Siena vs Marist Preview and Prediction
Siena vs Marist Preview
The final MAAC showdown we have to cover on this Friday night slate features two teams that figure to fight for that fourth or fifth spot in the conference.
For the Siena Saints (5-10, 0-2) it’s been a trying season, but as I have said throughout the year, the future is bright for the program. The Saints are looking to snap an 11-game conference road losing streak dating back to an 84-77 win against their rival tonight, Marist on Feb. 11, 2017.
I can’t say enough about the freshman talent first year Siena coach Jamion Christian brought in this season. Here’s an excerpt on my thoughts as a Canisius beat reporter on freshman sensation Jalen Pickett:
Jalen Pickett is a hot topic when it comes to college basketball in Western New York. Pickett played high school an hour away from the Canisius campus at the Aquinas Institute in Rochester, NY but never really considered the school–or if you ask other people, Canisius head coach Reggie Witherspoon did not try to heavily recruit Pickett to the Griffs.
The way his college career has started, he could haunt the Griffs and fellow MAAC team Niagara for the next four years.
The freshman is averaging 15.1 points, 7.1 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game. Those are impressive numbers–but for a guy getting his first taste of college basketball action, it is even more impressive.
If Siena is going to pick up their first conference win tonight, it will be because of Pickett’s play. He picked up his fourth MAAC Rookie of the Week honors this past Monday.
Marist (6-8, 1-1) earned its first win of the MAAC season with a 78-63 triumph over Manhattan on Tuesday. Five Red Foxes scored in double digits, led by Ryan Funk and Brian Parker with 17 points apiece.
Parker is a four-year starter that I have praised with his timely shooting and overall leadership. He can get careless with the basketball at times, nearly averaging four turnovers per game, but they never seem to happen at crucial times.
Siena leads the series 55-27.
The Saints have won 19 of the last 24 meetings.
The last eight meetings at McCann Arena between Marist and Siena have been decided by a cumulative total of 41 points, with every game being decided by single digits.
LINE: -2.5 Marist
Dan’s Bet: -2.5 Marist
Score Prediction: Marist 71 Siena 67