Catching up on news and notes from around the conference ...
Siena's 6-7 sophomore forward O.D. Anosike has been picked as a "Breakout" frontcourt player by the Rivals internet site. Only players who started less than half their team's games, scored fewer than 10 points per game and played less than 25 minutes per contest were eligible for consideration.
The list focuses on players who could emerge, move into the proverbial spotlight, after being primarily a role player or a bench player this past season.
Here is Rivals' report on Anosike:
O.D. Anosike, Siena
The buzz: The Saints need someone other than Ryan Rossiter to produce offense as they attempt to replace departed starters Ronald Moore, Edwin Ubiles and MAAC player of the year Alex Franklin. Anosike, the brother of former Tennessee women's star and current Minnesota Lynx center Nicky Anosike, has the unenviable task of filling Franklin's shoes and, consequently, should significantly upgrade his 2008-09 averages of 2.7 points and 3.4 rebounds. Rossiter averaged 7.9 points and 10 rebounds in 2008-09 after averaging 1.9 points and 2.9 rebounds a year earlier. Siena's chances of winning a fourth consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title could depend on whether Anosike has a similar rise in production.
Here are the other front-court players who made the "Breakout" list:
- Reginald Buckner, Mississippi.
- Jack Cooley and Carleton Scott, Notre Dame.
- Festus Ezeli and Steve Tchiengang, Vanderbilt.
- Andrew Fitzgerald, Okahoma.
- John Henson, North Carolina.
- Reggie Johnson, Miami.
- Deniz Kilichi, West Virginia.
- Daniel Miller and Brian Oliver, Georgia Tech.
- Mason Plumlee, Duke
- Ari Stewart and Tony Woods, Wake Forest.
- Mouphtaou Yarou, Villanova.
AND, ANOTHER SIENA PLAYER earned a Rivals' honor recently when Saints' senior center Ryan Rossiter was named to that internet site's preseason all Mid-Major Team.
He joins Butler's Shelvin Mack, Gonzaga's Elias Harris, Hofstra's Charles Jenkins and UC Santa Barbara's Orlando Johnson on that list.
In putting together the team, Rivals.com considered student-athletes from the Big Sky, Big West, Colonial, Horizon, Metro Atlantic Athletic, Mid-American, Missouri Valley, Southern, Sun Belt, West Coast and Western Athletic.
In describing Rossiter (Staten Island, N.Y./Monsignor Farrell), Rivals.com noted: "Rooster" averaged a double-double for the Saints, at 13.8 points and 11.1 rebounds; he also averaged 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks. Siena lost its two leading scorers - both of whom were frontcourt players - so Rossiter's offense will become even more important next season. He's a hard worker who can be counted on to develop more of a mid-range game this offseason; still, the bulk of his points are going to come from in the paint.
In addition to the “starting five”, Rivals.com included seven players on the bench for its Preseason All Mid Major Team, among them Fairfield’s Derek Needham.
Rossiter and Needham figure to be the leading candidates for MAAC Preseason Player of the Year.