August 2013 Archives
By: Kylie Strijek, Siena Women's Golf
After arriving in St. Andrews yesterday, our first stop was Kingbarns Golf Links just outside of town. Although it is a relatively newer course opened in July of 2000, it did not disappoint. The original Kingbarns Golf Club was founded by the old Kingsbarns Golf Society in 1922, where Willie Auchterlonie laid out a nine-hole course along Kingbarns Bay. The course as it stands today was the only Scottish course to be built on links land in over 70 years. It is located right along the North Sea, with spectacular views from virtually every hole on the golf course. These views rival those at some of the most famous ocean courses, including Pebble Beach Golf Links. Once again, we were lucky to have had such beautiful weather, making the round that more enjoyable.
This course proved to be a great test of golf for our group. Each hole is extremely different and all require a wide variety of shots. The wind had added to the challenge today. Our caddie, Greg, was a huge help in shot selection throughout the day, proving that a caddie can make or break a round on this course.
That evening after golf, we walked down to the Old Course at St. Andrews, the birthplace of golf. For any golfer, this is the chance of a lifetime. Simply stepping onto the fairway that every great golfer has walked across was one of the most exciting experiences. Walking across the bridge on the 18th fairway was by far one of the best parts of my trip so far.
Tomorrow, we look forward to playing Carnoustie Golf Links, also known as "Carnastie." This course will prove to be a challenge for everyone in our group, and will also be the location for the conclusion of the Siena Cup. Go Gold Team!
Hope you enjoyed following the Saints journey as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you!
1. The Energy is Back
Having watched Jimmy Patsos for the last nine years at
Loyola, I must admit it was a bit strange seeing him patrol the sideline this week
for Siena. If you thought his fiery coaching techniques might mellow a bit in
his new gig, think again. These games were intense and that started with Patsos.
While the settings, varied as they were, didn't have a Division I feel, the
action on the court often did. Patsos yelled and screamed throughout the games,
but it was with a definite purpose. He challenged almost everyone on the team
at one point, and he had to be pleased with the results. Siena pressed and was
extremely active on defense. They pushed the ball off misses, and ran the sets
they've implemented successfully in the half court. The scorer's table looked
like a carousel with the players subbing in and out, but everyone who played
contributed. Ryan Oliver and Rich Audu gave especially productive efforts, and
seemed to settle into their meaningful roles as the trip advanced. Despite
playing five games in five days, the team had plenty of legs deep into the
final game. Siena was tested on this trip and that will pay huge dividends. It
was fun to see the team come together and get better. It was fun to see Jimmy
wearing a Siena polo too.
2. Siena Has a Point Guard
His name is Marquis Wright. It probably took some by
surprise when Patsos handed the keys to the freshman this summer and moved Evan
Hymes to off guard. There's no questioning that decision now. Wright wasn't
perfect on the tour (he turned the ball over too much early and took some
ill-advised shots - many due to the 24 second shot clock being used in three of
the games), but he showed more than enough to have Siena fans excited about his
promising four-year career. The culmination of his week came in the final game
when he just missed a triple double and had total command. Let's hold off with
the Marc Brown and Ronald Moore comparisons (in truth, his game doesn't really
resemble either), and let him build his own legacy. This trip may have had a
bigger impact on Wright than any other Saint, and Wright may have more to say
about Siena's success this season than anyone else. Oh, and he's a nice kid
3. Rob Poole is Poised For a Breakout Season
In 2008, Siena toured Italy and a star was born. After
Kenny Hasbrouck, Ronald Moore, Alex Franklin and Edwin Ubiles helped the Saints
knock off Vanderbilt, nobody was expecting the scrawny freshman from Staten
Island to dominate professional men on the team's foreign tour the following
summer. Ryan Rossiter did just that and the rest, as they say, is history. Rob
Poole might have had a trip like that. Poole was the best player on the floor
in pretty much every game, and he did it without shooting the 3-pointer well
until the final night. Poole was playing against athletic guards each night,
and even served as backup point guard after Evan Hymes broke his hand. He was
more than up to the challenge, but most important he displayed leadership on
the court - something the Saints will desperately need with such an
4. The Freshmen Can Play, And They Will
We mentioned Wright, but Lavon Long, Javion Ogunyemi and
Michael Wolfe all contributed too. Long had the biggest impact, ultimately
advancing into the starting lineup for the final game of the trip. He's a
matchup nightmare. Long found his most success muscling his way to the basket,
and his smooth left hand finish is reminiscent of the way All-MAAC performer Michael
Haddix used the glass and scored from tough angles. But his game has a
different dimension too. Long can really handle the ball, and he'd often drive
into the lane from 3-point line and make good decisions with the basketball.
