LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. – Because of injuries, the Siena men are leaning on a few freshmen more than they had expected.
Jimmy Paige has responded to that call even more so in the last few games. Just over a week ago, head coach Jimmy Patsos asked the team who deserves to play. Paige got enough votes to make him second off the bench, and he’s been making the most of his time.
“I just play hard with a lot of energy, and coaches like that,” Paige said.
Play hard and play solid – something Paige had to learn this season.
“Most freshmen finally realize if you don’t do anything, you’re in good shape,” Patsos said. “They all think I gotta do 20 points and ten rebounds, and I’ll really get his attention. No, just kinda stay off my radar.”
But that doesn’t mean to slack off. It just means to know your role as a freshman.
“My role coming off the bench is to just play hard, provide energy coming off the bench, rebounding and just making those hustle plays,” Paige said.
In the last two games, Paige averaged nine points and three rebounds in more than 20 minutes of playing time. His teammates are noticing his worth.
“Play defense. I mean, he fights,” senior guard Rob Poole. “He’s a hard worker. He’s like a Brett Bisping – plays hard; gives a lot of energy.”
“He gives a lot of looks to the team,” sophomore forward Rob Poole said. “He gives us a lot of looks to the team. Somehow always open under the basket, and he finishes so that’s helpful.”
Paige said he knows how big Friday’s game against conference leading Iona College is, but he said his approach will be the same it always is when he steps on the court – he just needs to play with a lot of effort.