Jimmy Patsos and Siena are first MAAC men's basketball program to release their nonconference schedule, which includes games at Duke and Wisconsin to open season. (Photo courtesy of the Albany Times Union)
Jimmy Patsos was among the first people to admit that his second season at Siena did not go as well as some may have anticipated, but what the Saints' head coach found gratifying was his team's relentless fight down the stretch, and refusal to quit.
It is that mantra that will be of importance to Siena this season, especially now that their nonconference schedule has been announced. The much-publicized trips to Cameron Indoor Stadium and the Kohl Center to open the year against reigning national champion Duke (November 13) and runner-up Wisconsin (November 15) are there, as are nine other contests that will take the Saints into Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play.
"It's a schedule that's going to make us better," Patsos optimistically declared. "It's a challenging schedule, and it's a great schedule."
Following the two games against Duke and Wisconsin, which Patsos called an "honor" to christen the season against, Siena will play two more games as part of the 2K Classic, which benefits the Wounded Warrior Project, against the combination of Bryant, Prairie View A&M, and Radford. These subregional games will be played at Bryant University, and will take place on November 20 and 21, but the exact matchups will be determined at a later date.
The Saints travel to the Sojka Pavilion to face Bucknell on November 24, and will host their home opener four days later at the Times Union Center against Patsos' former Loyola team, now coached by his one-time assistant, G.G. Smith. Following their home debut, Siena hits the road once more, this time to Newman Arena in Ithaca to take on Cornell in a December 1 matchup that renews a four-year series with the third installment among both teams.
Three home games are on the docket following the traditional opening weekend of MAAC play in December, with Siena resuming their non-league slate against Hofstra and former MAAC coach Joe Mihalich at home on December 9 before a pair of rivalry games take place in Albany. On December 12, the Saints will welcome crosstown rival and three-time reigning America East champion Albany to the Times Union Center in the first season of a new three-year agreement between both schools that will feature a home game for the Great Danes at SEFCU Arena in the 2016-17 season, with the final game of the Siena homestand being the annual Franciscan Cup against St. Bonaventure, to be held on December 22.
Siena concludes the nonconference portion of their schedule on December 29 against Patsos' college teammate John Becker and Vermont, who have defeated the Saints in each of the last five seasons. All tipoff times are to be determined.
2015-16 Siena Saints Nonconference Schedule
Friday, November 13: at Duke (2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project)
Sunday, November 15: at Wisconsin (2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project)
Friday, November 20 - Saturday, November 21: vs. Bryant, Prairie View A&M, or Radford (2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project, subregional at Bryant University)
Tuesday, November 24: at Bucknell
Saturday, November 28: vs. Loyola (Md.)
Tuesday, December 1: at Cornell
Wednesday, December 9: vs. Hofstra
Saturday, December 12: vs. Albany (Albany Cup)
Tuesday, December 22: vs. St. Bonaventure (Franciscan Cup)
Tuesday, December 29: at Vermont