Saturday, August 27, 2011

Men's Recruiting: Loyola Loading Up

Here's another in the series looking at players joining conference programs for the coming season.

Up now ...


- Chen "David" Cai, 6-8, 240-pound forward, Lee Academy of Maine.

The native of Guangzhou, China, averaged 12.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game at Lee Academy this past season. He previously played three seasons at Marantha Christian School in San Diego before being ruled eligible to continue playing there. However, reports indicate he was not directly involved in alleged violations (a news story indicated that a church affiliated with the school paid for his tuition)and that the situation there neither restricted him from playing at Lee nor affects his college elibibility. Cai averaged 26 points and 17 rebounds as a junior at the California school.

"Chen is another great get for us," said Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos. "He is a player who has a very bright future if he puts in time and works hard."

- Tyler Hubbard, 6-1 guard, Montrose Christian School of Rockville, Md.

He averaged 12.7 points per game this past season an is considered one of the Baltimore/D.C. area's top outside shooters. He made five 3-pointers in six different games this past season.

"We are very pleased to get a player from Stu Vetter's tremendous program at Montrose Christian," Patsos said. "Tyler is a very good shooter who will compete for time here. He hit a big 3-pointer against Oak Hill (Academy) to win the ESPNRise National Championship game. He also played for a Loyola alum, Damien Jenifer, an assistant at Montrose Christian."

- R.J. Williams 5-8 point guard, St. Francis Academy of Baltimore

He averaged 20 points and 9 assists per game this past season.

"It is great to get a point guard who had a great senior year in the prestigious Baltimore Catholic League," Patsos said of Williams. "We believe that R.J. will be able to contribute for us right away. He was the (Catholic League) co-Player of the Year for a reason, and it's great that he is following in (current Loyola guard) Dylon Cormier's footsteps in going from the Catholic League to Loyola."

- Jordan Latham, 6-8, 245-pound forward, transfer from Xavier University.

Latham played one season for Xavier, appearing in just 16 games and scoring eight total points in an average of 4.8 minutes per contest. He graduated from Baltimore's City High School, where he averaged 17 points and 9 rebounds per game as a senior there. Latham can practice but not play, as per transfer rules, this coming season and has three seasons of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2012-13 season.

ANALYSIS: One of the better recruiting classes in the conference, accounting for two likely future backcourt starters in Williams and Hubbard. Williams might be a significant contributor right away, and Hubbard's long-range shooting ability will likely make him a sniping specialist this coming season. Cai has a nice, left-handed shooting touch from the perimeter and also appears to have a developing inside game. Latham is Loyola's latest return-home transfer from a higher-level conference school, and should have an immediate impact for the Greyhounds when he becomes eligible. This recruiting class looks more than capable of helping Loyola maintain its upper echelon of the MAAC standings for the next several years.

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