Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Home Opener - What to Expect

Mount fans and others of course, first off don't expect to see Lamar Trice or Kristijan Krajina at Knott Arena tonight. I think we're getting close with Krajina but I don't expect to see Trice for a few more weeks.

I'm excited to finally see some college basketball live and in-person. If you're not going to be at the game you can follow my insight through the twitter feed  .

The Mount enters off a road win against Hartford, an impressive performance that saw them lead by as many as 29 in the second half. Siena comes in with a 1-0 record after defeating Navy midweek in Albany.

The biggest thing the Mount needs to prove to me tonight is that they can do a better job of protecting the basketball. Even in the win on Wednesday, the Mount turned the ball over 22 times.

Josh Castellanos had career highs in both points and assists in the wins over the Hawks - but must continue to limit his turnovers. Danny Thompson might be poised for a big senior season. The big guy is finally healthy and getting a chance to shine. He leads the team with 11.5 points and rebounds per game. Up front his inside partner Raven Barber who is the favorite of criticism from the commenters from TheMountFanBlog, is second on the team with 10.5 points per game which shows that the Mount wants and will go inside to get its point.

Tonight is going to be a big test for those inside players because Siena brings 6-8 forward OD Anosike with them to Knott Arena. Anosike is a third-team preseason All-MAAC selection. He averaged nearly 9 points and 7 rebounds a game. His rebounding could be a problem tonight for the Mount. He grabbed 10 rebounds in the win over Navy. But Anosike scored just one point in the opener.

The points for the Saints came from Kyle Downey. The 6-2 senior guard scored 19 in that opener. Downey isn't a typical guard in today's game. He doesn't get his points from behind the arc. He made just one three in the opener and has a career high of 3 in a game.

Brandon Walters, a 6-8 transfer from Seton Hall, also was in double figures in the opener with 12. Evan Hymes scored 10 points in his collegiate debut.

Siena also has a short bench. Only 8 players played in the win versus Navy and two of those suffered injuries. Owen Wignot played just six minutes after starting and is probable for Saturday night. Marcus Hopper played seven minutes off the bench and is questionable.

I think this is one that comes right down to the wire. Ultimately I hope the Maniacs and the rest of the Mount crowd are enough to help push this group over the top. I see the Mount winning 61-58.

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