Tuesday, 8 May 2007

UPEI recruiting class; Horns get 7 footer; FIBA news

Although Halifax native Matt Davies will begin his second season as Head Coach of the UPEI Panthers this coming fall, given the timing of his hiring last season, realistically this season will the first with a class that Davies himself has recruited entirely. The Panthers lost 3 senior starters including two of the better players in the history of the program in 6'5" Sherone Edwards and 6'9" Doug McKinney. With the graduated starters each representing about 30 minutes per game, Davies was forced to hit the recruiting trail hard to find quality replacements, which he did and his hard work garnered a strong initial class, addressing key needs including a solid point guard, an experienced scoring wing, a pair of big, strong rebounders and a pair of high-potential wing players.

Headlining UPEI's first recruiting class under Davies is 6'3" Seneca College transfer Andrew Black from Toronto, who averaged 19 ppg in his final year with the Sting. "Andrew is a physically and mentally mature swing forward who can flat-out score", commented Davies. "At 215 pounds, Andrew is strong enough to work inside but also has the perimeter skills to take advantage of more favorable matchups facing up." Black, a two-time OCAA All-Star at Seneca, sat out last season after completing his diploma with a 3.0 gpa and is returning to school to obtain a university degree. Davies was not finished in the Toronto area as he obtained a commitment from 6'7" 225 pound forward Vlad Farcas, from Toronto Brebeuf, a big, strong forward/center with solid perimeter skills and the physical strength to be a solid rebounder at the CIS level. Farcas proved he can play against top competition with a 25 point effort against one of Canada's top high school teams, Henry Carr Crusaders, in the recent TDCAA playoffs.

Filling a need at the point, the Panthers welcome 6'2" Todd Williams, the starting lead guard on Sackville H.S. (Lower Sackville, NS), which lost in the Nova Scotia provincial championship game. "Todd is exactly the type of leader we want to build around with solid skills, a high basketball IQ and most importantly a fierce competitive nature that should rub off on teammates" stated Davies. UPEI also welcomes Williams' teammate from Sackville High in 6'6" jumping jack Andreas Franz, another solid big forward who is a tremendous rebounder.

Not finished yet, Davies was able to attract two of the best players in New Brunswick to Charlottetown with the commitments of 6'8" Mitchell McQuaid (Fredericton Leo Hayes) and 6'5" Nick Kaminski (Moncton Bernice McNaught). McQuaid is described as a long, athletic swingman who can get up and down the floor. Kaminski was one of the better regarded players in New Brunswick as a productive wing before breaking his foot midway through last season. With his foot fully rehabbed, Kaminski could push for significant minutes immediately. Expect the Panthers to possibly bring in one more player who would likely be of significant, immediate-impact quality in the coming weeks.

Official press release from UPEI Sports Information Panthers announce additions for 2007-08

Lethbridge Head Coach Mike Connolly rounded out his newest recruiting class with a 7 footer as Remington Stenler (pictured), a transfer from North Dakota School of Science, a U.S. Junior College, has committed to the Pronghorns. Stenler, originally from Calgary's William Aberhart High School, played two seasons with the NDSCS Wildcats, averaging 5.4 ppg last season. He will enter his third year of eligibility with the 'Horns and addresses a requirement for a big "5" man. The official press release from the Lethbridge sports information office can be found by clicking Seven Footer transfers to Lethbridge

McMaster's Martin Ajayi, CIS Defensive Player-of-the-Year, is seeking to continue his basketball career in Europe and as usual Larry Moko from the Hamilton Spectator has written a solid piece on Ajayi's quest Mac star eyes Europe as college days end

Morris Dalla Costa reports on Western's splashy news conference announcing significant new funding across all sports including more money for scholarships Low profile teams rewarded for persistence Here is the link to the official Western press release for this announcement Western announces $1.7M committment to athletics

FIBA NEWS: Argentina will be one of the teams in the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifying tournament this summer that our Canadian National team needs to finish at least 5th in to move closer to the Beijing Games in 2008. The Argentinians are putting their team together and Carlos Delfino from the NBA's Detroit Pistons seems like a reasonable candidate. An update on Delfino and the Argentina National team Delfino annoyed over failure to meet with Argentina coach Hernandez ... Another article related to the Argentine's as there appears to be some controversy in how the San Antonio Spurs have advised Manu Ginobli with regard to his participation in the FIBA Americas qualifier Spurs management may have crossed the line with Manu

The USA has selected their coaching staff for their entry in the FIBA World U-19 championship tournament in which Canada will also participate. The 2007 FIBA U19 World Championship will be contested July 12-22 in Novi Sad, Serbia. Wainwright selected to lead USA's U-19 team

High schooler D.J. Wright, originally from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, who spent the past 2 seasons in Toronto, most recently playing for TAPS, has asked for his release after committing to LSU Tigers LSU signee Wright asks for release

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