Siena men’s basketball’s Maciariello: ‘Shame on’ those sending ‘hurtful messages’ to players

A coach with his hand out at a game

Siena’s head coach Carmen Maciariello.

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LOUDONVILLE — Like he does each week during the season, Siena men’s basketball head coach Carmen Maciariello met with reporters Wednesday in advance of the Saints’ matchups.

He didn’t wait for any questions this week before saying what was on his mind.

“But, first, before we get started, I just want to address one thing. You know, obviously, we don’t aim to lose basketball games, but the fact that we have people that want to call out my student-athletes on social media, and send direct messages and post things that are hurtful toward my players — it’s really disappointing that people in the world want to hide behind computer screens, and text pads and cell phones,” said Maciariello, whose club lost Friday against Manhattan and Sunday against Niagara to fall out of first place in the MAAC standings. “So, if anyone has an issue or wants to talk about what we do, I’m readily accessible. 

“I think maybe [UMass head coach] Frank Martin had kind of the same message to his fans, with people wanting to say hurtful things about his players and his program, but to send and write hurtful messages about guys if they miss a shot or miss a free throw, or think that they’re doing something other than trying to do the best they can — shame on them,” Maciariello continued. “And I think that’s a problem in today’s society, too. People want to hide behind keyboards and computer screens, and not act like genuine, real people. Our guys work their tails off. They’re great student-athletes. They’re great kids. If they want to take shots at my players, they can come talk to me.”

Asked if he was referencing something that happened after Sunday’s loss, Maciariello said “I think it happens after a lot of games,” then continued that “we’re doing the best we can, down players, and I think we’re still doing a really good job of giving these guys that opportunity to be successful, and they’re working their tails off. So, just wanted to make sure I got that off my plate because it really didn’t put me in a good mood.”

Some of the posts he was referencing, Maciariello said, didn’t appear to come from social-media accounts with a transparent user operating it. 

“Sometimes, there’s bots that do it. And, then, sometimes, there’s people that make up fake accounts just to do things,” Maciariello said. “People must have a lot of free time.”

While some social-media activity drew Maciariello’s ire this week, the fourth-year head coach at his alma mater generally offers appreciation for the way his program receives support. Siena leads the MAAC in attendance by a wide margin, and a sizable group of the men’s basketball program’s fan base often follows the Saints onto the road for games. After road games with plenty of green-and-gold-clad fans in the stands, Maciariello has made a habit of making sure the Saints acknowledge the fans that traveled to watch them.

Maciariello’s club plays Friday at Mount St. Mary’s before playing in Albany against Marist on Sunday. The coach made clear he’s eager for his club to play again in front of its home fans. 

“We’re up to the challenge and we’re excited,” Maciariello said of the games ahead. “This [playing at Mount St. Mary’s] is a huge trip. And, then, obviously, you come back and you have a chance to have another chance for a sweep at home on Sunday in front of great fans at MVP.”


Maciariello said it’s unclear if the Saints will have leading scorer Javian McCollum (back) or valuable reserve Michael Eley (illness) back in their rotation against Mount St. Mary’s.

“I know Javian’s feeling better,” Maciariello said. “Michael still feels pretty lethargic.”

Eley missed Siena’s last two games, while McCollum didn’t play Sunday after playing 14 scoreless minutes Friday against Manhattan. Before coming off the Siena bench against Manhattan, McCollum had missed Siena’s prior two games.

Maciariello said he expected Eley and McCollum to participate in Siena’s workouts Wednesday and Thursday, but seemed to suggest both players are something akin to game-time decisions.

“Can both play? I don’t know. I’ve got to see,” Maciariello said. “Doc’s got to look at both of them again before they kind of get the full go, but they’re clear to do some things, which is a positive.”

Contact Michael Kelly at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @ByMichaelKelly.

Categories: College Sports, Siena College, Sports

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