NEW ROCHELLE, NY - Iona College men's basketball head coach Tim Cluess announced the addition of four student-athletes for the upcoming 2015-16 season. Ricky McGill (Spring Valley, NY), Jahaad Proctor (Harrisburg, PA), Aaron Rountree III (Wilson, NC) and Jordan Washington (Queens, NY) join last season’s transfers Taylor Bessick (Philadelphia, PA) and Deyshonee Much (Rochester, NY) as newcomers to the Gaels this season.
“The six new faces to the program will each serve a vital role in our success,” said Cluess. “Each one adds a different dynamic and we’re excited to see how the pieces will fit together this year.”
Ricky McGill is a 6-1, 165 lb, do-it-all combo guard from Rockland County. McGill attended Spring Valley High School where he led the Tigers to a 23-2 record and appearance in the NYSPHSAA Class A state semifinals in Glens Falls, NY as a senior in 2014-15. McGill finished his four-year career as his school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,463 points. The total ranks second in Rockland history behind former Pearl River standout Brendan McManus. For his performance as a senior, McGill was honored with Section I’s Mr. Basketball award by the Lower Hudson Basketball Coaches Association.
“Ricky showed a knack for scoring during his scholastic career at Spring Valley,” said Cluess. “We look forward to him developing at the college level and adding his competitive nature and toughness to our program.”
Jahaad Proctor is a 6-3, 175 lb shooting guard from Harrisburg, PA. As a senior at Harrisburg High School he averaged a school record 24.4 points per game. Proctor also held the career scoring mark with an impressive 1,689 points. On Dec. 13, 2014, he set the Harrisburg High School single-game mark with 42 points vs. Central Dauphin East. Proctor was a three-time All-State selection and three-time Big 15 First Team pick. He led his Cougars to a 22-9 record in 2014-15, winning the Mid-Penn Commonwealth Championship and advancing to the PIAA Class AAAA quarterfinals. Proctor was also named to the All-USA Pennsylvania Boys Basketball Team by USA Today.
“Jahaad was another potent scorer at the scholastic level,” said Cluess. “He is a knockdown shooter and will serve as a great complement in our perimeter offense.”
Aaron Rountree III is a 6-8, 200 lb forward and comes to New Rochelle after graduating from Wake Forest University in 2015. Last season, Rountree appeared in 25 games with seven starts for the Demon Deacons. He averaged 2.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in 14.4 minutes per game. Rountree graduated in three years from Wake Forest with a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in economics. He starred scholastically at Greenfield School in his hometown of Wilson, NC, located about an hour east of Raleigh. Rountree was a McDonald’s All-America nominee and Jordan Brand Classic Regional game participant after a stellar four-year campaign.
“Aaron is an exciting, versatile veteran presence to add to the program,” said Cluess. “He brings great energy and is a long, athletic forward who can play multiple positions on the floor.”
Jordan Washington is a 6-8, 255 lb forward and will don the Maroon & Gold after competing for two years at NJCAA nationally ranked Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, IA. During his sophomore campaign in 2014-15, Washington was Indian Hills leading scorer and rebounder averaging 15.3 points and 7.5 boards per game. As a freshman, he averaged 9.8 points and 5.7 rebounds. The Queens, NY native starred scholastically at Pathways High School and led them to a pair of PSAL Class B division titles.
“Jordan brings size and a unique skill set to the Gaels,” said Cluess. “He is a very physical frontcourt player and has soft hands, quick feet, and a good touch around the basket.”
The quartet joins Bessick and Much who transferred to the program in 2014-15. Bessick sat out both semesters last year and will be eligible to play at the beginning of the 2015-16 season. Much came to New Rochelle in January and can compete in game action following the completion of the fall 2015 semester.
Taylor Bessick is a 6-9, 225 lb forward and James Madison University transfer. He spent two seasons with the Dukes averaging 22.2 minutes, 6.3 points, and 4.7 rebounds as a sophomore. He posted six double-digit scoring efforts including a breakthrough game against San Jose State where he was 8-for-10 from the field and finished with 19 points. Bessick was a Philadelphia Public League standout for Frankford High School before playing a postgraduate season at Rise Academy in New Jersey.
“Taylor had the ability to practice with our guys all last season and is hungry get back on the floor for competition,” said Cluess. “He is an extremely athletic big man with tremendous leaping ability and owns a very good mid-range jumper.”
Deyshonee Much is a 6-5, 170 lb guard and transfer from the University of Buffalo. As a rookie with the Bulls he appeared in 22 games off the bench. Munch averaged 1.2 points and 0.7 rebounds in 6.6 minutes per game. He scored five points twice in home wins over Binghamton and Eastern Michigan. He was a prolific scorer in high school, averaging 21.0 points per game as a senior at Gates Chili High School in his hometown of Rochester, NY. During his prep season at Redemption Christian, Much averaged 19.3 points and was one of the squad’s top defenders with 2.1 steals per game.
“Deyshonee showed a great scorer’s mentality in practice this winter and we’re eager to see him in action when he becomes eligible,” said Cluess. “He can shoot well from the perimeter and has good defensive and rebounding instincts and will help us in both areas.”
Iona returns four of its top five scorers from last season in rising seniors A.J English (20.1 ppg), Isaiah Williams (13.3 ppg), and Kelvin Amayo (7.9 ppg) and rising sophomore Schadrac Casimir (14.5 ppg). English - an All-MAAC and All-Met First Team member – ranked No. 15 in the NCAA in scoring last season. Casimir was an All-MAAC Second Team selection and 2015 MAAC Rookie of the Year. Williams missed out on postseason MAAC honors after missing 12 games due to a foot injury last season. The trio combined for 269 three-pointers last season and form one of the NCAA’s most lethal long distance combinations in 2015-16.