Ogunyemi had 16 points and seven rebounds in his first game as a Saint, and he
showed promise inside. As with Long, I was impressed with his ability to finish.
Michael Wolfe is extremely athletic. His dunks in warm-ups drew oohs and ahhs
from the Canadian fans. He improved throughout the trip and had an impact in
the last game, knocking down a three and scoring on a putback after just missing
an alley-oop dunk in traffic. Again, we're not going to compare this group to the
Class of 2010 just yet, but even without Maurice White (more to follow tomorrow
at SienaSaints.com) this group turned heads.
5. Montreal Has a Lot to Offer
The team learned plenty about itself on the court, but as
we said from the start, the real value in these trips is the opportunity to
bond and experience a new culture together. Who knew the perfect place to do just
that was less than four hours north of Siena's campus? Whether it's the
proximity of New York and Boston, the language barrier (there really isn't one)
or the increased border security (not an issue w/ passport or enhanced license),
Montreal is overlooked as a destination that's easily within reach of the
Capital Region. It's unlike any city in the United States, with countless
ornate churches to tour, a vibrant and unique cultural scene in Old Montreal, the
latest designer fashions on Saint Catherine Street, world class restaurants,
the cleanest subway system I've ever seen, and a spectacular (albeit overt)
nightlife scene. In truth, it feels like you're in Europe and you can be here
by noon after a scenic and easy drive through the Adirondacks. Be prepared to
walk a lot, but think of it as an opportunity to burn off that gelato. The
Saints got to see all the famous sites, and seemed to genuinely enjoy their
surroundings. The trip was also good on the wallet too. Siena was originally
scheduled to visit France and Italy, a trip that would have cost nearly
$100,000 more than this one. It's money that can now be spent to help the
program in other ways.
Marquis Wright finished an assist shy of a triple-double
and Siena's promising Canadian Tour ended with a convincing 80-70 triumph over
Concordia College Wednesday night. The Saints complete the trip with a 4-1
record and with plenty of positives to take into the preseason.
Wright's dazzling night featured 15 points, 10 rebounds
and nine assists. He dictated tempo and controlled every aspect of the game.
Rob Poole led all players with 23 points, tallying 47 in
the final two games of the trip. Poole also finally adjusted to the
international 3-point line, making all four of his tries from distance in the first
half to help Siena take a 41-27 lead to the lockerroom.
Brett Bisping rounded out Siena's double figure scorers
with 10 points in 18 minutes.
Lavon Long scored the first four points of the game and
finished with eight in just 19 minutes making his first start of the tour. Long's
playing time was limited due to foul trouble for the second straight night.
Siena got solid contributions up and down the roster.
Imoh Silas contributed six points and eight rebounds, and freshman Michael
Wolfe had five points and five boards in his most active outing this week. Sophomore
Rich Audu added seven points, five rebounds and three assists. Audu and classmate
Ryan Oliver each had strong weeks.
The Saints had 21 assists and just 15 turnovers using
FIFA rules (24 second shot clock), their most efficient effort all week.
Mukiya Post led four Concordia players in double figures
with 16 points. The Stingers used a 13-0 run to trim Siena's 21-point second
half lead to eight with 1:29 to play, but Bisping and Wright scored the next
two baskets to secure the outcome.
By: Katie Nelson, Siena Women's Golf
On our third day in Scotland, our main event was the second round of golf at the Turnberry Resort: the Ailsa Course. This course was home to the 1977, 1986, 1994, and 2009 British Opens and served as an exciting challenge to all of us playing the championship course. As if the narrow fairways and undulating greens weren't enough, the course was filled with easily the deepest bunkers I have ever seen and fields of penalizing fescue and gorse. To quote Sandy the caddy, each hole had a "jungle on the left and a jungle on the right". This particular caddy in my group served his 37th year at the Turnberry course and had unbelievable amounts of local knowledge and course history. He even had experience caddying for some of the tour players on their visits to the course. Throughout today's round, he provided myself and my group with stories of his experiences, pointing out pin locations from the British Opens. He was also able to show us the spots of memorable Open moments, such as the lie Tom Watson had when chipped in on hole number 15 that became the pivotal moment for him to win that tournament.
