SPRINGFIELD, MASS. - The Siena Men's and Women's Basketball Programs found out Tuesday where their respective conference coaches think they will finish. The men were tabbed sixth, while the women were slotted seventh in the MAAC Men's and Women's Preseason Coaches' Polls unveiled at the conference's awards show held at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Junior forward OD Anosike from the men's squad was selected to the Preseason All-MAAC Third Team, while senior captains Cristina Centeno (Second Team) and Maja Gerlyng (Third Team) were recognized on the women's side.
Last season's MAAC finalist Iona received eight of ten first place votes in being chosen as the preseason favorite to capture the men's conference title in 2011-12. Defending MAAC Regular Season Champion Fairfield received the other two first place votes in being picked second in a close vote.
Loyola, Rider and defending MAAC Champion Saint Peter's rounded out the top-five. Following the Saints were Niagara, Manhattan, Canisius and Marist.
The Siena men return three starters and nine letterwinners from last season's squad which posted a 13-18 overall record and finished seventh in the MAAC with an 8-10 conference ledger.
Anosike finished his sophomore season strong and ended fourth on the Saints in scoring averaging 8.9 points. He ranked eighth in the MAAC in rebounding (6.8) and was seventh in field goal percentage (49.4%).
The Gaels' Mike Glover was named the men's Preseason Player of the Year and was joined on the First Team by teammate Scott Machado. Fairfield's Derek Needham and Ryan Olander and Rider's Novar Gadson were also selected to the First Team.
On the women's side six-time defending MAAC Champion Marist was once again the unanimous pick to repeat. 2011 MAAC Finalist Loyola was slotted second, followed by Fairfield, Manhattan and Iona. Canisius was picked sixth followed by the Saints, Saint Peter's and Rider, which were tied for eighth, and Niagara.
The Saints return two starters and nine letterwinners from last year's team which is coming off the program's best finish in seven years. The Saints finished 14-16 overall and posted an 11-7 mark in the MAAC, finishing fourth overall and advancing to the conference semifinals.
Centeno was a MAAC Third Team selection at the end of last season after averaging 9.5 points while dishing out a team best 66 assists. Gerlyng had a breakout season in 2010-11 and is the program's leading returning scorer after averaging 10.0 points and finishing tied for ninth in the MAAC with 43 threes.
Marist's Corielle Yarde was chosen as the women's Preseason Player of the Year. Loyola's Miriam McKenzie and Katie Sheahin, Fairfield's Taryn Johnson and Iona's Kristina Ford were also selected to the Preseason First Team.
Both the men's and women's teams hit the hardwood for real in less than a month. The women start things up Friday, Nov. 11 at the ARC against Sacred Heart while the men open five days later on Wednesday, Nov. 16 against Navy at Times Union Center. Both games tip at 7 p.m.