Welcome back to the blog, after a brief hiatus to recharge the proverbial batteries with a week's vacation in beautiful southern Maine, otherwise known as lobsterland. And, yes, several of the crustacians are no longer among the living after your hoopscribe's visit. Unfortunately, while the lobsters were plentiful the rental cottage where we stayed was technically deficient ... no internet for a week.
But, we're back in business and return to continue tfeaturing new players joining conference programs.
Up now ...
- Evan Hymes, 5-9 point guard, Kestrel Heights Charter School, Durham, N.C.
Hymes, a lightning-quick backcourter, averaged 14 points, 5.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game as a high school senior. Hymes is already familiar with the area, having lived in Clifton Park, N.Y., just a few miles away from Siena, until his family moved when he was 10.
"I'm really excited with Evan's decision to come to Siena," said Siena coach Mitch Buoanguro. "He will be a very good point guard in our program. He can push the ball and run our transition game, which is exactly what we were looking for."
- Davonte Beard, 6-2 guard, St. Vincent-St. Mary's H.S., Akron, Ohio.
He averagted 19 points per game as a high school senior, playing at the school that also produced LeBron James. Beard originally made a non-binding verbal commitment to St. Francis (Pa.) before he opted to consider other schools.
"We are really excited to have DaVonte join the program - he has been a target for us all year," Buonaguro said. "He comes from a great program, and adds a great deal of athleticism and scoring ability to our backcourt."
- Marcus Hopper, 6-9 center, Holy Cross (NYC) H.S.
He averaged 10.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game as a high school senior, and made 45.2 percent of his 3-point attempts.
- Lionel Gomis, 6-9 forward, Blair Academy
Originally from Dakar, Senegal, he averaged 10.5 ponts per game at Blair this past season.
Reports indicate that he is an extremely active big man whose work at the defensive end is ahead of his offensive skills.
- Rob Poole, 6-5 guard, Paul VI School of Haddenfield, N.J.
He averaged 16.8 points and 5.6 rebounds as a junior. No senior statistics are available.
Poole made a verbal commitment to Siena during his senior year in high school. He also participated in the annual GymRat Challenge AAU tournament in the Capital Region in late May, 2010, and was selected as that event's Most Valuable GymRat. You hoopscribe saw several of Poole's games in that event, and he is a superlative shooter from anywhere on the court with range out to 23-, 24-foot distance. He also exhibited a high court IQ, and an ability to find open teammates with his passes.
Imoh Silas, 6-8 forward, Holderness School of Plymouth, N.H.
No senior season statistics are available. Like Gomis, Silas is also a native of Africa (Nigeria) and has a similar game. He is reported to be active and athletic, but his offensive skills are still developing.
ANALYSIS: One of Siena's biggest needs last season was outside shooting, and Poole, Hopper and Beard should help there. Beard might be an immediate starter and Poole is likely to be in the playing group right away. Hymes is an extremely quick and capable ball-handler who appears to be set for a back-up point guard role as a freshman. Gomis and Silas are both athletic inside players who can rebound and blocked shots. But, at least initially, neither is likely to score much.