July 3, 2013
The Siena basketball team will have a whole new look next season. That's not a bad thing. New coach Jimmy Patsos' first recruiting class includes Coppin State transfer Patrick Cole, and incoming freshmen Lavon Long, Michael Wolfe and Marquis Wright. The four newcomers join Troy High graduate Javion Ogunyemi who committed to the program during the Early Signing Period.
"The new guys are going to fit in well," Siena coach Jimmy Patsos said. "It's going to be a meshing process. I don't believe in new guys or my guys, they're all our guys."
Cole, a 6-5 guard out of Newark, N.J., was a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference All-Rookie selection after averaging 10.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists as a rookie at Coppin State this past season. Cole helped lead Newark Central to a Group II State Championship as a senior, averaging 11.2 points per game before spending one season at the Robinson School where he averaged 17 points and eight rebounds per game. Cole will have to sit out the 2013-14 season at Siena per NCAA transfer rules.
"Patrick has to adjust to school," Patsos said. "He's excellent with the ball in his hands. He reminds me of a poor man's Deron Williams, because he can score. But this is a big adjustment. He's getting use to school and our program. His learning curve is a little different. We think he'll be a major contributor next year (in 2014-15)."
Long, a 6-6 forward from Baltimore, averaged 15 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.6 blocks, three assists and 2.5 steals as a senior at Oakland Mills. He was named Fourth Team All-Met by the Washington Post and Howard County Player of the Year after leading the Scorpions to a 24-1 record, the Howard County Championship, and a Regional Finals appearance as a senior. Long transferred to Oakland Mills this past year after three seasons at Mount St. Joseph.
"Lavon has a sneaky game," Patsos said. "He can really handle the ball well. We expect him to rebound and lead the break. I love left handers, because they're a different matchup. If I had to compare him to someone, it would be (Metta World Peace). He's really a guard, but he can play forward because of his size. He has a really well-rounded game."
Wolfe, a 6-9 forward from Germantown, Md., averaged 15 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in helping Georgetown Prep to a 15-11 overall record, including a 7-3 mark in the Interstate Athletic Conference. He earned All-Sentinel and All-League accolades, and averaged nearly 20 points and nine rebounds per game in IAC competition. Wolfe scored 31 points and had 10 blocks in separate games against league rival St. Albans.
"Michael is doing great in summer school," Patsos said. "Coming from Georgetown Prep, I think he's a little extra prepared. I'd say he's a little more advanced. He's going to play a lot of four for us, because he can face up and shoot."
Wright, a 6-0 guard from Waldorf, Md., was named Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Maryland following his senior season. Wright led North Point to three straight Maryland 4A East Region titles, and averaged 16.6 points, 6.1 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 3.9 steals in leading the Eagles to a 24-3 record and a state semifinal appearance as a senior. A two-time Southern Maryland Athletic Conference MVP, Wright concluded his high school career with 1,084 points, 560 assists, 325 rebounds and 290 steals as a four-year varsity player. He also maintained a GPA over 3.0 and was very active in his hometown community.
"Marquis is a quiet leader, but he's really impressed us in two weeks here," Patsos said. "Kenny (Hasbrouck), Ryan (Rossiter) and Ronald (Moore) have been around a lot, which is a sign of a great program. They all tell me how much they like Marquis Wright's game. He's a pass first guy, and I think he and Evan (Hymes) give us strong point guard play. They will play some together too."
The newcomers have been taking summer classes and working out on campus. The team will get a jump start on the season with a trip to Montreal August 23-29.
"The Montreal trip will be important," Patsos said. "It's about bonding, but we're going to get a good look at the team. I've got to get down to eight or nine, and that will be a good chance to see where everybody's at."
Season tickets for the Saints' 14-game 2013-14 home schedule are on-sale now and can be reserved through the Siena Fan Relations Office at 487-2202.