Siena will open its 2015-16 campaign at defending National Champion Duke on Friday, November 13 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Two days later the Saints face-off with defending National Runner-Up Wisconsin at the Kohl Center in Madison. Both games are part of the 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project (@2KClassic).
It's the first time Siena will play either program, and the first time the Saints will play a defending National Champion since they traveled to Kansas on January 6, 2009.
"This event was an opportunity that Coach Patsos and I identified as being beneficial for the program," Siena vice president and director of athletics John D'Argenio said. "Like the multi-team exempted events we have participated in in the past the field is extremely challenging."
Hall of Fame head coach Mike Krzyzewski, the winningest coach in college basketball with 1,018 wins, led Duke to its fifth National Championship and a 35-4 record this past season. Duke has a roster boasting only one senior and could return six letterwinners. The Blue Devils currently have four McDonald's All-Americans on their roster and will welcome two more (Luke Kennard and Chase Jeter) to next year's squad. Duke will be making its third appearance in the 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project (1999 and 2008), winning the 2008 title.
Head coach Bo Ryan is Wisconsin's all-time leader in wins, amassing 357 victories in just 14 seasons. The Badgers claimed the Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles last season with a 16-2 league mark to go along with a 36-4 overall record in advancing to the Final Four for the second straight year and the Championship Game for the first time since 1941. Wisconsin returns 11 players, including two starters, led by junior forward Nigel Hayes (12.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and junior guard Bronson Koenig (8.7 ppg, 98 assists). Wisconsin is making its first 2K Classic appearance.
Siena will complete play in the 2015 2K Classic in the Subregional Round November 20-21 at the Chase Athletic Center in Smithfield, R.I. The Saints will be joined in the Subregional by Prairie View A&M, Radford and host Bryant.
There's an exciting new buzz surrounding Siena basketball this summer. Four highly touted incoming freshmen are on campus practicing with the team. Brett Bisping and Imoh Silas are both nearly back to 100% after injuries curtailed their 2014-15 seasons, and key contributors Marquis Wright, Lavon Long and Ryan Oliver return to the rotation along with sophomores Jimmy Paige and Willem Brandwijk. Head coach Jimmy Patsos has delivered on his promise of an up-tempo, high-scoring style of basketball in his two years leading the program. After capturing the CBI Championship and winning 20 games in his first year, the Saints are primed to take a big jump in year three.
Deposits are being accepted now for Siena's 14-game 2015-16 home slate at Times Union Center. Call the Fan Relations Office at 487-2202 to reserve your seat today.