Albany

Siena men’s basketball heads to play Big East’s Georgetown

Siena's Colby Rogers drives past Yale's Azar Swain Tuesday, November 16, 2021.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Siena's Colby Rogers drives past Yale's Azar Swain Tuesday, November 16, 2021.

Its non-conference schedule was meant to challenge the Siena men’s basketball program.

“And it’s definitely doing that,” Saints head coach Carmen Maciariello said after Tuesday’s 28-point loss to Yale, a game that served as Siena’s third-consecutive loss by at least 20 points.

Through its first three games, Siena has played three teams picked to win their respective conferences — and nothing gets easier for the Saints with their next opponent. While Georgetown is off to a 1-1 start that included a disappointing loss to Dartmouth, the Patrick Ewing-coached Hoyas of the Big East represent another stiff test for a Siena program that’s trying to gain its footing this season. Siena’s struggled on offense and defense as it tries to build its chemistry and rotation with a largely revamped roster from last season when Maciariello’s group won a share of the MAAC’s regular-season crown.

“We’ve got to continue to build chemistry with this group,” Maciariello said. “There’s no excuses here, but these guys have to understand every possession matters and these guys have to be playing as hard as they do in practice every day.”

Siena’s rotation gained freshmen Jared Billups and Javian McCollum last game after each player missed the opening two games with injury, but the Saints still won’t have their full roster available when it plays Georgetown Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. 

Starting guard Aidan Carpenter could play, but he missed the majority of Siena’s loss to Yale after suffering a groin injury early in the game. Neither Jordan Kellier nor Taihland Owens, Maciariello said Wednesday, will make their season debut at Georgetown. Meanwhile, it remains unclear when Andrew Platek — who is enrolled at the school, but not officially on the program’s roster yet — will debut for the Saints.

While Siena is coming off three consecutive losses, Georgetown won its last game 79-57 against American. 

FAMILIAR FACES

Former Siena head coach Louis Orr is an assistant coach for Georgetown, while former Siena player Don Carey is in his second season with the Hoyas.

Carey — who played for the Saints during Maciariello’s first season leading the program — started Georgetown’s first two games and is the team’s second-leading scorer at 13 points per game. Carey is also averaging 5.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game this season playing for Ewing, a former star for the New York Knicks.

Orr is in his fifth season at Georgetown. Orr only was the head coach at Siena for the 2000-01 season, a campaign that saw Orr coach Maciariello.

LOOKING BACK

Georgetown and Siena last played in January 1974, a game that saw Bill Kirsch coach Siena and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member John Thompson lead Georgetown.

Georgetown won that game 70-56 with Jonathan Smith scoring a game-high 20 points, while Merlin Wilson had 10 points and 21 rebounds. That Georgetown team also included Mike MacDermott, a native of Saratoga Springs.

For Siena, three players registered double-digit scoring, led by Steve Walters’ 16 points. Along with Rod Brooks, Dinny Cahill and Rich Smith, Walters was one of four Siena hall of famers to play in that game. 

All-time, Siena is 4-2 against Georgetown.

Categories: College Sports, Sports

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