This course was right on the water, providing unbelievable scenery and breathtaking views of the rocky shores, the Turnberry lighthouse, and Scottish fields and countryside. Also despite the very lucky and beautiful weather we have been having, we were also able to experience a more typical Scottish golf experience by playing a few holes in the wind and cold mist. What would a trip to Scotland be if we didn't even wear our rain gear?
Our after golf experience included another evening of dining and pub-hopping in a local city called Ayr. Ayr was filled with quaint shops and beautiful historic bridges and churches. We are constantly amazed by the friendliness and kindness of the locals we encounter. We love hearing their advice and stories, even when we have trouble deciphering their thick accents. We even drove by the birth-place and town of the historic poet Robert Burns.
As today marked our last day at Turnberry, we continue to the town of Edinburgh tomorrow (which I have recently learned is pronounced as if it has an 'a' at the end). We are excited for our next adventures!
By: Riley McGraw and Jess Esposito, Siena Men's Golf
The Ailsa Course at Turnberry Resort showed why it is a perennial British Open venue. The views the Ailsa course provided were astonishing, the design of the golf course paired with the proximity to the Irish Sea were a match made in heaven. Half of the course is set up right against the cliffs and beaches, each challenging shot is paired with a breathtaking view.
The Ailsa course proved to be the toughest challenge of golf that most of the players have seen in their lifetime. From the Championship tees the par 70 course played 7,180 yards with undulating greens, TIGHT fairways, and fescue lining each hole. All shots required commitment and precision in order to be rewarded with a scarce birdie opportunity. Golf on this side of the Atlantic has a different feel and strategy to it. Golf shots require: solid contact, wind conscious flights, and room for the ball to run. Due to climate and course conditions the course plays fast and firm, which allows for creativity as well as course knowledge. Aiming points differ in comparison to American styled golf courses which are tree lined or feature extensive water hazards as reference points.
Ailsa provides a scenic view of the Irish Sea, yet rarely does the shore come into play. The Championship tees accentuate the closeness to the Irish Sea and force tee shots to be aimed towards the fescue or well placed bunkers. Photo opportunities were plentiful but birdie chances were seldom, Ailsa only allowed a handful of birdies to the two dozen Siena trip members which played.
The 9th and 10th holes at the Ailsa course provided dramatic views of the Turnberry lighthouse. The lighthouse stands 24 meters high and was designed and built by brothers David and Thomas Stevenson in 1873. The lighthouse was built on the ruins of the Turnberry Castle, once home of the Countess of Carrick, mother of King Robert the Bruce.
In the evening, Men's golf team members walked across the property to witness the beautiful Scottish sunset over the Irish Sea accompanying the lighthouse. A couple of the family members and players went back into the town of Ayre for round 2, while other team members stayed and enjoyed the amenities of the Spa at Turnberry (sauna, massages, steam room, etc.). Turnberry resort has exceeded its reviews and reputation as a world class resort with top of the line staff and facilities. We have been treated like prince and princesses here in the land of royalty.
Today was the start of the Siena Cup which follows a Ryder Cup format the following results include pairings and point totals:
John Van Vranken III(Gold) v. Mike Sutton(Green) AS (1/2)
John Van Vranken IV Ryan Simpson
Katie Nelson(Gold) v. Jim Sullivan(Green) JS BQ (1)
Bill Nelson Brendan Quintana
Kylie Strijek(Gold) v. Victoria Nguyen(Green) KS MF (1)
Mary Fletcher Ashley Nguyen
Riley McGraw(Gold) v. Mickey Sutton(Green) RM JE (1)
Jess Esposito Jay Sutton
Lou Walsh(Gold) v. Vincent Nguyen(Green) LW (1)
Team Gold 3 1/2 --------- Team Green 1 1/2
Tomorrow morning we leave for a day in Edinburgh and a night in St. Andrews. Courses still on the slate to play include: Kingsbarns (home of a European Tour Event), Carnoustie (host of several British Opens), and the Torrance Club (designed by Ryder Cup Captain Sam Torrance). Can't wait!
Rob Poole had 24 points, seven rebounds and three assists
and Siena made big plays down the stretch in an 81-73 win over Brookwood Club
Tuesday night. The Saints trailed 44-41 at halftime and were tested throughout
by Brookwood's active press and solid guard play.
The Saints made 28-36 free throws - 11 by Poole and seven
by Brett Bisping who ended with 15 points, seven rebounds and five steals.
Lavon Long had 12 points before fouling out, rounding out the Saints in double
figures. It was the fourth straight strong outing for the freshman forward.
