- NCAA Tournament Returning To Albany
- Hayley Winter Signs With Siena
- Siena Basketball Hands Out Year End Awards
- Willem Brandwijk Transferring From Siena
- Clareth and Degnan Named Siena Captains
- Jackie Benitez Leaving Siena
- Siena Beats Monmouth: What Happened At Half Time?
- Postgame Comments Following Siena Semifinal Win Over Monmouth
- Siena Marches Into MAAC Semifinal With Win Over Fairfield
- Postgame Comments Following Siena Win Over Fairfield
Marquis Wright’s Road Leads to Siena
- Updated: July 22, 2013
Like Lavon Long and Mike Wolfe in this year’s freshman recruiting class, Marquis Wright’s first choice was Loyola. The 2013 Gatorade Maryland Boys Basketball Player of the Year had originally intended to remain in-state, playing close to home for Jimmy Patsos and the Greyhounds. Those plans were thrown into flux following Patsos move from Loyola to Siena.
“Once I found that out (Patsos leaving Loyola), I was just thinking that I’ll just wait on it and see how things go; see if more schools call me,” said Wright of his plans following Patsos departure. “Then I decided to visit up here (Siena) to see if I was going to follow him.”
Obviously, the visit went well and Wright, who tweeted at the time of having schools such as Maryland and Missouri interested in him, followed his coach to Siena. In addition to the Patsos factor, Wright liked the campus and the feel of the team. During his visit he had the opportunity to play pickup and came away with a positive impression of his fit on the team.
A four-year varsity player for North Point H.S (Waldorf, Md.), Wright averaged 16.6 points, 6.1 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 3.9 steals this past season, leading the Eagles (24-3) to the Class 4A semifinals for the third straight year. He is a two-time Southern Maryland Athletic Conference MVP and finished his high school career with 1,084 points, 560 assists, 325 rebounds and 290 steals.
“The main thing is I’m a true point guard,” said Wright while describing his game. “I like to score, but I don’t have to score. I like to get my team involved first. If I have to score then I will. On defense, I averaged three steals per game in high school, I’d like to do the same thing on the next level. Rebounding, for as small as I am they said I was a hell of a rebounder in high school. I have to stick to that too to help my team on the offensive and defensive rebounding.”
While Wright has spent only a short time at Siena, he has already had the opportunity to learn from several members of Siena’s NCAA tournament teams of the recent past. Ryan Rossiter in particular has worked with the young point guard, giving him valuable tips in running the team on the court.
“He was telling me how we’re always suppose to talk,” said Wright of his conversations with Rossiter. “We don’t have to rush everything, just back it out and tell everyone where to go. Basically, I have to be the loudest on the court.”
Wright is also not above being critical of his game and seeing areas in which he has opportunities to improve.
“Strength and my range on threes,” said Wright when asked what he is working to improve on. “Outside I need to start shooting deeper. People know I can drive to the basket and dish, but if I can shoot it too, its hard to matchup.”
For Siena, Wright is a welcomed roster addition. His presence gives the Saints flexibility at the point behind junior Evan Hymes, a roster presence they sorely missed in each of the last two seasons. In the absence of a true secondary point guard option, Hymes was forced into averaging 36.9 and 33.7 minutes the past two seasons. In each of these seasons Hymes missed playing time due to injury and dehydration, a situation that should see immediate improvement with the addition of Wright.
Siena and Wright’s first test will come vs cross-town rival Albany, when they open the season at the Times Union Center. For Wright, it will be only the second time in his career to play before a crowd similar in size to the ones the Siena-Albany contest draw and will be the first time he competes in college against close friend and former Siena commit Stephen Jiggets.
“The closest I got was Comcast (Center, UMD) my 10th grade year. That was 11,000,” said Wright. “It should be a fun game starting out in college.”
Siena fans certainly hope the game puts the Saints on the road to a new era of Siena basketball, one of that harkens back to a not to distant past of MAAC Championships and NCAA Tournament wins. If Wright’s first impressions of the team are correct, Siena fans will find their dreams quickly turning to reality.
“I think we should be pretty good this year. Coming in and seeing us play pickup it seems like we should have a better team than last year.”
Wright will certainly play a critical role in moving the Saints forward. Either giving Hymes a needed breather, or playing alongside the speedster, Wright’s presence at the point will certainly be a major factor in setting the tone of the Saints future.