New Recruiting Class Critical to Terriers’ Present/Future Success
It’s been two months since the men’s basketball team at St. Francis College saw its final prayer for an NCAA Tournament berth go unanswered.
Senior Lowell Ulmer’s desperation half-court heave at the Pope Center hung up in the air for what seemed like an eternity after bounding off the rim as time expired on the Terriers’ hard-to-swallow 66-63 loss to Robert Morris on the night of March 10 on Remsen Street.
The capacity crowd that filled the diminutive gymnasium, and the national television audience watching St. Francis’ fate unfold via ESPN, saw the Downtown school’s dream of a first-ever trip to March Madness go up in smoke.
Ulmer’s shot went just askew of the basket on its way down, denying the Terriers an opportunity to win their first-ever Northeast Conference championship in overtime after going 23-12 overall and a league-best 15-3 in NEC play.
It was Ulmer’s final shot as a Terrier, as he and fellow seniors Kevin Douglas, Brent Jones and Jalen Cannon, the NEC Player of the Year, were unable to complete their ultimate quest.
“We are graduating four student-athletes who were extremely vital to our success and they will be greatly missed,” admitted SFC-Brooklyn coach Glenn Braica, who has turned the Terriers from afterthought to serious contender on the city basketball landscape.
Though those four players will be missed, most especially Cannon and Jones, who nearly took SFC somewhere it has never been before, Braica must now focus on next season and the Terriers’ next chance to make history.
He addressed the vacancies in the SFC roster just last week by officially announcing four newcomers via the Terriers’ 2015-16 recruiting class.
Freshman guard Dagur Jonnson, sophomore forward Jagos Lasic, and two local products, freshman forward Joshua Nurse and first-year guard Marlon Alcindor, will join the previously signed Keon Williams and Jon Doss in completing the first class to follow the graduation of the program’s most productive class.
“I’m excited about this group of newcomers and feel that they will have a chance to make a significant contribution next season,” Braica intimated. “I’m looking forward to having them all together next fall.”
Jonnson, who hails from Iceland, a recruiting hotbed for neighborhood rival LIU-Brooklyn in recent years, averaged 17.3 points and 3.5 assists per game this past season in the nation’s Premier Club League.
“Dagur is a combo guard who had a great season in Iceland this past year, Braica said. “He can really score, has the ability to get his own shot, and is an excellent 3-point shooter. His international experience should help him get acclimated quickly to the Division I level.”
Lasic, of Serbian descent, spent last season with New Mexico Military Institute, averaging 21 points and 15 rebounds per contest.
“Jagos can face the basket and stretch the defense with his ability to make the 3-point shot,” Braica said of the 6-foot-8 forward. “He is also a very good passer, rebounder, and can run the floor. He should add many dimensions to our frontcourt.”
Nurse, who is 6-foot-9, was a rebounding machine at Queens High School of Teaching during his final season in the PSAL. He averaged nearly 11 points and 16 rebounds per contest.
“Josh has a lot of potential and we think he’s got a very high ceiling,” Braica said. “He’s a very skilled passer and shooter, and has the length to block shots. He needs to get stronger but he’s got a chance to be very good in the Northeast Conference.”
Alcindor, a 6-4 swingman who attended the High School of Construction before red-shirting with the Terriers last season, averaged 18.6 points and 5.1 rebounds during his final year in the PSAL in 2013-14.
“Marlon is a very good offensive player and is a terrific 3-point shooter,” said Braica. “He has the ability to put points up quickly.”
Williams and Doss, both of whom red-shirted during the Terriers’ run to their first NIT appearance in more than half a century, will also be ready to provide punch to a lineup that returns seniors Tyreek Jewell, Amdy Fall and Chris Hooper, as well as sophomore Glenn Sanabria.
“Keon will provide us with athleticism on the perimeter and his game fits within the style of play that we’ve established here,” said Braica. “He has the ability to score in a variety of different ways and should be a very good perimeter defender.”
“Jon is a very good 3-point shooter and is athletic,” added Braica of Doss. “He has a knack to score the ball.”