Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Siena's Evan Hymes settling into reserve role

LOUDONVILLE - Evan Hymes was removed from the starting lineup after the first game of this season.

Since then, the Siena junior has actually been more productive, as a spark off the bench.

In two games as a reserve, Hymes has averaged 9.5 points per game.

“Evan Hymes is handling coming off the bench well and he continues to take the right steps," Siena coach Jimmy Patsos said on Monday.

In April, Hymes made a decision to leave the Siena program to be closer to his mother, who was having some health issues. He changed his mind later that month and decided to return for his junior year. Now, he says he's fully on board with whatever his coach wants him to do. 

“I’m ready to do whatever Coach Patsos wants me to do," he said.

Hymes and Patsos had discussed starting or potentially coming off the bench and playing more minutes.

“I just want to be on the court," Hymes said. "No matter if it’s starting or if it’s at the end of the game. I just want to be on the court to help my team.”

Following just a 3-point effort against the University at Albany, Patsos has decided to start freshman Maurice White at the two guard position. That meant that four freshmen were in the starting lineup for the first time in the program's history.

Hymes scored eight points against Vermont and followed that up with a 11-point game versus La Salle. More importantly, he's committed just four turnovers in 46 minutes of action since the opener, while dishing out five assists.

“Evan Hymes and Brett Bisping probably made the two biggest strides against La Salle," said Patsos. 

It was a jumper by Hymes, with a La Salle player right in his face and just 7:02 remaining, that looked like it might give the Saints enough for their first win, as it put them up by eight, 66-58.

“Right there, I thought we were going to win this game," said junior Rob Poole, who finished with a game-high 21 points.

Hymes was dealing with an injured wrist in the preseason, which occurred on the team's trip to Montreal.  He's only been back practicing for a few weeks and knows there's still a lot that needs to be done. 

“I just have to keep going, keep improving and keep working," he said. 

While Patsos likes what he sees, he also wants to see more from Hymes, who is one of the few veterans on this team.

“We’re 0-3 and I want to see him continue to take the next steps," said Patsos.

J.S. Carras/The Record

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