LOUDONVILLE — During one of the first drills of the team’s first preseason practice, Siena men’s basketball senior Jackson Stormo showed off a focus of his offseason’s work
Stationed beyond the 3-point line, Siena’s 6-foot-9 senior center lofted up one shot after another, sinking several in a row at one point.
“It’s something I’m new to, but something I’ve been working really hard on all offseason,” Stormo said of his 3-point shooting. “Just trying to get better at it, so I can help my team more.”
Nobody really had any complaints regarding what Stormo — a transfer from Pepperdine — brought to the Saints in his first season with head coach Carmen Maciariello’s program. Stormo is Siena’s leading returning scorer and rebounder after he averaged 10.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in 25.2 minutes per game last season, and he was recently named one of the Saints’ four co-captains for the upcoming season that starts with a Nov. 9 trip to play St. Bonaventure.
But Stormo dedicated a large portion of his offseason skill development to adding a 3-point shot to his game. His only two attempts from 3-point territory last season were in the Saints’ final two games, and he made the second of those shots. That made 3 was Stormo’s first in his college career, as he never attempted a shot from downtown during his two seasons at Pepperdine.
“I wasn’t much of a shooter in high school, either,” said Stormo, who recalled each of his six 3-point attempts in high school were “heaves” from beyond the half-court line.
Stormo, though, isn’t a bad shooter. His offensive game has just focused on scoring around the basket, and he did that at a high level last season, making 65.5% of his attempts from the field. From the foul line, Stormo’s made 72.2% of his attempts during his college career, and he said his offseason work centered around bringing that form out several more feet.
“That [shooting 3s] is something with a lot of room for improvement for me, but also a lot of room for utilization,” Stormo said.
Among Siena’s current roster, Nick Hopkins is the most-proven shooter from 3-point territory, but he’s the only top-5 Saint in terms of made 3s that returns from last season’s team. Of the team’s bevy of transfers, Anthony Gaines and Jayce Johnson have trended in the right direction in terms of long-range shooting, but only Colby Rogers — who made 32.3% of his 3s last season at Cal Poly — took a high volume of shots from 3-point territory last season. Of the team’s freshmen, Javian McCollum and Taihland Owens should offer the best shooting ability.
Stormo credited assistant coaches Bobby Castagna and Marcus King for helping him during the offseason to work on his long-range shot. Maciariello said the Saints “100%” plan to incorporate Stormo’s increased shooting range into its offensive gameplan, noting it’ll help open up the floor for Siena’s perimeter players to attack the basket, similar to how Elijah Burns’ shooting prowess from the 5 position did for the 2019-20 Saints.
“I really like the flexibility that gives us,” Maciariello said.