Siena men’s basketball back on pause after positive COVID-19 tests

The Siena men’s basketball team is back on pause because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Siena announced Sunday it has paused team activities following multiple COVID-19 test results stemming from the program’s Tier 1 personnel, which includes players, coaches, team managers and staff.

Their games against Canisius at UHY Center on Friday and Saturday have been postponed.

It’s Siena’s fourth pause overall, but the first since the team began playing games last month. The program is tested three times per week. These positive results came from Wednesday’s testing, assistant athletic director for communications Mike Demos said.

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference requires teams to play their games as scheduled if they have at least eight student-athletes who previously tested positive, but the Saints don’t currently meet that threshold, the school said.

Demos said a team can choose to play with fewer than eight — as the Siena women did with six at Monmouth on Wednesday — but it’s a team-by-team decision and with back-to-back games, there are safety issues. Demos said he didn’t know the exact number Siena has available. Siena head coach Carmen Maciariello said it was “not enough.”

“Nothing we haven’t handled before,” Maciariello said by text.

Siena players gather around coach Carmen Maciariello during their game against Marist on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. The Saints are on pause again because of positive coronavirus tests.

Connor Giblin/Marist Athletics

Demos said program members who haven’t previously tested positive must go into isolation for 10 days. Those who have already tested positive do not have to go into quarantine and are allowed to do basketball activities during the pause.

Siena said it will work with the MAAC on adjustments to the team’s upcoming schedule. Their next scheduled games are at Niagara on Feb. 19 and 20.

The Saints (8-2 overall, 8-2 MAAC) need to play 13 games to meet the NCAA’s minimum requirement to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. They’ve been off since a split with Marist last weekend. They didn’t have any games scheduled this weekend.

Marist and Rider announced on Friday they’re going on pause after positive tests. This could lead to another round of MAAC schedule reshuffling as soon as Monday.

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