A few days ago, it was brought to my attention that the recent article “The Status of Saint Mary’s” had some inaccurate information regarding the incoming recruits and roster for the Saint Mary’s Gaels heading into the 2015-16 season.
The information was based off the roster from the Gaels’ official website as well as various other websites. What was not taken into account, though, is the incoming players who have signed Letters of Intent with the team. It was my mistake to not include or discover these incoming recruits, and I apologize for any false information in that article.
But, with that aside, let’s take a look at the incoming class of Gaels and how Saint Mary’s is shaping up heading into the ’15-16 basketball season:
Not that this is much of a surprise, but Randy Bennett is continuing to reap the benefits of his flourishing pipeline to The Land Down Under. Three new Aussies will be gearing up for Saint Mary’s next year, including Tanner Krebs, a 6-foot-5 guard who represented Australia in the 2014 Australia Junior Championships, in which he averaged 18.3 points per game to go along with eight rebounds. Tanner possesses some impressive statistics at the free throw line and was one of just ten recipients for the Basketball Australia National Center for Excellence scholarship in 2014.
Bringing in some depth to the Gaels’ front court is forward Kyle Clark, who averaged 5.9 points and 2.9 rebounds in 18.7 minutes per game in the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championships while representing Australia. While playing in the U18 Australian Junior Championships, Clark averaged a resounding 19.3 PPG, further signifying that he’ll make a sound offensive addition to the Gaels’ post presence.
The final Aussie commit for head coach Randy Bennett is walk-on center, Jordan Hunter. Standing at 6-foot-9, Hunter should be able to provide the Gaels’ current center, Jock Landale, with some solid backup play whenever Jock is resting on the bench. Barring a possible redshirt freshman year, the addition of another center will provide Saint Mary’s with some much-needed depth at the five-spot.
While searching internationally has always been a crucial aspect to the Gaels’ recruitment efforts, it’s important to note that Randy Bennett’s appeal to young players has some effect stateside as well. Freshman guard Stefan Gonzalez, from Pocatello, Idaho, is headed to Moraga. Coming out of Highland High School, Gonzalez was a first team all-Idaho selection in 2014 after averaging 19.8 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and a 48% field goal percentage as a junior. He led Highland to a district title and the State Tournament Championship.
Joining Gonzalez in the backcourt is fellow incoming freshman, Franklin Porter. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Porter has a silky smooth pull-up jumper and can make an impact from behind the arc. More so, his ability to record an assist and find an open teammate is quite reminiscent of a point guard. This added ability will prove to be quite lofty for Saint Mary’s, as Porter is naturally a shooting guard that has elements of a floor general etched into his game.
Each of these incoming recruits should make a solid impact for the Gaels heading into the 2015-16 season. Their presence and impact on the court will provide Saint Mary’s with the depth that is necessary to compete in the West Coast Conference. While the Gaels will still have some stern competition in the forms of Gonzaga, BYU, and Pepperdine, the addition of such a large freshman class should put Saint Mary’s right in the mix of the WCC elite.