LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – The Siena College’s men’s basketball team has lost three of its last four games, but the coach believes there’s a way for the team to bounce back.
Junior forward Brett Bisping has been out of the lineup for recent games due to injury. The Saints admit they’re still figuring out how to play with a smaller team, but for head coach Jimmy Patsos, the answer is simple.
“I have a job available,” he said. “Who wants to rebound?”
Rebounding is an essential part of the game, but it’s chalked up mostly to effort and that’s what bothers Patsos the most.
“It’s we didn’t get the rebound because they outworked us,” he said.
Siena’s been outrebounded in six straight games with opponents averaging eight more rebounds per game in that stretch.
“We are down two rebounders, and it’s showing up,” Patsos said.
Imo Silas and Bisping, standing 6’10” and 6’8” respectively, are likely out for the year, and that spells trouble on the boards.
“Last year, I watched the tape and not everybody went to rebound, but it didn’t matter because Brett Bisping was flying through the air to get the ball,” Patsos said. “And then the big buys were getting knocked over by Imo Silas and Brett Bisping, so here came Rob. Rob Poole was a great rebounder last year.”
And so the entire operation changes without those guys. Sophomore Javion Ogunyemi and freshman Willem Brandwijk have been called upon to fill those roles, but they’ve combined for five rebounds total in the last two games.
“I can’t have my four and five men get three rebounds in an emotional rivalry game,” Patsos said. “Hey, they’re still 6’8”. They’re not 6’2”.
But it’s not all on them. Lavon Long is the Saints leading rebounder, though he’s often on the bench in foul trouble.
“Okay, somebody else. Jimmy Page has to rebound, Rob has to rebound,” Patsos said. “You know who rebounded? Marquis Wright. Nine rebounds. Proud of him.”
“Marquis is five foot eight, and he’s getting all the rebounds,” Poole said. “I mean, I think at times, we as players to take accountability as players for our own actions, and I don’t think we’re taking accountability of our own actions this year.”
Patsos said they’ll chart rebounds in practice, but senior Poole admitted the team’s mentality had to change. He said they have to love each other more.
“As a team, we just have to come together and not blame each other, not blame the reasons for why we’re doing things,” Poole said.
“Like, we come out of a timeout and someone says we didn’t get a rebound,” Patsos said. “We might as well be honest, and someone says, ‘You were closer.’ It’s just, we have to get a rebound. Siena has to get the rebound.”
And that is the answer.
“If we’ll have some accountability and responsibility on the boards as a team, everything will fix itself,” Patsos said.