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MAAC contender loses center to torn ACL

Fresno State vs Siena Saints

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Three days before the start of the 2014-15 regular season, Siena announced the team will be without center Imoh Silas. The 6-foot-9 senior torn his ACL in his right knee during practice last Thursday. An MRI on Tuesday revealed the injury.

“Imoh’s our family member and he has another year left to play,” Siena head coach Jimmy Patsos said in a statement. “Hopefully he comes back, but that’s up to him. He graduates (in May). I’d certainly welcome him back. Everybody has injuries. It’s the way of the sports world now.

“He’s a great character guy.He gives us toughness and rebounding. He won some games for us last year. He single-handedly won that Cornell game and that was a big turnaround for us. He just got to go home to Nigeria. He hadn’t been home in three and a half years. You put in perspective what he’s done, and everyone on campus loves him. We still have our starting five, but we didn’t have anyone else like him. Now somebody else has to step up.”

Silas averaged 3.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game, starting 32 of 38 contests for the Saints.

Siena went 20-18 (11-9 MAAC), winning the College Basketball Invitational championship last season, and is expected to be a threat to conference powers Iona and Manhattan in Patsos’ second season. The Saints were voted No. 2 in the coaches preseason poll.

Siena opens the season on Friday night at UMass.

Follow @terrence_payne