Siena junior Marquis Wright has been out since the final week of December after having surgery on his right foot, but he has still had an impact on the Saints.
Head coach Jimmy Patsos said the junior, who leads the team with 17.3 ppg, is about three weeks away from returning to the team after a surgery that ruled him out for a six to eight week timeframe.
“He’s halfway from second to third,” Patsos said in a baseball metaphor. “It’s a long way to get home, but he’s still about 66-percent the way there,”
The head coach of the Saints in his third season said he has tasked the 6’1” junior with a coaching folder
“I think Marquis has put some good info in [Nico’s] and Kenny’s ear about some do’s and dont’s, when to run this play and when to not say something to the refs,” Patsos said.
In Wright’s absence, freshman Kenny Wormley has become the team’s point guard and his classmate Nico Claerth has seen his scoring spike as he comes off the bench. Clareth has averaged 13.9 ppg in Wright’s absence, but still draws on the junior even as he is sidelined.
“Even with him being on the bench, he still talks to us,” Clareth said. “He’s really involved. He gives me pointers even when I’m out there on the floor, so even though he’s sidelined, he’s not really sidelined.”
Patsos at the beginning of the season said he had started to trust his upperclassmen like Javion Ogunyemi and Brett Bisping as well as the their classmate Wright. He said he has seen the junior has been a steady presence in practice even while being absent on the practice floor.
“He’s done a great job for us,” Patsos said. “He’s into practice and he’s into the games.”
The Saints coach said he could see the junior, who has shown so much progress on the floor and in the classroom, as a coach one day.
“He’s grown up,” Patsos said. “He could be a coach one day, Marquis, I think he should be a high school coach you know and of course colleges later, but he’s got that little coaching acumen. This has really shown that he knows what’s going on.”
Ryan Restivo wrote the America East conference preview for the 2015-16 Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. He covers the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the America East conference among others for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanarestivo or contact Ryan at rrestivo[at]nycbuckets.com.