Siena had to play much of the second half without
starting point guard Marquis Wright who picked up his fourth foul just a minute
into the final stanza. With Evan Hymes sidelined with a broken hand, Poole ran
the point and kept things even until Wright returned.
Siena led just 71-70 with 4:02 to play before using an
8-0 run to take command.
Rich Audu and Ryan Oliver each made big plays at the off
guard, combining for 13 points and nine rebounds.
Javion Ogunyemi added six points and five rebounds and
his putback dunk late in the second half drew the biggest reaction from the
sellout crowd of a couple hundred fans.
The Saints conclude their Canadian tour Wednesday at 7
p.m. against Concordia College.
Men's golf poses before teeing off at the Kintyre course
Our first full day in Ayrshire dawned sunny and comfortable. Breakfast at Turnberry is a hearty affair, if 5 choices of yogurt alone is any indication. Students made the most of the lavish cold buffet and hot dishes to order to fuel up for the day. It was then off to the first tee of the Kintyre course.
Tom Alexander, the tee master, sent off foursomes, allowing ample time for golfers to be clear of tee shots. Most seemed pleased with their first shots. And a few, naming no names, found fescue, raspberry thickets and sand straightaway. Most groups return seated with the coaches from an aerie in the Tappie Toorie Grill above the pro shop. Dr. Vincent Nguyen's (Victoria's father) approach to the 18th green may - or may not - have kissed the window of the pro shop. He's a great sport, and his next shot rolled very near the pin. We didn't probe for scores, but there were enough in the 70s to make for a great day.
The majority of the group went for dinner in Ayr, passing through rolling hills teeming with sheep. On a turn we were treated to a magnificent view of Cluzean Castle. Ayr gives its name to the region of Ayrshire, where we're residing these three days. Ayrshire gave Scotland William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, and Robbie Burns. It's possible Robert the Bruce was born at Turnberry Castle whose ruins on which the resort was built. It's glorious countryside and seaside. Monuments to the three native sons of renown dot Ayr.
We were on our own for dinner, with most opting for West Kirk, a restaurant in a former Free Church built in 1845 - young by Scotland's standards but impressive from ours. A walk after dinner took us to a 15th century bridge over Ayr River and along a sleepy High Street. (The Marks & Spencer closes at 6:00 PM!) It was then back our winding, dark roads to the hotel to rest for the championship Ailsa course.
On a 15th century bridge over the Ayr River
View of Ayr from the 15th century Auld Bridge
Women's golf gets set to tee off at the Kintyre course
The final stop of Tuesday's tour was Saint Joseph's Oratory at Mount Royal - a church known for healing. The dome towering in the background is some 320 feet high, and is the third largest of its kind in the world (Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro in Côte d'Ivoire and Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome)
The Saints enjoyed this spectacular view from the summit of Mount Royal - a large park in the Western portion of the city designed by the same architect who designed New York's Central Park.
The Siena men's basketball team poses at center ice of the Montreal Forum (now a shopping center). The Forum is called "the most storied building in hockey", and the Canadiens won all 24 of their Stanley Cups here.
(Lavon also wanted to say hello to his mother and let her know he's thing of her)
Rob Poole scored 19 points to pace Siena's 69-48 win over
Queens University (Ontario) Monday night in Montreal. Lavon Long added 13
points and five rebounds and was the catalyst in a decisive 15-3 run early in
Poole and Rich Audu each had four steals as Siena's
pressure defense and inside muscle was the difference in the game. Imoh Silas joined Audu with a team-high seven
rebounds. Marquis Wright scored eight points and dished out five assists
without a turnover.
It was the first game of the Montreal tour in which NCAA
rules were used, and Siena was much more comfortable with the 35-second shot
Ryan Oliver started in place of Evan Hymes who broke his right
hand in Sunday's loss at McGill. Hymes was the only member of the traveling
party not to see action in Monday's game. He's expected to be sidelined for up to six weeks. Oliver finished with five points, six rebounds and two
assists and was the only Saints to convert a 3-pointer (1-2). Siena continued
to struggle from distance, shooting just 1-11 for the game, but that was the only blemish in an otherwise thorough effort.
The Saints play their fourth of five games in Montreal Tuesday night
against Brookwood Club at 7 p.m.
Siena guard Evan Hymes broke his right hand (fifth metacarpal) in Sunday's loss to McGill. Preliminary reports from Siena trainer Greg Dashnaw are that Hymes could miss up to six weeks. He will be reevaluated by the sports medicine staff's orthopedic team when the Saints return to campus.
