Niagara Gazette

Niagara U.

June 21, 2010

Jordan, Lemmons complete Niagara recruiting class

LEWISTON — The Niagara University men’s basketball team has primarily played four guards at a time over the past two seasons. If the Purple Eagles still had a freshman squad, that’s the lineup they’d use next year.

Niagara could still add one more player to its incoming freshman class, but coach Joe Mihalich is ready to shift his recruiting focus toward future prospects, content with the five players already in the fold.

Guards Marvin Jordan and Malcolm Lemmons signed binding letters of intent last week, joining a recruiting class that already included perimeter players Skylar Jones and Antoine Mason, and big man Joe Thomas.

All five players are enrolled in summer school at Niagara and playing evening pickup games at the Gallagher Center with current and former Purple Eagles, and, on occasion, notable Niagara Falls natives like Jonny Flynn, Paul Harris and Tyrell Lynch.

“Here’s what excited me about all these guys — they’re winners,” Mihalich said Monday. “You look at the high schools they came from, they’re all winning programs with great coaches.”

Mihalich said the class is guard-heavy because the recently graduated Purple Eagles (Tyrone Lewis, Bilal Benn, Rob Garrison and Demetrius Williamson) were all perimeter-oriented, and the roster already features four frontcourt players (Kashief Edwards, Scooter Gillette, Eric Williams and Luuk Kortekaas) who have at least two years of eligibility remaining.

Jordan, a 5-foot-11 point guard, initially signed to play for Ball State, but was denied admission to the university that is a four-hour drive from his home in Peoria, Ill.

Jordan said the Ball State coaches never contacted him to explain why his scholarship offer wouldn’t be honored, but told his high school coach, Derrick Booth, he did not qualify academically.

Around the same time, Niagara assistant Luke Dobrich, a native of Depue, Ill., called Booth in search of new recruiting targets. He was pleasantly surprised to hear that one of the players the Purple Eagles thought they had lost out on was now available.

“They were one of the first schools to start talking to me,” Jordan said. “I feel like everything happens for a reason. I knew I’d be fine wherever I ended up. When I got here for my visit, I already felt like it was home.”

“Not to be too corny,” Mihalich said, “but it was meant to be.”

Ball State has since signed another guard, and Booth accused the program of being “unethical” in its treatment of Jordan, according to the Peoria Journal Star.

“If they had another kid they liked better, don’t say Marvin was denied admission,” Booth told the newspaper.

Jordan’s grade-point average and ACT scores were good enough to qualify with the NCAA Clearinghouse, and he was admitted to Niagara.

Lemmons, a lean, 6-3 wing, is the latest to travel the Purple Eagle pipeline from Washington, D.C.’s Gonzaga College High School to Monteagle Ridge.

Akbar Waheed was recruited from Gonzaga to Niagara by Jack Armstrong, and stayed on as a member of Mihalich’s staff for 11 seasons. Waheed helped in the recruitment of Gonzaga grads Lorenzo Miles and Stanley Hodge, who both coached Lemmons at summer camps.

“Stanley and Lorenzo told me Coach Mihalich was a great guy, and I found that out to be true when I came up here to visit,” Lemmons said. “I felt a great relationship with Coach Mihalich and the staff, the education here is great, and I think it’s the perfect place.”

Lemmons averaged 11 points per game as a senior while playing alongside two other highly recruited guards, Duke-bound Tyler Thornton and Richmond signee Cedrick Lindsay.

“He kind of played in the shadows of those guys,” Mihalich said. “We got a steal.”

The additions of Jones, a 6-3 guard from Washington, D.C., and Mason, a 6-2 guard from New Rochelle were reported in the Gazette after the players made verbal commitments and Mihalich was barred by NCAA rules from commenting.

On Monday, Mihalich said, “pun intended, the sky is the limit for Skylar. He’s athletic, rangy and can do a lot of good things.”

And on Mason, who is the son of former NBA player Anthony Mason, Mihalich said, “he is a hard-shell guy, extremely competitive. The bigger the game, the tougher he gets.”

The Purple Eagles got signed letters of intent from two players who won’t be joining the program. Shaquille Duncan, a forward from Philadelphia, has decided to attend prep school in the fall, and Harold Washington, a point guard recruited out of the junior college ranks, was deemed inadmissible by Niagara officials.

<h2>NU ADDITIONS</h2>

SKYLAR JONES, 6-3 guard, Washington, D.C.

MARVIN JORDAN, 5-11 guard, Peoria, Ill.

MALCOLM LEMMONS, 6-3 guard, Washington, D.C.

ANTOINE MASON, 6-2 guard, New Rochelle, N.Y.

JOE THOMAS, 6-7 forward, Miami, Fla.

Contact reporter Jonah Bronstein at jonah.bronstein@niagara-gazette.com

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Niagara U.
  • Niagara shuts out Canisius

    Paul Zanette had a goal and assist while goaltender Chris Noonan made 29 saves to propel the Niagara University men’s hockey team to a critical 3-0 victory over Canisius at the Buffalo State College Sports Complex.

    February 17, 2011

  • Situation getting worse for Niagara basketball team

    Niagara sank into last place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with a 51-49 loss at Manhattan, which came into the game on a 15-game losing streak Monday. And that was hardly the most ominous news to come out of the lost weekend, which also included Saturday’s setback at Saint Peter’s.

    January 17, 2011

  • 110107 NU-Rider.jpg Niagara falls hard in big game

    With Calvin Murphy being honored at halftime and ESPNU showing the game nationwide, the Purple Eagles missed more than twice as many shots as they made and lost 82-65 to visiting Metro Atlantic Athletic foe Rider before a crowd of 1,275.

    January 8, 2011 1 Photo

  • 110107 Calvin Murphy 2.jpg A legend holds court at NU

    Calvin Murphy adds to his legend in return

    January 7, 2011 3 Photos

  • Calvin Murphy excited to come back to Niagara

    Murphy is passionate about showing his loyalty to Niagara because the university has done the same for him over the years.

    January 6, 2011

  • Niagara loses by 45 at Drexel

    The Niagara men’s basketball team suffered through its most lopsided loss in over a decade on its worst offensive night in almost a century.

    December 28, 2010

  • 101203 NU Hockey 2.jpg Niagara making impression in Atlantic Hockey

    As second semester approaches, Purple Eagles have rebounded after down year

    December 27, 2010 1 Photo

  • Purple Eagles encouraged to follow the leader

    Having lost seven of eight games for just the second time in his 12 years at Niagara, coach Joe Mihalich is concerned that his roster of mostly freshmen and sophomores is not responding to the leadership being provided by his lone senior.

    December 27, 2010

  • Dobrich pursues his passion coaching the Purple Eagles

    Luke Dobrich, 32, is in his eighth season as a men’s basketball assistant coach at Niagara, and his first as the senior member of head coach Joe Mihalich’s staff.

    December 22, 2010

  • Nelson’s basket lifts NU past Bowling Green

    Anthony Nelson’s basket with just a second left on the shot clock proved the game’s winning play as the Purple Eagles evened their record at 2-2 with a 65-61 victory over Bowling Green on Friday. 

    November 26, 2010

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page