The Saints, who were second among the “others receiving votes,” were ranked as high as No. 15. That vote came from Nick Jezierny, who covers Boise State for the Idaho Statesman. Also, Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated slotted Siena at No. 17.
I was one of five voters who put Siena at No. 24.
We went out to Boise, ID and Nick Jezienry of the Idaho Statesmen covers Boise State and we reached out to him to see why he is now on the Saints bandwagon, voting them #15 in his AP Poll ballot.
He outlined his reasons and impressions of Siena to SienaSaintsBlog.com:
I’ve been impressed with Siena for quite some time, going back to the days when Doremus Bennerman (same hometown as me) played there.
As a top 25 voter and a writer who has covered mid-major conferences (MAC, Big West, Sun Belt, WAC), I have always paid extra attention to these type of schools. Some say I give them too much credit in the polls, but I seem to err on that side rather than handing a BCS school a vote just because they are a BCS school.
Anyway … Siena obviously looked the part in their two games against Boise State. But I base their rating this season based on the number of returning players, the success they’ve had in the past and also how they schedule. It’s a program that’s been battle-tested and it wouldn’t shock me if they ended up in the Sweet 16, which is why I ranked them 15. I also see the Saints got way more than the 11 points I gave them, so obviously I’m not alone. Is 15 too high? Maybe. But at this point, with what they return, I think the rating is justified.
The preseason Top 25 is the most difficult vote there is. There are many good teams, many good programs that you know are going to be there when all is said and done. I try to balance those when I vote. It’s not easy.
Nick wrote recently previewing Idaho’s basketball teams entering this season.
Steven Bradley of The Daily Journal in South Carolina voted the Siena Saints as his #19 team.
He also outlined his reasons as to why he put Siena in the poll to SienaSaintsBlog.com:
The AP asks us to vote on performance and not preseason hype.
The fact is Siena has been a Top 25-caliber team two years running now, and with four starters coming back, I just feel it’s deserving of inclusion.
Hasbrouck will be difficult to replace, but Jackson and Moore are capable long-range shooters, and I love almost everything about Ubiles and his game. He’s abig-time talent. Coach McCaffery does a great job, and the Saints will almost certainly be back in the Big Dance and probably have a good chance to ultimately make the Sweet 16.
They cover Clemson and South Carolina sports down at The Journal. One of Bradley’s more recent pieces is about Clemson’s C.J Spiller getting Heisman hype.
We thank both writers for sharing their opinions on the Saints with us. Hopefully a few more will be convinced to push Siena higher in the polls as the season goes on.