Monday, January 4, 2016

Manhattan 92, Siena 87: 5 Observations

Three overtimes, and five observations. Here are our handful of takeaways from Manhattan's 92-87 victory over Siena:

  • "We're winning ugly, and good teams can win ugly."
    That was Steve Masiello's analysis of the Jaspers' gritty victory, one in which Manhattan placed five players in double figures. "We're a long way away," the coach admitted, "but I couldn't be more proud of these guys' effort and the way they handled themselves." Masiello elaborated further, stating that a win of this nature was what Manhattan basketball is all about.

    "I think it defines our program," he humbly stated. "I thought this was a great reflection of a bunch of kids that were overlooked, who are blue-collar, who don't mind rolling their sleeves up, who don't want credit. I thought it was a great indicator of our program, and Siena as well."

  • Siena continues to fight on in the absence of Marquis Wright.Jimmy Patsos admitted it has been tough for the Saints while they mitigate their circumstances in dealing with Wright's foot injury, but the coach also lamented the foul trouble suffered by Lavon Long. "Even if we had Marquis, Lavon would've been a very important guy for us, and he got in foul trouble," Patsos forlornly recalled. "It's a learning experience, but I've been through this before and I like the fight. I like the look of our guys."

  • Could Manhattan's latest resilient product be starting to show a little more?
    Now that the Jaspers are getting healthier as the season progresses, Masiello is open to that belief. "I think so," he said when asked if this game showed the grit of his roster. "It takes you a while to find out who you are, how to grind. RaShawn's (Stores) grind with Emmy (Andujar) and AP (Ashton Pankey) is a lot different than this year, so he has to adjust his grind. I have to adjust how I approach the team, Shane (Richards) has to adjust how he leads the team."

    "I think we're finding out what works. I'm finding out what works for Shane, I'm finding out what works for Ray, and then it goes downhill. It starts with me, and I get it from these guys. I think we're showing the basketball team, the mindset, that we've always been. It doesn't matter what we do on offense, just be tough-minded and play, and fight. That's who we've been, and I think we showed that tonight."

  • Siena's lack of three-pointers is not a cause for concern.
    In our most recent "MAAC Monday" post, we noted that the Saints were the least reliant team in the MAAC on the three, only attempting 19 percent of their shots from beyond the arc. Why is that the case, one might ask? Well, the Siena front line of Long, Brett Bisping, and Javion Ogunyemi has been so efficient, that the outside shot is not a requisite. "Just because (Stephen) Curry's taking a lot of threes," Patsos proposed, "doesn't mean we're going to take threes. We're a little old school. I grew up in Boston with the 'Big Three,' (Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, and Larry Bird) and we kind of have a big three, (we) throw it inside, score twos, get to the line, play good 'D.'"

  • "We gotta keep everybody happy."
    That was how RaShawn Stores summed up Manhattan's balanced scoring in the past two games, with nine double-figure games between Saturday's victory over Fairfield and tonight's win over Siena. "It's more (about) the defensive end," Stores drove home the all-important hallmark of the Jasper program. "That's where we bring our culture. When we do that, everybody's going to be happy. If we keep everybody happy, they're going to play hard."

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