Friday, December 5, 2014

Recruiting Rundown: Portland State, Sacramento State, Southern Utah, Weber State

For all of October and the first half of November, I was working on previewing the Big Sky, culminating in this long-winded diatribe about the conference. In this, I missed a lot of recruiting news. In a series of three posts over the next week or so, I will go through the teams and the recruits they have signed thus far, in alphabetical order.

Here is part 1 and part 2 of the rundown, so let's finish things up...

Portland State
The Vikings got one recruit as far as I can tell, signing 6'4'' guard Torrian Epps, a junior college guard who should have two seasons of eligibility left. He plays for Central Arizona College, and Coach Geving says he is "an athletic wing who is very good at getting to the basket and running the floor in transition." As a senior in high school, he shot 44% on threes, so he appears to be able to score all over.  PSU will be losing their top three guards after this year, so Epps will have the chance to play big minutes right away for the Vikings.

Sacramento State
The Hornets signed two in the early recruiting class, inking 6'2'' guard Jeff Wu along with 6'8'' forward Joshua Patton. Wu is originally from Taiwan, but moved to the USA before his sophomore year of high school. Due to transfer rules, he joined his team midway through last season, but shot 50% from the floor and 40% from downtown. He is in the mold of current guards Dylan Garrity and Mikh McKinney, in that he can do everything a guard needs to do, in terms of being able to shoot well, handle the ball, and pass it. I am sure Coach Katz likes the dual guard approach where both guys are nominal PGs, and Wu should fit that.

In their press release, it was announced that Patton will redshirt next year. He averaged 11 and 9 last season, shooting 62% from the floor and setting a school record for blocks. His brother plays at Fresno State, so he certainly has bloodlines for success. It sounds like he needs to fill out physically (hence the redshirt year), but he is a long, athletic guy with a lot of upside.

Southern Utah
The Thunderbirds signed three guys - two that will be freshman and one JUCO player. The junior college player is forward Will Joyce, a 6'6'' guy for New Mexico Military Institute. As a freshman, he averaged eight points and 6.5 rebounds per game. He looks like a guy that will bring a lot of energy, athleticism, and rebounding prowess for SUU next year.

Nick Pete is a 6'8'' forward from California who averaged 12 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 blocks per game last year.  He is a very good athlete that should be able to affect the game in many ways. Last is Brayden Holker, a 6'8'' forward from Utah who averaged 18.5 points and 9.6 rebounds per game a season ago. He was a top ten prospect in the state of Utah, according to ESPN. SUU has done a lot to bolster their frontcourt... despite some struggles, Coach Robinson is bringing in some good players, and it is clear that better days are ahead for the Thunderbird program.

Weber State
The Wildcats have consistently recruited better athletes than the rest of the conference for the past couple years, and their class this year appears to be excellent once again. They signed four guys.

One is 6'7'' forward Emmaneul Nzekwesi, a three-star recruit out of Texas, where the Wildcats have established a nice pipeline. He averaged 19 and 11 next year, and is a powerful player in the post. He has played basketball for just four years, and should have tons of upside for the Wildcats. 6'5'' guard Juwan Williams is also out of Texas, and he averaged 12.7 points and 4.6 rebounds a year ago. He joins guys like Richaud Gittens and Ryan Richardson from last recruiting class to add to what will be a very big, athletic backcourt in future years.

Jordan Dallas is a 6'10'' center from Long Beach who averaged 11 and 4 a season ago. He is a long and athletic player who play on the inside and outside. Rahe noted he needed to add some strength, so he should be a redshirt candidate next season. Last is 6'4'' guard Riley Court from Utah, who put up a nice stat line of 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists per game a year ago. He will likely serve an LDS mission before he enrolls at Weber State. Weber will also add McKay Cannon, who is returning from his LDS mission next year. He is a 6'1'' guard who had offers from other Big Sky schools when he originally signed.

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