LOUDONVILLE — A variety of milestones were reached and several records were set in Sunday’s triple-overtime men’s basketball game between Siena College and Quinnipiac at Times Union Center.
And, deservedly, most of the attention went to Quinnipiac’s Cameron Young, who scored 55 points, and Siena’s Jalen Pickett, who had 46 points and 13 assists.
Under the radar? As part of the triple-overtime game, Siena’s Sloan Seymour matched the program’s freshman record for most 3-pointers in a season — a milestone impressive enough in its own right, but a surprising achievement in that former Siena player Scott Knapp’s record had stood alone for more than two decades despite the 3-point shot becoming more instrumental in how teams play offense with each season.
Seymour’s final made 3 in Siena’s 107-100 loss to Quinnipiac was his 76th of the season, which matched Knapp’s record set in the 1997-98 season. In all likelihood, Seymour — a Shaker High School graduate — will own the record on his own after Tuesday's 7 p.m. game at Times Union Center against Saint Peter's.
“The way the game’s played now, I am surprised it lasted that long,” Knapp said in a phone interview. “But you also do have to look at the coaches and the styles used [at Siena] as the 3-point game has boomed.”
For the most part, the coaches in between former Siena head coach Paul Hewitt — who coached Knapp for his first three college seasons — and current Siena head coach Jamion Christian geared offenses more around play inside the 3-point line.
Knapp, obviously, likes the way the sport has changed, and has enjoyed seeing Siena take advantage of the 3-point line this season with players such as Seymour.
“It’s just utilized overall so much more. The value of spacing the floor and keeping your [defender] with you is so much more valued,” said the 40-year-old Knapp, who lives in the area and coaches a North Colonie youth travel basketball team with former Siena teammate Micah Ogburn. “So [Seymour] is a great value to the team because even when he doesn’t score, he’s providing value [in how he spaces the floor]. . . . The thing most people don’t realize is how much teams have to guard him. They have to guard him closely, and they have to know where he is at all times. He opens up so much inside the paint area for driving.”
When Knapp made his 76 3s on his way to winning the 1997-98 MAAC Rookie of the Year award, the 6-foot-3 guard took 198 attempts from downtown in 29 games. With at least five games left to play this season, Seymour has attempted 209 3s in 27 games.
While Knapp is remembered for his 3-point shooting, he did take more 2s than 3s in his career. He also regularly made it to the foul line and is the Saints’ all-time leader in free-throw shooting percentage at 89.1 percent, in addition to being the program’s all-time leader in 3s made at 293.
Seymour? In another sign of how the game has changed, the 6-foot-9 forward has attempted 92.5 percent of his shots from 3-point territory — and has made both the free throws he has attempted this season.
If he was playing now, Knapp said he knows his offensive game would have shifted even more to beyond the 3-point line.
“I would imagine the green light would have been even brighter,” Knapp said, “and that would have been great for me.”
With a laugh, Knapp said he could imagine how some fans and former teammates would react to him speculating he’d take even more 3s if he’d played in the current era: “C’mon, Knapper, you took enough.”
Knapp likes Seymour’s game, though, and has enjoyed watching him contribute as a freshman for the Saints. Knapp graduated from Siena in 2001, and Seymour’s father — Steve — joined the Saints’ coaching staff the next season.
“And you can tell Sloan is a coach’s son,” Knapp said. “He knows the game so well.”