Healthy Ryan Oliver A Three-Point Weapon For Siena

Junior Ryan Oliver has been through plenty of ups and downs.

(photo courtesy: Stockton Photo)
Ryan Oliver has steadily improved after being a year removed from his knee was scoped to end his freshman season. (photo courtesy: Stockton Photo)

Oliver tore the ACL in his left knee the summer prior to his senior season at Loyola High School in California, he lost the second half of his freshman season after re-injuring that knee and needing it scoped. However, it was about a year after that surgery — at Fairfield in late January last season — where he came alive, hitting a crucial three-pointer from the right corner to push Siena’s four-point lead to seven.

“Everybody says when you have surgery, you don’t feel 100-percent until the year date and that was right around the year date,” Oliver said. “I was able to play well and compete at a high level.”

It was Oliver’s first game where he made more than two three-pointers, he finished with nine points and six rebounds. His dagger three-pointer keyed the Saints first road victory of the calendar year. Once he knocked down a three-pointer early, Patsos ran plays throughout the game for him.

“I said Michael Cooper and Jamaal Wilkes,” Patsos said last season, when comparing Oliver’s game to past NBA players. “Ryan came back about right over Christmas break, ‘I ain’t Michael Cooper, he guarded the other team’s,’ I said check his three-point percentage probably took three a game. You can take threes, but you have to start playing defense. He’s bought in.”

Since then Oliver has started to become a key outside shooting option for the Saints. With that, his confidence has soared.

“I saw I was able to play well at first at the end of the season and also just understanding what my role was under coach Patsos,” Oliver said. “It took me a while to get that, but once I understood what they really wanted me to do out there on the court, I was able to take on my role.”

Entering Wednesday’s action, Oliver’s true shooting percentage ranked third in the country at 95.5%. While it may be a small sample size, and making 75% of his three pointers all season is unrealistic, it is a strong start for the Siena junior, who will look to produce in his first fully healthy season after working on improving his shot over the course of the summer.

“My teammates do a great job, because their attacking skills open it up for me because help defense comes to them and I’m open,” Oliver said. “I’m able to knock that down.”

Ryan Restivo wrote the America East conference preview for the 2014-15 Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. He covers the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the America East conference and Hofstra for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanarestivo or contact Ryan at rrestivo[at]

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