As Dan Hurley continues to rebuild the Wagner program and get the Seahawks ready to compete in the NEC, one of things he has to do is continually bring in new talent to replace the players that are leaving and solidify the program’s foundation. This year’s recruiting class appears to do just that.
The four-man recruiting class for Wagner should make an immediate impact on the court. Junior college transfer Jonathan Williams is already getting a lot of buzz. Williams was the Co-MVP of the Coast Conference North last season and averaged 13 points and eight rebounds. He’s got the size to contribute immediately.
Jon Rothstein also thinks that another recruit, Marcus Burton, can contribute in the backcourt immediately for the Seahawks. Burton needs to get stronger on defense, but he’s a good shooter who averaged over 20 points per game last season. Some people are going to regret the fact that he made it out of North Carolina. Wagner will also get a boost in the backcourt from Kenneth Ortiz. The transfer from Southern Miss isn’t part of this recruiting class, but this is the first season he’ll be eligible and he has a chance to make a big impact.
In the front court, two freshman will be groomed to help out last season’s recruits. Hugo Naurais played for France in the 2010 U18 FIBA Championship. Hurley has already praised Naurais’ offensive versatility and hard-nosed style of basketball. Both of things are great assets for Wagner. Hopefully, at 6’8 Naurais can crash the boards and help the Seahawks improve on their terrible rebounding from a season ago.
Finally, Mario Moody is another long wing that should help the Seahawks as well. Moody is from nearby East Orange, New Jersey and averaged 18.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG last season.
All of these players will be fighting for minutes with a number of other players because Wagner doesn’t lose much from a year ago. The three graduates, T.J. Czeski, Clayfell Harris and Cliff Spiller, combined for a total of 3.6 PPG and 3.1 RPG last season.
This season should be a matter of improving instead of replacing for Hurley, and thus he’s set up to get the Seahawks right back into the middle of the conference race.
Note: Adam Zagoria had some more about the Hurley’s and recruiting earlier this week.