Men's Basketball | Thursday, June 27, 2013
Willamette Announces Men's Basketball Recruiting Class for 2013-14 Season
Incoming Players are Ready to Help the Bearcats
SALEM, ORE. -- After enduring a difficult men's basketball schedule in 2012-13, the Willamette University Bearcats have been given the task of replacing a senior class that produced five of the team's top seven scorers this past season. Head Coach Kip Ioane has taken the first step in that succession, announcing the incoming recruiting class of 2013-14.
The list of recruits features eight incoming freshmen along with one junior college transfer. Three of the nine recruits attended high school in California. Two players are joining the team from Washington while two others from Oregon are remaining in-state to attend Willamette. There is one recruit coming out of Idaho, and another traveling over from Utah.
As of last season, the Willamette men's basketball program implemented a junior varsity team in addition to the varsity squad. All of these incoming recruits are eligible to compete on either team based on their performance in the fall.
The 2013-14 Willamette men's basketball recruiting class:
Jared Baumgartner (6'2", Albany, OR/Crescent Valley HS)
Baumgartner was a three-sport athlete in high school, playing football and basketball while also competing in track and field. He averaged 10 points and six rebounds offensively, while recording 2.3 steals per game on the defensive side. For his efforts defensively, Baumgartner was named Oregon 5A Mid-Willamette Conference Defensive Player of the year.
Coach Ioane on Jared:
"Jared's specialty is disruption. He is a guy who every game you could track his deflections, steals, hustle plays and know they all were vital to his team's result. We are very excited to add that brand of energy and defense to our roster."
Boris Chan (6'5", Santa Ana, CA/Tustin HS)
Chan served as a vital member of the Tustin High School basketball team last year. At 6'5" he was a dual threat, averaging 12.1 points while also hauling in 5.6 rebounds per game.
Coach Ioane on Boris:
"Boris can mature into a physical problem for opposing teams. He's got a great mind set, is comfortable working on his game and we look forward to his growth."
Ben Fujii-Rios (6'0", Menlo Park, CA/Mid-Peninsula HS)
Fujii-Rios helped guide his high school team to a 14-5 overall record last season which was good enough for a second place finish in the Private School Athletic League (PSAL). Fujii-Rios led the team in scoring during his senior year and was ultimately named PSAL Most Valuable Player at the conclusion of the season. (Photo not available)
Coach Ioane on Ben:
"Ben is a tough nosed kid who has worked his tail off to overcome adversity that was out of his control. He can make shots with range and competes his tail off defensively."
Ricky Fujita (6'1", Tacoma, WA/Tacoma CC/Stadium HS)
Fujita earned Second Team All-Narrows League honors as a senior at Stadium High School before attending Tacoma Community College. He didn't play basketball at Tacoma Community College and is looking to return to the court as a member of the Bearcats.
Coach Ioane on Ricky:
"Ricky is a guy who has been away from the game for a few years, but through sheer drive and work ethic has come back to contribute in whatever way is asked of him."
Zach Johnstun (6'3", Ogden, UT/Saint Joseph's HS)
Johnstun played a vital role on the St. Joseph's High School team last season. As a team captain, he averaged just shy of a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds per game. He also had two steals per game to contribute defensively. Johnstun's efforts last season on the court and as a team leader helped St. Joseph's achieve its best record over a span of 20 years.
Coach Ioane on Zach:
"Zach has great length, can put the ball in the basket, and is a willing worker. The time it takes him to adjust to the physical nature of the Northwest Conference will dictate how soon he's ready to be a factor."
Matt Logan (6'2", Bend, OR/Mountain View HS)
Logan averaged nine points per game last season while helping lead his Mountain View high school team to the Oregon 5A Semifinals. While looking for his own shot, Matt was also able to get others involved as he averaged three assists per game. He illustrated his senior leadership both on and off the court and was voted Most Inspirational by his fellow teammates.
Coach Ioane on Matt:
"Matt is a tremendous worker who has fought through a very serious knee injury this past year. His rehab continues and when he completes it, he has a chance to be in the mix at two different positions and brings a mental toughness we love. Plus, Mountain View guys look great in Cardinal and Gold (Simon Currie '08, Sean Dart '13)."
Hayden Russell (6'1", Woodland, CA/Da Vinci HS)
Russell had an outstanding senior season, averaging 19 points seven assists and five rebounds per game. For his efforts, Russell wrapped up his high school career with a number of different honors and awards. He was voted Team MVP by his fellow teammates and also received First Team All-Delta Valley Conference. Going beyond that, Russell was a All-Metro Valley Honorable Mention selection in California.
Coach Ioane on Hayden:
"Hayden is a guy who can simply attack. He played in an electric system in high school and that ability to get in gaps, create for others and score in bunches has us very excited about him."
Jake Stevens (6'7", Eagle, ID/Eagle HS)
Stevens comes in with the most height out of the group at 6'7". He averaged 10 points and six rebounds per game while shooting 53% from the floor last season. Defensively, Stevens was a force in the middle of the key. He finished the year ranked top five in the state for shots blocked. Jake earned awards on and off the court last season. He was named to the 5A Southern Idaho Conference All-Star team as well as being honored with a Southern Idaho Conference All-Academic selection.
Coach Ioane on Jake:
"Adding a player of Jake's caliber, length, and character was a huge get for our program. He's a guy that can play three spots, defend three spots, and adds another great student athlete to our mix."
Johnny Verduin (6'4", Seattle, WA/Ballard HS)
Verduin will play both football and basketball at Willamette. He was a Second Team All-KingCo League performer in basketball, averaging 12 points and six boards per game. Johnny earned All KingCo League honors in football as a quarterback as well.
Coach Ioane on Johnny:
"Johnny continues a great line of dual sport athletes we've enjoyed with the football program here at WU (Scott Schoettgen, Joe Penkala, Bubba Lemon, Cody Pastorino and Terrell Malley). Once he gets his basketball legs under him, he has a chance to be a versatile performer for us."
Ioane's thoughts on the 2013-14 recruiting class:
Ioane was very appreciative of the hard work of those around him. He made sure to give plenty of credit to his assistant coaches for their recruiting efforts.
"I want to thank the effort of Assistant Coach J. Jay Davis and Assistant Coach Kevin MacRae in helping put together another class of guys that fit our foundation. The recruits are quality guys who want to be part of a family here at Willamette that wins on and off the court," Ioane said.