May 7, 2008
Read Coach Patsos' exclusive interview with Matt Bracken of the Baltimore Sun.
Baltimore, Md. - Loyola College Men's Basketball Head Coach Jimmy Patsos today announced the addition of five incoming recruits who will be available when the 2008-09 Greyhounds take the court for the beginning of official practice on October 18, 2008. A pair of all-state players highlight the quintet and are joined by members of a state runner-up, one of the top prep programs in New England and a local product.
"We are very excited about the group we will be having come in this fall," Patsos commented. "With the loss this summer of the seniors who helped us to 37 wins the last two seasons, we knew this would be an important class in the continued development of the program. We think we have assembled a group that should keep us among the top teams in the MAAC next year and for seasons beyond that."
Leading the pack is 6-7 forward Anthony Winbush from Alexandria, Va., who helped T.C. Williams to the Virginia AAA State Championship. The MVP of the Titans' ride through the Northern Region en route to the state title, he finished the season averaging 13.6 points, six rebounds and 3.5 assists for a team which ended the year at 29-3. He scored 24 points to clinch the Northern Region championship and then averaged 16.5 points over a pair of games at the state finals. The Washington Post selected him First Team all-Met and he was a second-team all-Virginia choice.
"[Assistant coach] G.G. Smith deserves a lot of the credit on our getting Anthony," Patsos said. "He saw him early on and hung there as Anthony continued to get exposure while leading his team to a state championship. We were impressed with the young man and his loyalty to Loyola and look forward to adding him to the program."
Joining the backcourt is 6-2 guard Jhared Hall from New Rochelle, N.Y. A Class B All-State First Team selection, he was part of two CHSAA B Division state championship teams at Blessed Sacrament and scored more than 1,000 career points. En route to a 28.8 points-per-game scoring average as a senior, he collected three games with more than 40 points, including consecutive 42-point outings in February, the last of which he connected on eight three-pointers.
"Jhared is a prolific scorer who should carry those skills to the next level," Patsos stated. "He played well in helping Westchester win the championship of the Wheelchair Classic up in New York City last month as he blended in with a talented team that boasted a number of Division I players."
Coming north from the Sunshine State via Croatia, 6-7 forward Paolo Ivis was part of a Sagemont team from Weston, Fla. that recorded a 21-9 mark and lost by a point in the Florida Class 2A State Championship Game. He was named to the all-tournament team after shooting 7-9 from the floor on the way to a 14-point, nine-rebound effort in the title game. A 14.0 point-per-game scorer for the season, he was selected as an all-Broward County honorable mention pick.
"We're happy to have a kid from Croatia return to the program," Patsos commented. "Paolo reminded us a lot of Josko Alujevic [Class of 2007] who was a tremendous role player and leader for us during his final two seasons."
Also added to the fold is Rwandan import Joe Muvana who played last season at Worcester (Mass.) Academy. The 6-8 forward brings unlimited potential as he continues to learn the game. A shot-blocker who is a presence on the glass on both ends of the floor, his length and ability to run the floor fits well into Coach Patsos' pressing style.
Rounding out the class is local product Josh Wiegand who completed his scholastic career at John Carroll in Bel Air, Md. The 6-9 center/forward helped his team to a 21-12 final record and a spot in the MIAA Semifinals. A rebounding presence who received notice through his hard work, he started for the County All-Stars in the 2008 Charm City Classic in April and scored 10 points while shooting five-of-seven from the floor while grabbing six rebounds in 16 minutes.
"Joe is a 6-10 kid from Rwanda who has tremendous upside," Patsos concluded. "He's tall and long and has only scratched his potential as he has only been playing basketball for a couple of years. Josh also gives us some size up front and makes up what he lacks in natural ability with an outstanding work ethic and tremendous tenacity."
The Greyhounds, who will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first season of basketball at Loyola in 2008-09, will suit up for the first time in the new season with a pair of home games on the season's opening weekend, hosting Mount St. Mary's on November 14 and Tennessee State on November 16.