It always seems to take some time for RDC basketball Kings head coach Clayton Pottinger to put the finishing touches on his roster.
This year was no exception but once again Pottinger is pleased with the outcome.
“Really happy with what we got,” he said. “Every year we try to better our recruiting, not just better players, but better student athletes. This year we once again targeted top level players and students and we got them.”
Pottinger has six players returning, including high-scoring import, Ian Tevis from Seattle. Last year Tevis was leading the ACAC in scoring when he ran into some academic problems and was forced to leave at Christmas.
His loss proved to be a hole the Kings couldn’t fill. He was averaging 28 points per game while shooting 56.1 per cent from the field, 50.7 per cent form three-point land. He also had three assists per game, close to seven rebounds and 2.5 steals.
“He had a little academic trouble, but to his credit he did all that was needed to do over the summer to be eligible. He got a 3.0 GPA and is back,” said Pottinger.
Matt Matear, Shayne Stumpf, who came at Christmas last year, Karrahm Sultan, Spencer Klassen and Jabin Binnedyk are also returning.
Matear led the ACAC in rebounds last season with 10.76 per game while averaged 14.6 points per game. Stumpf is a proven scorer and at six-foot-eight is strong inside.
Having Shayne here for a full year will make a difference,” said Pottinger. “He’ll get in a full training camp and be in shape for the season, Last year he was just finding his legs in the playoffs.”
Sultan was counted on more the second half last season and finished strong, shooting 51.8 per cent from the field and 54.8 per cent from outside the three-point line.
Pottinger added six pure rookies this season, including guard Cody White from Notre Dame.
“Our mandate has always been to try to get good local products and Cody is a legitimate recruit. We weren’t the only school to go after him. He was on our club team and also broke our 2.4km run time, so he’s in shape and ready to go.”
The other players coming out of high school are Chadrac Mpiana from provincial 4A champion Calgary Notre Dame, Darryl Broderick from St, Albert Bellerose, six-foot-four Kevin Szymanek of David Thompson, six-foot-seven Dillan Sutherland of Entwistle and six-foot-five Zach Morgan of Red Deer.
The other new faces are imports Anthony Robbs of Las Vegas and Kai Greene of Seattle and Ramadan Adun from B.C., who previously played at Cochise Community College in Arizona.
Greene played the last two seasons with the University of Victoria and is expected to play the point. Robbs attended Yakima Valley Community College last season.
“We recruited Anthony last year,” said Pottinger. “He went to Yakima, but we kept in touch and were fortunate to get him this year.”
Adun was a last minute recruit.
“We had landed two big recruits, but we knew the NCAA was still a possibility and they received offers at the last minute, so we were looking to fill the spot and were lucky with Ramo. He was living in Red Deer, so it worked out perfectly.”
Pottinger likes the fact he has a strong core of veterans and rookies, who are expected to be around for some time.
“We have a lot of talent and a lot of talent among the true rookies,” he said. “The nice thing is they are in four-year programs and will grow together so we can build for the future.”
Pottinger also likes the fact this year’s team has no one remaining from the championship seasons.
“It’s an opportunity for new leadership to emerge. The guys are no longer living in the shadow of the guys from the championship years. They can create their own legacy.”
The Kings open their exhibition schedule at home Sept. 29 against the University of Northern BC. They will host their own tournament Oct. 6-9 and attend the University of Saskatchewan tournament Oct. 20-22. The regular season opens Oct. 29 at home against St. Mary’s University.
Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His work can also be seen at Danny’s blog at rdcathletics.ca