Day 1 - Sunday, August 25th
By: Mary Fletcher, Siena Women's Golf
We have arrived at the home of golf and Day 1 was certainly a day of excitement and new adventures. Certainly, the long day of travel was bound to catch up with all of us at some point. All of us expected to sleep on the red eye, but whether it was the abnormally uncomfortable seats, the constant snacks and meals provided, or the anticipation, I'm not sure, but needless to say, none of us got a wink of sleep.
We arrived in Scotland at 7:30 am, or 2:30 am Albany time. We got through customs with no problem and gathered our bags, and some of us made our way to the currency exchange to collect our British pounds that we would need for the week. We were met outside by our bus driver, and once we loaded up, began our trek to Turnberry, which is on the west coast of Scotland. It was about an hour drive from the airport to the resort, through the rolling hills of Scotland. We were all thrown off a bit by driving on the left side of the road, and going the opposite way around traffic circles. Also, who knew that Scotland has sheep and cows everywhere? Once we got closer to our destination, we stopped at a store called Asda, which is actually owned by Walmart. A few of us got snacks, and some decided to get some pb and j for lunches during the week. Many of us had trouble paying, as we weren't sure of the different money, and alot of us also had a hard time understanding the people. We are still working on getting used to the thick accents the Scots have. Though it is English, it requires alot of concentration to be able to understand what they are saying.
We then arrived at Turnberry, where we were astounded by the beauty. The players are staying in a lodge, which is basically a collection of rooms and a sitting area upstairs. The coaches and parents have a similar lodge of their own. Once settled, most of the boys opted for a nap right away, while the girls wanted to get right to the golf. We headed to the 12-hole par three which is right outside our lodge. 6 of us played, and despite the shortness, the longest hole is 70 yards, it was quite the challenge. Pot bunkers surrounded the course, and it proved to be a good Scottish welcome for all of us. Everyone had a bit of a different day. I played the par 3, went to the driving range, had afternoon tea in the lobby, then took a quick nap and shower before dinner. I know the boys enjoyed the par 3 once they got a little energy from their naps. We went to dinner at a place close to the hotel, and all enjoyed a hefty 3 course meal. Needless to say, we were all exhausted when we got back, as we hadn't had a good night's sleep in two days, but we managed to stay up for a couple more hours and call it a night.
We are all excited to play Turnberry tomorrow and continue to be immersed in the Scottish culture!
Simon Bibeau lost Marquis Wright with a spin move and nailed
the winning 3-pointer from the right wing with just two seconds on the clock as
McGill edged Siena 74-72 in an intense affair Sunday in Montreal
"It was a great game, a great learning experience in the heat
of battle," Siena coach Jimmy Patsos said.
Lavon Long had given Siena a 72-71 lead with a putback
following two missed free throws with 12 seconds to play.
The Saints fell behind 20-8, but used an aggressive pressing
defense to claw back in the game.
All 10 Siena players who saw action scored, led by Wright
who had 17 points on 18 shots. The Saints shot 50% in the second half after
making just 35% of their tries in the first half and made 6-8 3-pointers in the
game. Ryan Oliver had nine points on 3-4 shooting from distance.
Vincent Dufort had 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists
for McGill. Dufort's 3-pointer with 41 seconds to play put the Redmen up 71-69.
Siena next plays Queens University (Ontario) at 7:30 p.m.
The Siena men's basketball team is warming up for its 2 p.m.
game against McGill University. The Redmen won the RSEQ (Quebec Athletic) conference
last season and posted a 24-10 overall record. The Saints are coming off an
88-78 win over the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) last night. UQAM had
a losing record in the RSEQ last season.
McGill has played two US opponents this week, losing 83-77
to Sacred Heart on Tuesday and 80-40 to Syracuse on Wednesday. The Pioneers and
Orange each went undefeated on their Canadian tours (though SU needed OT to
hold off national power Carleton 69-65 Friday night).
Same starters as last night for the Saints: Wright (PG), Hymes
(SG), Poole (SF), Bisping (PF) and Silas (C).
Follow our twitter page for live game updates, and check
back here later this afternoon for a complete recap, highlights and postgame reaction.
The Siena men's basketball team attended mass at Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral
in Montreal this morning. Here, a priest poses for a photo with the team donned in the church's official colors: Green and Gold! The priests were very happy to have the team attend the service. The Saints play at McGill University at 2 p.m.
