The Siena men's basketball program honored the most successful senior class in its 70-year history and dished out annual awards at the First Niagara Year-End Celebration Monday night at the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy.
With YNN Sports Director Joe Calderone serving as master of ceremonies, Former head Coach Fran McCaffery and current Head Coach Mitch Buonaguro both spoke to an excited audience, and all enjoyed highlight videos and heard from each of the program's five senior student-athletes.
Coaches and administrators, including Siena vice presidents Linda Richardson and Ned Jones as well as Albany county executive Michael Breslin were in attendance to pay tribute to the senior class and celebrate the Saints' tremendous season.
Athletic Director John D'Argenio presented former Head Coach Fran McCaffery with the Howard T. Tucker Award for his contributions to Siena Basketball.
Director of Basketball Operations David Matturro began the player awards by presenting the Dan Cunha Defensive Player Award to Edwin Ubiles. He then presented the Billy Harrell Top Rebounder Award to Ryan Rossiter.
Ubiles was a NABC First Team All-District, Second Team All-MAAC and MAAC All-Tournament team selection. He was also one of 21 seniors invited to participate in the Reese's All-Star Game and one of the top-64 players invited to the Portsmouth Invitation Tournament. Ubiles told the Times Union prior to Tuesday's event that he expects to be selected in the upcoming NBA Draft.
Rossiter was named to the All-MAAC First Team. He ranked seventh nationally and set a Siena Division I Record with 379 rebounds. Rossiter also led the MAAC in field goal percentage and set a Siena program-record with 22 double-doubles which ranked third nationally.
Assistant Coach Adam Chaskin presented the Jim Sullivan Most Improved Player Award to Kyle Downey and the Siena Newcomer Award to OD Anosike.
Downey appeared in 24 games, averaging five points and 1.2 rebounds per game. He played a key role despite missing the entire off-season with a fracture in his back, and battled back from a broken ankle suffered in mid-January to emerge as the team's sixth man down the stretch. Downey started Siena's NCAA Tournament game against Purdue when Clarence Jackson could not play because of an ankle injury.
Anosike played in all 34 games, providing great depth and production in the post. He averaged 2.7 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. Anosike shot 51% from the field and played just over 12 minutes per game.
Buonaguro presented the Hustle Award to junior guard Clarence Jackson and the Fr. Benjamin Kuhn Student-Athlete Award to sophomore transfer Kyle Griffin.
Jackson was a Third Team All-MAAC selection and finished second in the conference with 71 3-pointers. He averaged 13.6 points and shot 43% from the field, starting Siena's first 33 games of the season.
Griffin, a sophomore marketing and management major holds a 3.5 GPA. After sitting out the first semester due to NCAA transfer rules, Griffin emerged as a key contributor, appearing in 18 games and averaging 2.2 points per game while shooting 37% from 3-point range.
McCaffery closed the awards portion of the evening by honoring Ronald Moore, Alex Franklin and Ubiles with the Doc Marcelle Most Valuable Player Awards.
Franklin was named MAAC Player of the Year, MAAC Tournament MVP and was a NABC All-District Selection. He led the Saints with 16.1 points and was the only player in the conference to rank in the top-5 in scoring, rebounding (8.1) and field goal percentage (55.5%).
Following the awards presentation the five senior student-athletes spoke at length about their time at Siena and expressed their gratitude to those who helped make their Siena experience a positive one.
The Siena men's basketball class of 2010 will go down as the greatest in the 70-year history of the program. Their 97 victories are the most in Siena history, and they won three MAAC Championships and two NCAA games. Moreover, the seniors posted 20 wins while reaching the MAAC Championship game in each of their four years.
The nearly four-hour celebration concluded with McCaffery introducing Buonaguro who closed the program by commenting on the state of the program.