Friday, 17 August 2007

X Brings in 4 New Faces including Brazilian

After losing two of the top players in the CIS (6'3" Garry Gallimore and 6'10" Neil MacDonald) to graduation plus 6'5" Remy Simpson, a promising wing player, veteran St. FX Head Coach Steve Konchalski was looking for significant talent to go with his excellent freshman class from one year ago and, despite some admitted setbacks on the recruiting trail, odds are that the X-Men have done just that, bringing in 4 new players including an athletic international forward who had previously signed an NCAA Division 1 letter of intent and a couple of experienced transfers from Canadian colleges. Headlining the class is Brazilian combination forward 6'7" Luiz de Toledo (pictured), who played two seasons at Modesto (Calif.) Christian high school, a central California power that in his junior year went 28-7 and finished second in Northern California. Early in his senior year of high school (2005-06 season), de Toledo signed a National letter of intent to attend Brigham Young University (BYU), an NCAA Division 1 power in the Mountain West conference. However, the native of Araraquara, a city which is located on the border of the Western Paulista Plateau in Brazil, approximately 150 miles from Sao Paulo, ultimately decided to return home to care for his ailing mother instead of attending BYU and then broke his arm early last season while playing for his local club team, forcing him to miss the remainder of last season. He has been living in Antigonish for the last 2 months and working through informal runs with his new teammates and is described as an instant impact player. X is stacked on the wings so according to Coach Konchalski, de Toledo will likely be used primarily inside but also on the perimeter to maximize his skills and athleticism in much the same manner that former X star from the late 90's/early 00's Dennie Oliver was used. de Toledo's first cousin is 6'11" Brazilian Nene who plays for the NBA's Denver Nuggets and was recruited with the help of Canadian ex-pat Greg Dole, a good friend of coach Konchalski's training players in Brazil. Look for de Toledo to get major minutes up front immediately for the young X-Men. For a preview of what X fans could see in the coming seasons, there are a few "You Tube" videos of de Toledo's exploits Luiz de Toledo video clips . Konchalski also is bringing in a pair of CCAA transfers, one from B.C. and one from Ontario. In 6'2" Blake Poritz, X gets a smooth shooting two man with range beyond the 3 point line who played last season with Capilano College averaging about 16 ppg including 47% from 3 point land. Poritz, a graduate of Sir Winston Churchill High School in Vancouver, will be entering his second season of eligibility and provides X with much needed perimeter shooting that will help stretch defenses. Another solid scorer and perimeter shooter comes in 6'5" Sean Nickel, who played two seasons ago at Sir Sanford Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario after graduating from Kitchener Cameron Heights. Nickel attended Laurier University last season but was the victim of a car accident that prevented him for playing. Nickel is a wide body with offensive skills who averaged about 18 ppg and 45% from 3 point land with Fleming in '05-'06. As was announced here in late spring, X will also welcome 6'5" Chad Warren, a native of Corner Brook, NFLD to the program who should provide depth up front and grow as a player over time. As well, 6'2" Nathan Johnson, who suffered a serious ACL injury this past February while sitting out after transfering from UPEI, may be ready to test his surgically-repaired knee by sometime next week. Johnson is yet another solid perimeter shooter that will allow Konchalski to spread the floor even more. X goes into 2007-08 with 9 of their 13 players in their first or second season however, like many of the great X teams of the past, plenty of athletic talent exists and while it may take some time for this team to realize its full potential, look for X to be a factor as the season progresses.

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