Recruiting season for 2010-11 is over, for the most part. There might still be a late addition, or two, before the start of classes in the fall semester, and if that happens you can read about it here.
But, for the most part, recruits are in place and ready to go when conditioning drills begin in early September and, then, full practices get going in mid-October.
In coming weeks, we'll provide a list of incoming recruits focusing one post on each school, listing both men's and women's incoming players (recruits/transfers). Included will be whatever other information is available, much of it coming from either the respective schools or other internet sources. In some cases, your blogger will have seen the recruits in AAU tournaments or will have acquired additional insight from talking to MAAC coaches, and will also pass along that information.
And, now, the traditional word of caution: Recruiting is an extremely inexact science. It is difficult even for the so-called experts to predict how incoming players will convert to the college game.
Then, there's this ... we'll include some comments from MAAC coaches, when available, but those also come with the warning that it certainly is NOT in the best interest of these coaches to portray their incoming players in anything but the most favorable light. The next negative word a coach has to say about one of his or her incoming recruits will be the first this blogger has ever heard.
We'll do it all in reverse order of finish last season (of men's teams),and try to provide a little analysis about the recruits of each team.
So, first up is ....
Jay Bowie, 6-5 guard/forward, Tampa (Fla.) Prep School.
Bowie averaged 16,.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game this past season.
"He is a versatile wing with tremendous upside," said Marist coach Chuck Martin, in a press release. "He's a slasher, driver and relentless finisher around the basket. He has the potential to be one of the best defensive players on our team and he will generate offense through his defense."
Adam Kemp, 6-9 forward, Winchedon (Mass.) Prep
Kemp averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds per game this past season. In the 2008-09 season he played a Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School in central New York, where he was a role player. Sources familiar with Kemp describe him as a "Division I project."
"Adam brings us much needed size and strength," said Martin. "He will provide an inside presence offensively and defensively, but his greatest impact will be on the defensive end. He has the ability to come in and help us."
Pieter Prinsloo, 6-10 forward, Dover (Del.) H.S.
A native of Johannesburg, South Africa, Prinslo averaged eight points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks per game at Dover High this past season. He has spent the last six years in the U.S.
"I'm excited about pieter's skill level," said Martin. "We welcome his much-needed size. It's an asset to have someone of his size and skill level. He is a terrific addition to our Marist family."
ANALYSIS: Marist didn't lose anything of significance from last season, but still will be possibly the youngest team in the conference. It needs its freshmen from a year ago to continue to develop. If the incoming class adds anything, Marist might start turning things around by the 2011-12 season. The Red Foxes, though, were definitely offensively challenged last year, and none of the incoming recruits appears ready to help in that area right away. Bowie is a perimeter player, and that's already where Marist has its best returnees. But, he's likely to get into the playing group right away because of his athleticism and defensive prowess. The team definitely needs height, and while Kemp and Prinsloo are both tall, both are considered by sources within the league as "projects" and likely not ready to provide immediate help.
Emma O'Connor, 6-0 forward, Kellenberg Memorial H.S., Lynbrook, N.Y.
O'Connor averaged 14 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks, four steals, and three assists per game at Kellenberg Memorial High School.
"Emma is a 6-foot post playr who can score inside as well as shoot the three," said Marist coach Brian Giorgis. "She is a strong rebounder, who can go up in a crowd and come down with the ball. She is also guard-like, being a good passer and ball-handler."
Leanne Ockenden, 5-10 guard, Christial Brothers Academy of Syracuse.
Ockenden averaged 19 points, seven rebounds, and six assists per game for Christian Brothers Academy. She is a standout long-range shooter who twice has hit 72 three-pointers in a season.
"She is an outstanding 3-point shooter," said Giorgis. "She has has improved her ball-handling ability, as well as her ability to attack the basket. She also will help us defensively with her length. At 5'10", Leanne gives us great size at the guard position and will help us do what we want offensively."
Casey Dulin, 5-9 guard, Jonathan Law H.S., Milford, Conn.
Dulin has scored over 1,300 points in her high school career.
"Casey is a very versatile guard," said Giorgis. "She can play the one, two, or three. Casey will be one of the faster kids in the program. She gives us good size and has a great knowledge of the game and is a great penetrator."
Kristina Danella, 6-1 forward, transfer from UMass.
Daniella transferred to Marist this spring and will serve the NCAA-mandated year in residency this season before being eligible to play for the Red Foxes in 2011-12. She then will have two years of eligibility.
Danella has already had considerable success in the Atlantic 10, and appears to be the type player capable of playing at an all-MAAC level and ensuring that Marist remains strong in future seasons.
At UMass she was the A-10's Rookie of the Week four times in the 2008-09 season. This past season she averaged 11.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. She is a career 39.8% 3-point shooter, and tied a UMass single-season record with 58 made treys this past season.
ANALYSIS: Marist graduated 6-0 forward Rachele Fitz, arguably the conference's all-time best player. But, everyone else returns a year older and, theoretically, a year better. O'Connor likely has the best opportunity for playing time, picking up some of the minutes left by Fitz. But Ockenden and Dulin, according to league sources, are both capable players who will give the Red Foxes valuable depth. Danella, who can't play this season, looks like she'll be an all-conference caliber player when she becomes eligible in 2011-12. And, things keep rolling for the MAAC's most-dominant program.