4GuysinBlazers

Comments From Greg Manning At This Week’s Media Luncheon

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Notes: Rob Poole was out for Tuesday’s practice with a bruised hip. He is listed as “questionable” for Thursday’s game vs. St Peter’s. Lavon Long sat out the majority of practice with a sore left leg.

 

Comments at this week’s media luncheon from Siena Assistant Coach, Greg Manning who was filling in for Jimmy Patsos who was away on a recruiting trip:

 

On recent stretch of games against Iona, Manhattan and Iona again:

“It’s a tough stretch any time you’ve gotta play two teams that are favored to win the league 1-2 in a span of seven, eight days. It’s tough. But, we learned from it. You’ve gotta beat the best teams to be the best. In order to do that you’ve got to play well. You learn the things that you have to do next time against these type of teams.”

 

On moving forward:

“We’ve got a big game coming up Thursday against St. Peter’s. We’re tied with them at 3-5 in the league. There’s three or four teams at 3-5, and four teams at 6-2 so it’s really balanced right now. These next couple games are going to be big for us.”

marquis

On two-time MAAC Rookie of the week, Marquis Wright:

“He’s been unbelievable all season not just the last couple weeks. We’ve asked him to do a lot from the beginning. Since he came on campus, we put the ball in his hands to be the starting point guard and he’s doing a great job. Any time you play 40 minutes you’re going to do some mistakes, get a couple turnovers. But, to have 12 points, eight rebounds, eight assists is unbelievable for a freshman and to do it against that kind of competition (Iona) is really impressive. We’re really happy where he’s at. His progress has been great and we need him to keep competing and play well the rest of the season.”

 

On Lavon, Marquis and Maurice:

“The last two games before Iona we didn’t think he (Lavon) had his better games. He struggled a little bit. Foul trouble is always an issue for him. He responded last game tremendously with 16 and 11. Marquis is obviously playing big minutes so anytime a freshman’s playing that many minutes at this point in the season you worry about their legs, if they’re going to get fatigued or hit a wall. But, those two are mentally tough and Maurice is playing off the bench pretty well for us right now. We’re happy where they’re at but they’ve got to continue to do that.”

greg manning loyola

On Jimmy as his former coach and now:

“He’s actually kind of similar from when I first met him and first started playing for him because we are kind of at the same stage of where he was then at Loyola, rebuilding phase. We weren’t very good when he first got there. They won one game the year before. He had a lot of passion, had a lot of fire and was trying to get people involved in the program. A little different here, ‘cause you guys have such great fan support but, the passion he brings every day to practice is very similar to what he did for the past nine years at Loyola and it works. You’ve got to get these guys to play hard to believe in the system that he has. His energy is second to none.”

NCAA Siena Ohio St Basketball

On comparing Marquis Wright to Ronald Moore:

“I did a lot of watching Ronald Moore from the bench(as a player at Loyola). They’re great point guards. There are similarities in the two of them. They obviously want to get their teammates involved first before they have to score. I think Marquis has proven he can score like Ronald did. Obviously, Ronald hit some tremendous shots and big shots in the NCAA tournament games against Ohio State and stuff like that. Marquis can hit shots if he needs to. He’s very good at getting to the basket. You don’t want to compare him yet to a guy like Ronald who has accomplished so much in his career and has done so much for the school and for this program but I think in the long run, Marquis has a chance to be one of the best point guards ever to play here if he keeps on this pace.”

 

On how the players and staff have adjusted:

“When you first get here, the day we stepped on campus, we didn’t really know any of these guys personally. Obviously from playing against them the last couple years you know them but everybody has to come together as one. The freshmen as well as the older guys and the staff have to all come together. So, it’s kind of three pieces we had to mix together. We’ve done a great job so far I think. All the guys get along. They’re all friends off the court which is important and then the coaching staff, it’s a whole new style. We have to implement our style and how we want to play and the toughness that we’re asking these guys to play with every day and they’ve done it.”

“The freshmen, when you come into a program as a freshman you don’t really know what to expect and especially when you come in somewhere and there’s a new coach and old guys. Some guys leaving, some guys staying. It’s kind of a mix of not sure what’s going on (for the freshmen) but we’ve done a great job. I’m proud of all the guys.”

“Seven wins right now we’re okay with that. We’re right in the middle of the pack in the MAAC. We’ve got a lot of games to go and we think we have a chance to finish in the middle if not higher in the MAAC.”

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On Evan Hymes:

“Evan’s been unbelievable for us coming off the bench. We’ve asked a kid that started for almost his whole career, every game, to come off the bench and that’s not easy to do. He’s been a real spark plug. I think of all the guys that were here, he’s the guy that’s had the most energy and passion and really wants to win every single game. Obviously Poole’s a really good player and a competitor but Evan really has that energy and that leadership ability and he’s been great for us the last couple weeks, all season really.”

patsos cheering

On Building intensity:

“We talked about it after the game on the ride home from Iona. You want to see kids that have passion and fire, to really go out there and play from the jump. We thought we were missing that on Sunday at Iona. We didn’t see it in our guys. That’s the one thing, we’re trying to get out of them. Jimmy’s an emotional guy, really wants guys that play hard with energy and passion and some of these guys are a little more laid-back, but they’re working on it. They’re doing their best at it and they’ve got to understand that every time we step on the floor it’s extremely important. You only play 30, 31 games a year so you have to be ready to go each and every day.”

 

On lessened production from the center position the last few games:

“They (Iona) only play one big guy really and he’s more like a guard. So it’s hard to play those guys a lot of minutes together. So obviously their minutes can go down. Lavon played a lot of four and five the last game but we need those guys to step up. They haven’t played their best the last couple games but they’re certainly capable of it. Brett has shown some unbelievable games this year with double-doubles and career high. When Brett plays well we usually win. We have stats from our seven wins and then our 12 losses and I think in our seven wins Brett’s our second-leading scorer. So we need Brett to score the ball and really play well for us to be successful.”

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 On the most memorable place he has visited in his 10 years playing for and coaching with Jimmy Patsos:

“We’ve been to a lot of places in 10 years. I think last year when we went to play Memphis, he took us to see a couple cool places. We saw Elvis’ plane and where he lived. That was memorable just because he’s such a famous person. The guys really liked that. Elvis, he’s a rock star. We got to go on his plane and see how he traveled and that kind of stuff, where he grew up in Graceland, so that was really neat.”

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