This past month, the McMaster Men’s Basketball program welcomed the eight new recruits who will be competing for jerseys this coming season.
“We’ve never had a class with this many players,” said head coach, Amos Connolly. “Typically we have between three and five guys.”
A large recruiting class this off-season makes sense what with some large shoes in need of filling. After the graduation of Taylor Black this spring, the team has lost a strong player, but Coach Connolly is confident that they have gained several capable contenders.
Chris Thompson - Combo Guard
Starting off the list of recruits is Chris Thompson, a 6’1 point guard from Cambridge whose skills have been likened to current player Trevon McNeil.
Danylo Kostecki - Outside Threat
Next is Danylo Kostecki, a strong shooter from Mississauga who spent his last year in Washington. Kostecki was on campus last year at a North Pole Hoops training camp. At 6’5 he is a bit taller than your average shooter and he is expected to still perform at a high level.
Matt Quiring - Inside-Out Big Man
Matt Quiring also hails from Cambridge and will be joining his brother Jason, who is returning from a one-year break. At 6’6, Matt is considered one of the most polished rookies to enter the program in years.
“With respect to Jason, he is a much better passer than his brother,” said Connolly.
Additional Bench Depth
Markus Hasse-Kollaritis from Newmarket dominted McMaster’s Pinky Lewis Tournament two years ago.
Karol Derech of Sarnia was torn between McMaster and Windsor for a long time before deciding to become a Marauder, much later than the other recruits.
“How could you say no to a 6’9 shooter who is also an exceptional student,” said Connolly in regards to Derech’s late decision. Forward Jan Hirjak, the tallest of the group at 6’10 is coming in from Etobicoke as an athlete bringing the sheer massiveness that will help give McMaster an up on the competition.
“To be able to add 6’8, 6’9 and 6’10 in Canada and have those players be talented, be able to shoot it, is a huge advantage for our recruiting this year”
Guard Andrew Holmes hails from Ancaster and was previously taught by Connolly at R.A. Riddell in Hamilton. Much like his sister Rachael on the Women’s team, he is an all-around player who is expected to raise the competition level in practice. Last is Guard Andre Toic from Brantford. Toic is also a standout football player who is anticipated to be an exceptional athlete on this year’s team.
“His court vision is second to none. He can pass as well as any first year passer we’ve had. He has a great nose for the ball and his sheer athleticism really shows up,” Connolly said.
Along with the new players, Coach Seth Wearing will be taking on a much greater role this coming year as former associate head coach Justin Gunter stepped down from to become head coach at the University of Waterloo. Preparations for the 2015-16 season are already underway as the team looks to contend for a CIS national championship.