Here's the latest installment identifying and analyzing incoming recruits to MAAC programs.
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Dylon Cormier, a 6-2 guard, Cardinal Gibbons H.S., Baltimore
Cormier averaged 26.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.2 steals and 1.6 assists per game this past season. Most reports indicate he is a far better shooter than a distributor.
"He’s just the ultimate basketball player," said Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos, about Cormier. " He wants to win. He can score it. He’s a great kid and he wants to step up on the court, which is what you want. He was, at times, the best player in the Baltimore Catholic League."
Pierson Williams, a 6-5 swingman, Taft H.S. (Los Angeles)
He averaged about 11 points, 3 rebound and two assists per game this past season.
"He can catch and shoot, and he’s growing," said Patsos. "At 6-5, he’s a 3 man. But I like kids from L.A., and the little things they bring to the table. He’s a good athlete and he’s long. He’s got good upside. He’s a flat-out shooter. That’s what he does. So we got him late. Sometimes a late kid is what you need. He’s a great kid, good personality. He comes from a strong program and he’s a kid I like from L.A."
Justin Drummond, a 6-4 swingman, Riverside Baptist H.S., Upper Marlboro, Md.
Drummond averaged 23.3 points and close to 10 rebounds per game this past season.
"He’s a big guard that’s not grown into his body," said Patsos. "He played the 4 this year, but he’s young at 17 years old (at the time of his high school graduation). He’s really smart and he can really score the ball. He’s going to be a good player. It’s going to take him a year to catch up to his size this year, but he’ll eventually be a 2/3. Is he a guy with a lot of versatility? I think that’s what he does bring – versatility. He’s going to do a little bit of everything. He can catch and shoot at our level. You’ve got to learn and be ready to score at the speed of our game. Once Justin catches up, that’ll be the difference. But he can do all the little stuff for a guard. He’s a tough player and he gets after it as a defender.
Erik Etherly, 6-7 sophomore forward, transfer from Northeastern
Etherly, listed at 184 pounds on Loyola's website, likely needs to add a little bulk and strength. He played in just 12 games as a freshman at Northeastern during the 2008-09 season, scoring a total of 12 points and getting 10 rebounds.
"He’s going to be a 4-man at our level," said Patsos. "He can run and post up, score from the foul line. He’s tough. He has a little Ron Artest in him to be honest with you. He’s not as big and tough, but he’s like him in a lot of ways. It was a tremendous signing for us. He’s stronger, he’s quicker, and I know he’s happier. His energy level is good and I know he’s going to start for us. That guy’s starting for us."
ANALYSIS: Loyola only graduates one key player, guard Brett Harvey, and has pretty much everyone back. Etherly, at least according to Patsos, will be an immediate contributor. He's clearly ready having played (albeit sparringly) for a season at Northeastern and, then, practiced with Loyola last season. Cormier is also likely to get into the playing group and should benefit greatly by having senior Brian Rudolph ahead of him for a season before taking on greater responsibility. Drummond and Williams, according to reports, are both "projects," initially but are both appear capable of helping Loyola at some point, although not necessarily this coming season.
Nicole Krusen, a 6-0 guard, Georgetown Visitation School, Washington, D.C.
Krusen is a pure shooting guard who averaged 14.4 points per game this past season, with much of her damage coming from long range. She made 74 three-pointers in 25 games.
Nneka Offodile, a 6-1 center, Walsh Jesuit H.S., Cuyahoga, Ohio
Offodile averaged 10.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game this past season. She is described as an athleti8c front-court player in most reports.
ANALYSIS: Loyola's biggest loss (literally) was inside player Kaitlin Grant, and it needs some post position help for the coming season. Offodile should get a good look and might contribute almost immedately. Krusen joins an already talented group of perimeter players in the program, but it never hurts to have another shooter, and Krusen is definitely one of those.