With Rakeem Brookins no longer with the program in the aftermath of his arrest on charges of burglary, Siena first-year head coach Jimmy Patsos could not afford to lose point guard Evan Hymes.
Hymes was expected to transfer according to multiple reports in early April, with the goal being to attend a school closer to his North Carolina with his mother not in the best of health.
But after a trip home to talk things over with his family, Hymes reportedly will return to Siena for his junior season according to Mark Singelais of the Times-Union.
Siena coach Jimmy Patsos said Hymes notified him of the decision [Saturday] morning.
“Glad,” Patsos said via text. “High character kid. Will really fit into our system.”
The 5-8 guard had a lot on his plate this past season and his numbers suffered as a result, as Hymes averaged 10.6 points and 3.7 assists per contest but shot just 33.3% from the field.
Siena once again lacked depth, with the end result being an eight-win season and a change in head coaches. With Hymes on track to return, Patsos will have an experienced point guard to rely on as he looks to improve Siena’s standing in a conference they won three years in a row from 2008-10.
At present time Siena has four recruits in its 2013 class, one of which being point guard Marquis Wright. Wright, who won Gatorade Player of the Year honors in Maryland this season, will have an experienced player to learn from, and that can only help the program going forward.
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
Stanford guard Marcus Allen will be out indefinitely after suffering a stress fracture in his right foot, the school announced on Monday evening.
“We want to make sure Marcus is fully healthy before returning to the court,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said in a statement. “Marcus played at a high level during our summer exhibition competition in Italy, where he was one of our leading scorers. We will certainly miss him as we continue to prepare for the season, but we are fortunate that this happened now and he will be back before he knows it.”
The loss of Allen is a potentially brutal blow in an already-thin back court. The 6-foot-3 Allen started 23 games as a sophomore last season, averaging 6.4 points and 3.5 boards. But he averaged 11.4 points and 5.4 boards as the Cardinal made a run to the NIT championship and looked poised to be able to replace the departed Chasson Randle’s production this year.
What’s worse is that without Allen, Stanford does not return a single player in their back court that averaged more than 11.5 minutes. Sophomore Robert Cartwright looks poised to step into the starting point guard role, but neither Dorian Pickens nor Christian Sanders looked like they were ready for that kind of role in the Pac-12 last season. Dawkins does return Malcolm Allen, Marcus’ twin brother, who sat out last season with a broken wrist.
The good news is that Stanford’s front court is strong enough to carry the Cardinal until Marcus is healthy. Rosco Allen, Reid Travis and Michael Humphrey will be able to hold their own against any front line in the Pac-12, while Grant Verhoeven and freshman Josh Sharma will provide adequate depth.
Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to NBCSports.com. The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.
Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.
Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.