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September 13, 2008


Head coach: Fran McCaffery.
Last season: 23-11 overall, 13-5 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Postseason: Earned automatic bid to NCAA Tournament. Lost 84-72 to Villanova in second round.
Breakdown: Probable starters | Backcourt | Frontcourt | Offense | Defense | Outlook

BACKCOURT

The backbone of Siena's team is its multi-talented and veteran backcourt. Kenny Hasbrouck likely will be the preseason conference player of the year after averaging 16.1 points per game last season while leading Siena's defense with a league-best 77 steals. He also is one of the league's best defenders. His shot selection needs to improve, though.

Edwin Ubiles was Siena's top scorer last season.

PROBABLE STARTING FIVE
G Ronald Moore, 6-0/Jr.
8.6 ppg, 5.3 apg
G Kenny Hasbrouck, 6-3/Sr.
16.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 77 steals
G/F Edwin Ubiles, 6-6/Jr.
17 ppg, 4 rpg, .526 FG%
F Alex Franklin, 6-5/Jr.
15.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg
F Josh Duell, 6-7/Sr.
5.5 rpg, 3.3 rpg
TOP RESERVES
F Ryan Rossiter 6-9/Soph.
1.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg
F Cory Magee 6-7/Jr.
1.4 ppg, 0.8 rpg
G Clarence Jackson 6-3/Soph.
3.7 ppg, 1.3 rpg
The backbone of Siena's team is its multi-talented and veteran backcourt. Kenny Hasbrouck likely will be the preseason conference player of the year after averaging 16.1 points per game last season while leading Siena's defense with a league-best 77 steals. He also is one of the league's best defenders. His shot selection needs to improve, though.

The versatile Edwin Ubiles led the team in scoring last season. He is perhaps the most talented of the group and able to contribute from multiple positions. During the offseason, he worked to improve his jumper. He already was a 3-point threat and also possesses a nice mid-range game.

The glue guy in the backcourt is diminutive point guard Ronald Moore, who is generously listed at 6 feet. He distributes well (5.3 apg), makes good decisions (2.43-1 assist/turnover ratio) and pushes the pace in Siena's up-tempo offense. He might be better-served to be even more of a passer this season, as he shot just 37.4 percent from the floor last season.

Clarence Jackson will be the first guard off the bench. He's hoping to be more productive after struggling with an ankle injury last season.

FRONTCOURT

Leading the frontcourt is Alex Franklin. Although he is undersized at 6-5, he finished in the top 10 in the conference in scoring and rebounding thanks to his length and athleticism.

Also starting in the frontcourt is Josh Duell, who can create problems for a defense with his shooting ability. Duell, who began his career at Vermont, is an excellent free-throw shooter.

Coming off the bench are defensive specialist Cory Magee and Ryan Rossiter, who can provide an inside presence with his rebounding and shot-blocking. Neither is an offensive threat.

OFFENSE

Siena is a running team whose strength is getting up and down the floor. The backcourt leads the team in transition. The Saints have a wealth of outside shooters returning to a team that led the conference in scoring and assist-to-turnover ratio.

DEFENSE

Siena opened some eyes with its rout of fourth-seeded Vanderbilt in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. This team should be even better, and coach Fran McCaffery is a solid X's and O's guy. Four starters return from last season, which is good because the non-conference schedule is brutal. Siena will play in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando against Tennessee and then either Georgetown or Wichita State. Games at Pittsburgh and Kansas loom in December and January, plus there's a BracketBuster game in February. Siena feels it has several players who can compete with anybody. How the remainder of the roster performs will be critical.
Siena likes to force the tempo with its defense but is not an all-out pressing team. The Saints like to pick their spots and mix up the defense with man-to-man and zone. Siena led the MAAC in steals last season.

SHOES TO FILL

G Tay Fisher. He was a senior leader and the team's best 3-point shooter. Hasbrouck is the returning leader with 56 3-pointers, but Ubiles, Jackson and Moore will have to fill part of the void.

MUST STEP UP

The bench. Siena knows what it will get out of its veteran starting five. Without Fisher and backup guard Chris De La Rosa, who transferred, the bench must be more productive, especially against the Saints' demanding non-conference schedule. Rossiter and Jackson will be the first two off the bench.

IMPACT NEWCOMER

G Kyle Downey. With a veteran team, the freshmen won't be asked to contribute much immediately, but Downey brings good 3-point shooting to the mix.

David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at dfox@rivals.com.



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