After two years off, Siena basketball’s Eduardo Lane answers call

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WORCESTER, Mass. – During a two-year absence from college basketball marked by surgeries and family loss, Siena fifth-year center Eduardo Lane wondered if he would play again.

The Brazilian made a resounding return on Monday with his first career double-double in the season-opening 75-68 victory at Holy Cross.

Lane, a 6-foot-10, 249-pound  transfer from San Jose State, gave the Saints exactly what they needed with starting center Jackson Stormo ruled out with back trouble. Lane had 13 points, 11 rebounds and a pair of blocks in 24 minutes.

“I’m getting there,” Lane said with a laugh. “Not 100 percent, but that’s the best I’ve felt the past two years.”

Lane didn’t play the past two seasons at San Jose State after surgeries on both heels. His shot off the glass with 14:36 left in the first half was good for his first college points since a San Jose State loss to New Mexico on March 4, 2020.

After that, Lane had his health issues and also lost his grandmother to cancer and his grandfather to complications from COVID-19, making him think about staying home in Brazil.

“First year that I can’t play I lost my grandma,” he said. “Last year, I lost my grandpa. Second year without playing, I was really emotional thinking about coming back. Just the first game being like this, it’s a dream come true. Really happy to get that first (win).”

Lane came off the bench on Monday with Jordan Kellier getting the start in place of Stormo. Maciariello said Stormo would see a doctor on Tuesday and his status was unclear for Saturday’s game against the University at Albany at MVP Arena.

“(Lane) is going to play,” Maciariello said. “He’s worked hard. I think Jackson is probably at his best (playing) 26 to 30 minutes, but depending, you don’t know foul trouble. The more guys that we have that want to come to work and be battle-tested, I think it’s just good for us as we go on this journey this year.”

Lane’s teammates were happy for him, including sophomore point guard Javian McCollum, who had a career-high 20 points.

“Man, he came in clutch,” McCollum said. “He played his (butt) off, so I just want to congratulate him. He played a good game and the rest of the guys, too.”

Graduate guard Andrew Platek of Guilderland, who had 13 points, could relate to Lane. Platek played his first game since last December after tearing his Achilles’ tendon.

“Eddie played his (butt) off and that was fantastic,” Platek said. “He’s worked so hard and he’s had so many injuries over his career. We had the same Achilles injury, so for us to battle back, for him especially, so proud of him. His number got called and he delivered.”

Maciariello noted the amount of work athletic trainer Greg Dashnaw and the medical staff do to get Lane and Platek ready to play. He said Platek didn’t practice a couple of days just to keep him rested.

“Now it’s about making sure we’re doing that strategically,” Maciariello said. “It’s a game of adjustments – on the floor, off the floor, in the training room.”

Maciariello said Siena found out about Lane through Synergy, a basketball analytic company, and through overseas contacts. 

He liked Lane’s size, his willingness to run the floor hard and his physical play. He also felt Lane was tougher to guard because he’s a lefty. The biggest question mark was his health.

“Obviously, he hadn’t played in two years,” Maciariello said. “We wanted to talk to their medical staff, we wanted to talk to our medical staff and Greg Dashnaw has done great work with him and (strength coach) Ernie Ruch as well just getting him able to play.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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