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Siena's Seymour growing game

Siena's Seymour growing game

Rising sophomore using offseason to become more than a shooter
Siena's Seymour growing game
Sloan Seymour is a rising sophomore for the Siena College men's basketball team.
Photographer: Marc Schultz

LOUDONVILLE — The list goes beyond one or two things.

After all, there are plenty of facets to his game that Sloan Seymour is looking to improve this offseason.

But as Seymour goes through the list of upgrades to make, there is a pause, a self-aware smile and a laugh when he gets to the one he knows gets so much attention.

“Being able to definitely rebound more,” Seymour said earlier this week. “I think that would be good.”

That’s true, even if for no other reason than it’ll appease onlookers who cannot fathom how a 6-foot-9 forward grabs so few rebounds.

As a freshman with the Siena College men’s basketball program, Seymour only collected 23 rebounds in 33 games. During one stretch, he went four full games without grabbing a rebound. In no game did he grab more than two rebounds.

Meanwhile, he took plenty of 3-pointers — the unquestioned strength of his game, and the skill that made him such a valuable player for the Saints during a surprising 17-16 season in which Siena finished in second place in the MAAC after starting the season predicted to finish last. Seymour averaged 9.1 points per game in making the MAAC All-Rookie Team, as the Shaker High School product made 37.3% of the 252 3-point attempts he took.

At times, all Seymour did last season was take 3-pointers. That was fine for Seymour as a freshmen, but the expectation is he becomes more than a spot-up shooter in Year 2 with the Saints, who began official summer workouts earlier this week.

“He’s looking to take a step from having a good freshman campaign to a sophomore campaign where hopefully we can diversify his game a little bit more,” Siena head coach Carmen Maciariello said of Seymour, who only attempted three free throws and 18 2-point shots last season playing in a system that took advantage of his ability to stretch defenses as a threat from 25 feet out from the basket.

Seymour has already put in significant work to make that happen. In the months since Siena’s 2018-19 season ended, Seymour has been a regular in the weight room, and the rewards from that are apparent. He has gained approximately 15 pounds in the last year to get up to 212.

“He’s put on some muscle and he’s looking good out there,” Siena rising sophomore Jalen Pickett said. “He’s trying to get his summer body ready.”

Jokes aside, Pickett said Seymour has impressed his teammates with his commitment to strengthening his body and growing his game.

“He was grabbing some rebounds in pickup,” Pickett said, “so that’s definitely a big step forward there.”

Doing more work on the glass, though, is only one of the things Seymour wants to add to his game. He wants to be able to do more off the dribble, and continue to strengthen his lower body so that he can get position down low to use his soft touch to shoot over shorter defenders. Defensively, he wants to spend time this summer figuring out ways to let his long arms allow him to be more of a factor on that end of the court.

“I want to be a sponge,” Seymour said. “I want to build up my IQ, and use my IQ to help my defense out. I’m not the fastest guy or anything, but if I can be one of the smartest guys on the floor, I can definitely be in the right spots to defend well.”

Maciariello is confident Seymour has the ability to make a significant jump from his freshman season to his sophomore one, calling the 6-foot-9 forward a “true professional” in how he handles himself on and off the court. That approach helped Seymour show up for summer workouts looking ready to show he can be a more complete player going forward for the Saints.

“That’s all just a product of his hard work,” Maciariello said.

Reach Michael Kelly at [email protected] or @ByMichaelKelly on Twitter.

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