NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Iona College men's basketball head coach Tim Cluess announced the addition of Kelvin Amayo, Ryden Hines, Mike Poole, Daniel Robinson and Shackquiel Scott to the 2013-14 roster. The quintet joins early signee Isaiah Williams as newcomers to the Gaels this fall.
"Kelvin, Ryden, Mike, Daniel and Shack each add a unique skill set that can help us this upcoming season," said Cluess. "I'm looking forward to their development and integration into Iona and our system."
Kelvin Amayo - a 6-4, 210 lb sophomore guard - comes to New Rochelle from Marshall University in Huntington, WV. Last season, the Newark, NJ native appeared in three games and averaged 2.7 ppg in 9.3 mpg before electing to transfer. He enrolled at Marshall in January 2012. In his final season as a scholastic athlete, Amayo played for NIA School in Newark, NJ. He averaged 20 points, six rebounds, five assists and a couple of steals in leading NIA to a 26-7 record and a No. 6 national ranking among the country's prep schools. Amayo was named a Newark Star-Ledger First Team All-Prep selection for his efforts. He was teammates with Cincinnati's Shaquille Thomas and Fordham's Ryan Rhoomes and originally committed to Towson University. Early in the season, he recorded a career-best 37 points against Kiski School (Youngstown, Ohio) in the Hoop Mountain Prep Classic. Following the campaign, he appeared in the 2011 Capital Classic as a member of the US All-Stars and scored 16 points in a 136-115 victory over the Capital All-Stars.
In 2008-09, Amayo played at St. Benedict's Prep and averaged 13 points, five assists and four rebounds and had a triple double (15 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists) against the Hun School of Princeton. He was part of a team that finished the season No. 7 in the final USA Today Super 25 boys basketball rankings while playing alongside current Iona teammates Mike Poole and Tavon Sledge, current Cleveland Cavalier Tristan Thompson and his former Texas teammate Myck Kabongo among others.
“Kelvin is a great athlete with tremendous leaping ability," said Cluess. "He's a slasher/scorer and will look to contribute to our rotation right away. He can also hit from long distance with the best of them on our squad."
Ryden Hines - a 6-10, 230 lb freshman forward - hails from Anchorage, AK. Hines played his postgraduate year in 2012-13 at Impact Academy in Las Vegas, NV and averaged 21 points and eight rebounds per game. As a senior at A.J. Dimond High School, Hines helped lead the Lynx to Cook Inlet Conference and Alaska State 4A Championships. He averaged 18 points and 11 boards and was named conference player of the year. Hines was named First Team All-State for three straight years and was runner up Alaska Gatorade Player of the Year in 2012. Upon committing to Iona, he became the first basketball student-athlete from his high school to earn a NCAA Division I scholarship. His teammate, Colter Lasher, followed as the second after signing an NLI with Houston Baptist University.
Hynes also lettered in football at Diamond as a tight end and defensive end.
“Ryan has a great motor and plays really hard,” said Cluess. “He has a good basketball IQ and can knock down a jumper. At 6-10, he’s going to have to help us right away, but as he physically matures and adjusts to the college game he has an opportunity to be a very successful player at Iona.”
Mike Poole - a 6-5, 195 lb senior wing and Rutgers University transfer - appeared in 95 games and made 16 starts over three seasons with the Scarlet Knights while averaging 5.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.1 steals. Poole never missed a game and scored 524 points in his Big East career. His career-high scoring total ironically came against Iona last season in an 18-point, seven rebound effort at Madison Square Garden. Poole posted 16 games with 10 or more points and recorded one double-double, an 11-point, 10 rebound effort at UConn as a freshman on Jan. 11, 2011. His season-high scoring average came as a sophomore. He averaged 6.5 points in 22.1 minutes played. Also known for his defensive presence, Poole ranked among the top performers in steals on the Rutgers leaderboard in all three seasons. He was also named to the Big East All-Academic Team last July.
