One week after being granted their release from Loyola University in Baltimore, Oakland Mills senior Lavon Long and North Point’s Marquis Wright have decided on a new college destination with a familiar face.
After wrapping up an official visit this week, both Wright and Long committed Siena College in upstate New York yesterday. The move allowed both players to follow newly-hired Siena coach Jimmy Patsos, who recruited Wright and Long to Loyola before departing to take over at Siena earlier this month.
The decision was an easy one for Long, a fourth-team All-Met who had been recruited by Siena but didn’t see himself as a fit with former Saints’ Coach Mitch Buonaguro’s system. When Patsos moved north to take the job at Siena, Long’s first choice was to follow.
“The connection with the coaches was established at Loyola, that recruitment. We were just real comfortable with the staff. That part was good, it was already done,” Long’s mother Lisa Long said. “All we needed to do was visit and see how he felt on the campus, and that was a winner. It was a great visit.”
For Wright, the decision was less cut and dried. After being granted his release from Loyola, the All-Met point guard had been in contact with coaches from Fairfield, Quinnipiac, Hofstra and Tulane in addition to Siena.
“The team showed me good love and everybody that I met there showed me love. That was the good part,” Wright said. “The school just seems like it’s a nice place.”
The odd man out in the flurry of recruiting moves was McNamara’s Stephan Jiggets, a fourth-team All-Met who asked yesterday to be released from his national letter-of-intent to play at Siena. Jiggets had commited to play for Buonaguro at Siena as a scoring point guard or combo guard, but after talking to Patsos, it became clear that Jiggets would play mostly shooting guard if he were to stay at Siena.
Wright’s decision to commit to Siena was another complicating factor for Jiggets. The two are longtime friends and Wright’s father, Walter Wright, is Jiggets’ godfather. While the opportunity to play together in college was tempting, Jiggets said he was ultimately concerned that the two would wind up competing against one another for the same minutes.
“We had a feeling that they didn’t really know what I could do. So I would still have to go there and prove myself all over again when I could go to a school that already knows how I like to play,” Jiggets said. “I don’t think it would be a good thing to go up to college and then compete for a spot against somebody you’ve known that long, that’s basically like your brother.”
Jiggets said that he had yet to formulate a list of schools he will consider but said he plans to make his decision within the next two weeks.
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