By Andy Mac Williams, 11/7/2019

Let's start w/ Muskie roster news. 6-11 Frosh BIG Dieonte Miles will take a developmental red shirt. Travis Steele consulted w/ Miles and his family weighing the pros and cons. Travis let Miles make the final decision. Steele labelled Dieonte as talented as any player attending Xavier in his 10 plus years associated w/ the program. He described Miles as a player w/ an unlimited ceiling. Miles will practice and take road trips. The idea is for Dieonte to add weight and strength and experience. He just turned 18 and battles daily in practice w/ 23 year old Senior Tyrique Jones. Miles is a natural lefthander. He needs to work on his right. He'll have four years of playing eligibility starting next season. If Xavier encounters serious depth issues at Center-Power Forward Travis can take the red shirt off and play Miles at any point in the season.

X has 3 healthy BIGS heading into Friday's Game#2 vs Siena(Tyrique Jones-Zach Freemantle and Jason Carter). Frosh BIG Daniel Ramsey is still in concussion protocol. Carter could start against Siena after playing 13 minutes off the bench in Tuesday's 76-57 win over Jacksonville. Frosh G Kyky Tandy is not practicing because of a foot injury. He is eager to return, but Steele is taking extra time to make sure the foot problems do not become chronic.


The Saints from Loudenville, NY(upstate near Albany) play in the Metro Atlantic and are picked 3rd in the MAAC behind Iona and Rider. SC beat American U(Patriot League) Tuesday in their Opener 96-80. The Saints strive to play quickly pushing for 70+ possessions/game. They start 2 tall talented PG types Jalen Pickett at 6-4 and Donald Carey at 6-5. Both have a solid green light to shoot early and often.

Pickett was MAAC Frosh of Year and 1st Team MAAC(16PPG-5REBS-7 Assists). He scored 46 vs Quinnipiac in a league game. Pickett pumped in 22 vs American. Carey scored 17 vs AU after transferring in from Mt St Mary's and sitting last season. Siena has size on the block (6-8 Notre Dame grad transfer Elijah Burns(19 and 9 vs American). He is coming home to play his final season(Troy, NY in the Albany Capital District).

The Saints have nice depth and more size off the bench. They depend on the three ball(11-21 vs American). Carm Maciariello is their first year head coach finally getting his chance in his home area. Carm played for Louie Orr(Withrow HS-XU assistant-currently asst w/ Pat Ewing at Georgetown) at Siena then worked on Fran McCaffery's Siena coaching staff before joining Ed Cooley at Fairfield and PC.

Travis Steele's priorities for Siena are #1 taking care of the ball again(11 turnovers max like Jacksonville). #2 clean-up shot selection-Know who Xavier is-post it up-drive the ball then kick-out for open rhythm step-in "3s". Nothing flat footed or contested just easy catch and shoot spot-up long shots. #3 defend for 40 minutes-not just 25 as vs Jacksonville.

Travis is confident of his team's 3 point sniping ability if the shots come naturally from running the offense or off the secondary fast break. He;s more alarmed about FT shooting % because X has to live at the line(plus 25 attempts/game and needs to drill 70+% of those). It's a work in progress and Siena marks a step up in competition.

Follow me on Twitter Friday leading up to Game Time(@mm_andymac) for more Muskie-Siena Saint color. Rick Broering from musketeerreport is my co-host at Duff's tomorrow night starting at 6:25 before the Siena game. We focus on recruiting and the 2020 Class w/ signing date next Wednesday November 13th.

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