Emmitsburg, Md. ()—Mount St. Mary's University men's basketball, the reigning Northeast Conference champion, has rounded out its 2017 recruiting class, announced today by head coach Jamion Christian. Donald Carey (Upper Marlboro, Md./Frederick Douglass), Omar Habwe (Lexington, Va./St. James School [Md.]), Nana Opoku (Woodbridge, Va./Potomac), Bobby Planutis (Hazleton, Pa./Hazleton/Bridgton Academy [Maine]), Ace Stallings (Washington, D.C./Sidwell Friends) and James West IV (Woodbridge, Va./Freedom) will be joining the Mountaineers in the fall.
"I am so excited about our 2017 incoming freshman," said head coach Jamion Christian. "Over the past few years, we have been trying to be bigger at every position on our roster, while maintaining our ability to shoot the ball often and well from three-point range. When we look over five years ago we wanted to be the best program in our league at building from within. Watching the yearly improvement of our roster at all positions has consistently become a major part of our success."
"Our incoming freshman class is a great fit in terms of what we believe are the foundations of Mount Mayhem. It has a tremendous local feel, a great understanding of our program and its great history, and the physical components (long arms, speed, shooting ability) that we are diligently looking for in recruiting," noted Christian.
In addition to this year's recruiting class, the Mount will also have redshirt freshmen Jonah Antonio and Jack Vukelich in the fold next season. This will give the Mount eight freshmen on the roster in 2017-18.
"Our roster has been consistently deep enough to use the redshirt as a major weapon for our program, and we are excited to have Jonah and Jack ready to go next season," said Christian.
Donald Carey (Upper Marlboro, Md./Frederick Douglas), 6-5, 190, Guard
Coach Christian on Carey: "Guard play is essential in the pick and roll system that we use here at the Mount, and guards with great size and natural passing ability have had tremendous success here. Donald has the attributes that we look for in our guards in that he is tremendously unselfish, can guard multiple positions and his IQ will allow him to play at a high level. He played at Frederick Douglass High School for head coach Tyrone Massenberg. He averaged 16 points and four assists."
Omar Habwe (Lexington, Va./St. James School [Md.]), 6-6, 210, Forward
Coach Christian on Habwe: "Omar gives us a player unlike any I've recruited here thus far. His raw strength as an incoming freshman will be welcomed. In addition, his ability to shoot the ball from well beyond the three point line gives us a person who can guard multiple positions, but still be a major threat on the offensive end of the floor. Omar comes to us from St James School in Hagerstown Md., where he was a three-year starter for Coach Dan Prete. He averaged 13.5 points and seven rebounds per game."
Nana Opoku (Woodbridge, Va./Potomac), 6-9, 190, Forward
Coach Christian on Opuku: "One of our strengths is having players that can play multiple positions and impact the game in a lot of ways. We've had outstanding combo four men (Sam Prescott, Gregory Graves, Chris Wray), and Nana falls along the line of these players. His reach at 7'3" gives him a distinct shot blocking ability, but his offensive game also possesses great variety. Nana played at Potomac High School, where he played for Keith Honroe. He won a state title as a junior, and averaged 11.3 points and 3.4 blocks this year."
Bobby Planutis (Hazleton, Pa./Hazleton/Bridgton Academy [Maine]), 6-7, 195, Forward
Coach Christian on Planutis: "Size, shooting and passing, Bobby does each of these at a high level. Mount basketball has over the years emerged to having a lot of guys who can play different positions. Bobby will have the ability to play 2-4 positions and help us attack mismatches game in and game out. This past season at Bridgton Academy (Maine), Bobby shot 43% from three while averaging 23 points and eight rebounds. He played high school for Mike Joseph at Hazleton which means he has a tremedous skill set for his size."
Ace Stallings (Washington, D.C./Sidwell Friends), 6-10, 215, Forward
Coach Christian on Stallings: "Every team that presses like we do here at the Mount needs a defender in the back that blocks shots and re-energizes the fast break. Ace has a tremendous ability to change the momentum of a game with his intelligence on the defensive end of the floor. His ability to block shots and finish above the rim is perfect for the ball screen and roll system that we use here at the Mount. Ace will be joining us from Sidwell Friends School, where he was coached by Eric Singletary."
James West IV (Woodbridge, Va./Freedom), 6-2, 165, GuardCoach Christian on West: "When you think of Mount guards, you think of guys who have an elite ability to score and guys that use their IQ to make those around them better. James is exactly this! He has a tremendous offensive feel and a passion to be here at the Mount. James comes to us from Freedom High School where he was coached by his father, James West. He averaged 19.8 PPG shooting while shooting 43 percent from three-point range.
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