By CHUCKIE MAGGIO
Vermont joins Stephen F. Austin and Towson as confirmed opponents for the multi-team event that will begin the 2020-21 college basketball season in Uncasville, Conn. St. Bonaventure and Siena are discussing playing their Franciscan Cup matchup there as both teams will already be in the bubble at the same time.
The Catamounts defeated the Bonnies, who were missing starters Osun Osunniyi and Jaren Holmes due to injury, 61-59 last Nov. 8 at the Reilly Center. Vermont is one of St. Bonaventure’s most competitive foes, as two of the schools’ last three meetings were decided by just two points each. Led by coach John Becker, the Catamounts compiled a 26-7 record last season and made the America East Tournament final that was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Star forward Anthony Lamb graduated in May.
Siena topped the Bonnies the game after, on Nov. 12 in Albany, 78-65. The Saints, 20-game winners a season ago, have secured four of the last seven Franciscan Cups and won the MAAC regular season title in 2019-20. Aquinas Institute alumnus Jalen Pickett, a prep school teammate of Bonnies junior Dominick Welch, led the team with 15.1 points per game.
St. Bonaventure and Siena are expected to resume their home-and-home series at the Reilly Center next season, according to a source.