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September 13, 2008
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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