Backup point guard won’t return to Siena

Freshman point guard Chris De La Rosa has decided to transfer from Siena after helping the Saints me

Freshman point guard Chris

De La Rosa has decided to transfer from Siena after helping the Saints men’s basketball team enjoy one of its finest seasons ever.

A backup to sophomore Ronald Moore, De La Rosa played in all but one of the 34 games this season,

averaging 2.5 points and 9.5 minutes per game.

He had 51 assists, 30 turnovers and 19 steals.

“Chris was a valuable member of our championship season,” head coach Fran McCaffery said in a release. “I appreciate his con­tributions, and everyone associated with Siena basketball wishes him the best of luck.”

De La Rosa’s departure leaves Siena with Moore as the only true point guard on the roster.

The freshman backup grew more comfortable running the offense as the season progressed, and McCaffery even put both Moore and De La Rosa on the floor at the same time, on occasion, in the second half of the season.

His best game came in a 77-49 victory over Canisius at the Times Union Center, when he had 10 points on 4-for-4 shooting, five assists, three steals and one turnover.

A quick, pass-first playmaker,

De La Rosa showed the ability to penetrate to the basket, occasionally hit a jumper and play pesky defense.

McCaffery had envisioned Moore and De La Rosa becoming a formidable duo at the front end of a fullcourt press.

De La Rosa is a New York City native who helped All Hallows High reach the New York City Catholic Championships final four during his sophomore and junior seasons.

When asked at midseason if it had been difficult to recruit De La Rosa considering there was already an established point guard only one class ahead of him, McCaffery said De La Rosa had planned on coming to Siena before Moore was signed.

The Saints now have another scholarship available, after signing junior college transfer Wolfgang Gieler, a 6-foot-10, 255-pound center from Bonn, Germany, last week.

Siena is coming off a 23-11 season in which the Saints won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular-season and conference championships and defeated Vanderbilt in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Tampa, Fla., before losing to Villanova in the second round.

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