Evan Fisher had never played a game in front of Jimmy Patsos, but that didn't stop the Siena men's basketball coach from telling the McDonogh star in June that "there was an offer on the table."
Fisher, an All-MIAA A Conference first-team selection for the Eagles as a junior, was flattered but anxious.
"I didn't know how they'd respond if I had a bad game," Fisher said Wednesday. "Coach Patsos is a good friend of our new coach, Coach [Dave] Gately. … I had spoken to [Siena coaches] over the phone, but never had met face to face."
Those concerns proved unfounded. Fisher impressed the Saints staff members once they did see him play live, and ramped up their pursuit of the 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward shortly thereafter. Fisher accepted Patsos' offer Tuesday.
"I went up and saw the campus this fall [and] I fell in love with it," Fisher said. "It's a really good spot for me. All the other schools were really good situations, but I just felt Siena was the best spot for me moving forward."
Fisher also considered offers from Delaware, Drexel, Elon, Loyola and Saint Joseph's. He'll be the third Baltimore native on the Saints' roster come 2015-16, joining former Oakland Mills forward Lavon Long and St. Frances alum Maurice White.
"There's a good connection from down here in Maryland," Fisher said. "It definitely made it a lot better."
While Fisher wasn't totally familiar with Siena before his visit this fall, he was well aware of Patsos' past, noting the coach's work as an assistant at Maryland and his successful tenure at Loyola.
"His personality was just a great fit for me," Fisher said. "You really want to go to war for him. He makes you better on and off the court. … He has a great reputation and has coached a lot of great players I know. He's just a really good guy."
Varsity Highlights Newsletter
Get the latest high school sports stories, photos and video from around the region.
"I think the most appealing thing [to Siena coaches] was the way I shot the 3 when I worked out for them this summer," Fisher said. "They liked my versatility. I was a very traditional post player, but learning to shoot, handle the ball a little bit and be a good passer … showed my versatility in their offense.
"They're definitely going to get a hard-working player who's really intense and will do what it takes to get the win. Whatever the team needs, I'll try to get it done, for sure."