The Rosedale, Queens native is a 2010 graduate of St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, NJ. He averaged 10.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 49.7% as a senior to help the Gray Bees to a 20-1 record and a No. 4 final ranking nationally from USA Today and ESPN/Rise. Poole was a Newark Star-Ledger All-Prep selection, playing three seasons at St. Benedict's under head coach Dan Hurley and served as team captain as a senior. As a junior, his squad finished 24-3 record and a No. 7 national ranking in the final USA Today Super 25 Poll on a team that included fellow Gael teammates Kelvin Amayo and Tavon Sledge.
“Mike is a veteran of nearly 100 college games and will look for a leadership role on this year’s squad,” said Cluess. “His all-around ability on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball will be a great asset for our program.”
Daniel Robinson - a 6-11, 215 lb freshman forward - spent his postgraduate season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL. The Norfolk, VA native was a Second-Team, All-VISAA selection at Atlantic Shores Christian in Chesapeake, VA, where he averaged 9.3 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game. In 31 games played Robinson scored 10 or more points on 16 occasions and grabbed 10 or more rebounds 13 times including a career best 20 in a win over Heritage HS on Jan. 7, 2011. During his junior year with the Seahawks, Robinson grabbed 6.0 boards and averaged a block per game. Robinson also played for Chesapeake Bay Legend Boo Williams in the Nike EYBL in Hampton, VA in April 2011.
“At 6-11, Daniel can step out and hit a jumper,” said Cluess. “He is not your prototypical back-to-the basket post performer but has solid offensive skills. We’ll also look to use his size in the middle as a big, interior defensive presence.”
Shackquiel Scott - a 6-6, 205 lb freshman wing - hails from Paterson, NJ and comes to the Gaels after a postgraduate season at the Robinson School in Irvington. Scott helped lead the Robinson School to a 25-10 mark and an East Coast Postgraduate Championship. He posted 27 points and 17 boards in the 93-74 win over Maryland's Princeton Day Academy. He averaged a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds while adding two blocks per game.
As a senior in 2011-12 at Passaic Tech, Scott averaged 11.5 points. He scored a season-best 22 points in a win over Morris Knolls at home on Jan. 7, 2012. He scored 10 or more points in all but five contests and had five double-doubles including a 10 point, 15 rebound effort vs. Paterson Eastside on Jan. 26, 2012. Passaic Tech fell to Elizabeth in the NJSIAA Group 4 semifinal.
“Shack is an extremely athletic wing with a solid mid-range game,” said Cluess. “His athleticism and energy will be a great addition to our program.”
Amayo, Hines, Poole, Robinson, and Scott join Isaiah Williams who signed a letter of intent to play at Iona last November. Williams completed a highly successful freshman season at State College Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, earning 2013 Suncoast Conference Player of the Year honors. He averaged 17.0 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists in just 21.6 minutes per game. Williams started in 23 of 28 appearances for former SCF head coach and new Iona assistant coach Brock Erickson's Manatees. He had 25 games with double-digit points and 10 with 20 or more including a season-best 27 vs. College of Central Florida on Jan. 9, 2013. Williams also recorded 10 double-doubles.
“Isaiah is a 6-7 wing and can really fill it up,” said Cluess said of Williams. “He can also shoot a three as well as anybody we have and will also help us a lot defensively as he is very active and has a lot of length to him.”
The Gaels return five of their top seven scorers senior Sean Armand, junior David Laury, senior Tre Bowman, sophomore A.J. English and junior Tavon Sledge. Armand was one of the top three-point shooters in the nation last season with a school record 112 trifectas. Laury is the MAAC’s top returning rebounder after posting 10.3 boards per game. Bowman and Sledge shined in the postseason for the Gaels. Bowman scored a game-high 20 points Iona’s win over Manhattan in the MAAC Championship while Sledge led the team with 20 points against Ohio State in the NCAA Championship second round.
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