Siena held off a late surge from the University of Quebec at
Montreal (UQAM) Saturday night to win the first game of its Foreign Tour 88-78
in Montreal. Freshmen Marquis Wright (19), Javion Ogunyemi (16) and Lavon Long (13) combined to score 48
of the team's 88 points.
"I thought it was kind of a team win," head coach Jimmy
Patsos said. "We had a lot of turnovers because they were pressing us to slow
us down, and then we had to run a quick play (because of the 24-second shot clock),
but we were being aggressive and trying to make some plays. To score 88 points
and still have 25 turnovers was great for us."
Junior Evan Hymes scored the first five points of the game
to get Siena off to a fast start. Hymes finished with 16 points, four assists
and four rebounds and played almost exclusively off the ball after running the
point in his first two years with the program. Wright tied for a game high with
19 points and added six assists in 39 minutes, but he did turn the ball over
Siena's backcourt proved some firepower, but Ogunyemi and
Long made big finishes inside to help solidify the outcome.
After Richard Addai's 4-point play cut the Siena lead (once
15 points) to just 79-78 with 1:28 to play, Long found Imoh Silas for a dunk to
ignite a 9-0 Saints' run to end the game. Long ripped a rebound and finished a
conventional 3-point play to push the lead to six with 28 seconds left.
Rob Poole rounded out Siena's five double figure scorers
with1 2 points despite missing all four of his 3-point tries.
The Saints return to action at 2 p.m. Sunday against McGill
Siena leads the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) 44-38
at halftime. Freshmen Javion Ogunyemi (8), Marquis Wright (6) and Lavon Long
(6) combined for 20 points and eight rebounds. Evan Hymes leads the Sainst with
10 points and made 2-4 3-pointers.
The Saints shot 47% from the field in the first half,
including 71% (10-14) in the first quarter.
The teams are playing with FIFA rules. The main differences
are: four 10 minute quarters; after the fifth foul in each quarter the other team
shoots two shots (no bonus); slightly longer 3-point line; five total timeouts
(2 in first half, 3 in second half - all full timeouts.
Overall, Siena played with good energy and aggression. That
aggression led to 15 turnovers and some open threes that have kept UQAM within
Ten Saints saw action in the first 20 minutes, with nine of
those 10 (all but Rich Audu) playing at least six minutes.
The Siena men's basketball team continued its tour of former Olympic venues Saturday. The Saints made a stop at Montreal's Olympic Stadium after breakfast this morning. The team hits the court for the first time tonight at 6 p.m. at the University of Quebec.
The Siena men's basketball team arrived safely in Montreal Friday afternoon. The team was given the night to explore the city on their own. The Saints will play the first game of their tour Saturday at 6 p.m. against the University of Quebec. Sunday's game against McGill University has been moved up to a 2 p.m. start. The full game schedule is listed HERE.
Notre Dame Basilica lights up Old Montreal Friday night.
The Siena men's basketball team poses in front of Herb Brooks Arena during its stopover in Lake Place on the way to Montreal. The team enjoyed great weather Thursday evening and Friday morning, and several members even paddled canoes around Mirror Lake.
That's the title of today's Times Union story
by Mark Singelais
about Siena's Montreal trip. Mark analyzes five areas that bear watching on the tour.
The Siena men's basketball team departed campus for Lake
Placid early Thursday afternoon, the first stop on a seven-day tour that makes
its way to Montreal Friday.
Head coach Jimmy Patsos said he plans on showing the team
the movie "Miracle" on the bus ride north, hoping to provide context for a tour
of the historic former Olympic town later in the day.
The team will play five games on the trip, beginning with a
6 p.m. Saturday tip at the University of Quebec. It will be exciting to get an
early glimpse at the new-look Saints on the court, but the real value of the
trip is expected to come from a week of bonding and new experiences.
The Siena program has undergone a complete metamorphosis in
the five months since its disappointing 2012-13 campaign ended in the MAAC
quarterfinals. No change has been more dramatic and impactful than the one at
This week provides Patsos the opportunity to begin the
rebuilding process and put his stamp on the program before the school year even
begins. Throughout his nine-year career at Loyola, Patsos was known for opening
his players' eyes to the world outside of basketball. He prides himself in
developing young men with character who appreciate their surroundings. What
better way to begin his Siena voyage than with an international tour designed
to do just that?
We will join up with the team Friday when they make their
way north of the border and provide daily updates, photos, game summaries and
video interviews from each day of the trip. Please comment below to let us know
what you are most looking forward to about this trip, and what information you'd
like me to see on this blog the next seven days.