Noah Fleischman, Sports Editor
Entering last night’s game against UCF, there was uncertainty whether or not redshirt-junior guard Marcus Evans would play after suffering a deep bone bruise in the Atlantic 10 Tournament against Rhode Island March 15.
Evans entered the season under a similar scenario after having an offseason Achilles surgery, but he played in the Rams’ Nov. 6 season opener against Gardner-Webb.
The Chesapeake native started Friday night in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament, playing with a padded wrap on his left knee.
“It was hurting from the jump, damn near every step I was taking,” Evans said. “But we worked so hard to get to this point, I wanted to try to give whatever I had to help this team win.”
Evans played 26 minutes, logging 6 points and six rebounds against the Knights.
“I apologized to the guys that I wasn’t able to do more,” Evans said. “But coach [Mike Rhoades] was going to have to pull me out from not playing in this game. I was going to give it a go.”
UCF’s coach Johnny Dawkins said that his team prepared as if Evans would be ready to play at the opening tip.
“We felt he’d be ready to go tonight, and he was,” Dawkins said. “I’m not saying he was 100 percent. I don’t know that, because I’m not in their locker room. But I thought he came out to compete. He’s a terrific player.”
Evans finished the season averaging 13.6 points and 3.1 assists for the Rams. In conference play the averages swelled to 14.9 points and 3.8 assists.