October 2, 2012 in NAIA
At a glance
- Coach: Joe Pechota, first season
- Last year: 7-24, 4-14 WHAC
- Conference: Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC)
- Key loss: Chris Lemm
- Key additions: Tyler Walden (freshman from Fulton), Zane Tobin (freshman from Grayling), Kendall Thomas (freshman from Huron), Corey Hungerford (freshman from Fulton), Kyle Godfrey (freshman from Jonesville), Andre Duffin (freshman from Milan)
- Team roster
- Team website
- Siena Heights news on BallinMichigan
Siena Heights’ finish last season was somewhat understandable given the situation the team was forced into when former coach Al Sandifer had to take leave of the team for health reasons and assistant Bobby Plumer took over. Now, the team has a new coach in Joe Pechota and returns several key players who gained experience last season.
Scoring shouldn’t be a problem for Siena Heights. Junior Cecil Clark, who led the team with a 14.1 points per game scoring average, including a school-record 38 points against Saint Xavier in December, is back.
Seniors Nick Kosovich and Nick Packwood, who both played key roles, are also back. In fact, the team returns about 85 percent of its offense from a year ago as Chris Lemm is the only player the Saints lose to graduation.
The team also plays a schedule that includes exhibitions against two Division I opponents, which should help prepare the Saints for an even more competitive WHAC conference that features two new teams, Marygrove and Lawrence Tech.
Siena Heights really struggled on the road last season, finishing just 1-13. The team has a long stretch of road games from late November through December, so playing better on the road will be imperative to a better finish this season.
The team also needs to defend 2-point shots better. Siena Heights limited opponents to just 31 percent shooting from three last season, but inside the arc, opposing teams shot 46 percent against them.
Circle these dates …
- Nov. 5 – Opening the season against Northwestern Ohio, a WHAC bottom-feeder last season, gives Siena Heights a chance to get off to a strong start. They split their season series with Northwestern Ohio last season.
- Dec. 1 – Northwestern Ohio again? Well, this game is the first game of December, a month in which Siena Heights will only play one home game. So getting off to a strong start on the road could bode well for the rest of the month.
- Dec. 18 – They play the first of their two exhibition games against Division I opponents, this one against Toledo.
- Dec. 28 – Siena Heights takes on another MAC opponent, Eastern Michigan, in an exhibition game.
With a more stable coaching situation, top players returning and new teams in the league — Lawrence Tech’s program is brand new and Siena Heights beat Marygrove last season — the Saints could conceivably jump to the middle tier of the standings.
- Lawrence Tech Blue Devils prepare for reboot
- Marygrove makes move to Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference