The Saints traveled to Montreal this summer for a five game stretch to give the newcomers and veterans a chance to gel, and to have a chance for the guys to see a new country, experience some Old World culture in a New World environment, and find out what the team had in the sense of X’s and O’s. Even more than that, it allowed new head coach Jimmy Patsos the opportunity to see the players play and see what he has getting ready for the regular season.
First and foremost, the Saints went 4-1 during the trip, highlighted by the emergence of freshman Marquis Wright as the starting point guard, and closing with the culmination of a couple of great complete games by Rob Poole, who will enter the season as the leader of the team and who will be expected to assume the mantle of scorer and facilitator.
Credit to Jaden Daly for writing up a great summary of the Saints’ trip up North:
Irregardless of the strength or weaknesses of the opposing teams, the result of the trip can only be qualified as a resounding success, with one dire caveat: Junior guard Evan Hymes, who was penciled in as the starting 2 guard and who coach Patsos tabbed as an “Allen Iverson” type broke his hand during the trip, and has been unable to practice with the team since they’ve returned. All reports are positive, though, as Evan should be healthy and ready to go in time for the first game, and he’ll be needed as he’s averaged double figures in scoring over his first two years in green and gold.
The hiring of Patsos was well received by fans, and he’s brought in players that he recruited at Loyola, as well as local product Javion Ogunyemi and transfer Patrick Cole, to create an immediate sense of excitement and optimism. The trip north of the border has done nothing to temper that excitement, and has to be viewed as a rousing success as the Saints prepare for the 2013-14 season.