.
Ahead of Monday’s official start to the preseason, Maciariello said the Saints will participate this weekend for the third-consecutive year in “The Program,” a team-building and conditioning activity.
Three Saints that dealt with injuries throughout the offseason are back on the court, but at different stages in their return to action.
Perimeter players Jayce Johnson and Taihland Owens, who both had surgeries to address leg injuries, have each returned to on-court work. Owens participated in an on-court session for the first time Wednesday, but was limited to 15 minutes of non-contact work. Johnson isn’t able to do full-contact or full-court action yet, but has been shooting and able to participate in some drills.
Meanwhile, Colby Rogers — whose summer was limited because of a knee issue — has been a full participant in recent weeks.
“He’s good to go,” Maciariello said.
Freshman guard Javian McCollum will miss at least the first week of preseason practices. Maciariello said McCollum is in concussion protocol.
ONE TO WATCH
Throughout the offseason, Maciariello has been pleased with the development of freshman Jared Billups, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound guard from Maryland.
“Jared Billups has a chance to be a special player,” Maciariello said.
Maciariello said Billups and fifth-year senior Anthony Gaines — who previously played at Northwestern of the Big Ten Conference — are the team’s best athletes. The coach likes, too, how Billups has accepted and utilized instruction.
“He’s so coachable,” Maciariello said.
NO UPDATE ON PLATEK
Maciariello declined comment regarding the status of Andrew Platek, a former Guilderland High School standout who transferred to Siena after playing four seasons at North Carolina.
Platek is enrolled at Siena, but is not yet a member of the school’s basketball program.
Platek started his high school career at Guilderland, then graduated from Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts. During his career at North Carolina, the 6-foot-4 Platek averaged 2.6 points per game in 10.5 minutes. Platek started 11 of 124 games he played for head coach Roy Williams, a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member.
While Platek played four complete seasons at North Carolina, every winter athlete last season was granted an additional season of playing eligibility because of issues related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Siena has one open scholarship for the 2021-22 season.