Leitao Recruits This Year and Next

Back in January, Doug Doughty of the Roanoke Times wrote an online column entitled “First two Leitao classes not contributing much.”  Two months later, not much has changed.

Stats through the ACC Tourney reveal the five Gillen recruits (Singletary, Diane, Joseph, Mikalauskas, Soroye) combined to account for 60% of the points and 46% of the rebounds this season.  The top scorer among non-Gillen recruits was Baker (9.1 ppg), followed by Scott (6.0) and Tucker (5.0).  For rebounds, it was Scott (5.4 rpg) and Tucker (3.1).  As pointed out in the column, Baker wasn’t really a Leitao recruit and isn’t even on scholarship.  More on that later…

After Scott and Tucker, the next Leitao recruits were Jones, Harris, Tat, Meyinsse, Farrakhan, Zeglinski.  These half-dozen players combined for just 264 points and 176 rebounds.  Granted there were injuries and not a ton of playing time, but that’s a six-player total of 8.8 ppg and 5.9 rpg when spread over the 30-game schedule.  The top two perimeter scoring options were quite often Gillen recruits (Singletary and Diane/Joseph), but you could almost make a case that these guys didn’t even have an impact in 2007-08.  “Shooters” Jones and Farrakhan shot 21% and 13% from beyond the arc, respectively.  Harris, Tat, and Meyinsse each averaged less than 10 minutes per game when they even played.

Back to Baker… should he demand some grant $$$ now?  His 16-pont effort in a home OT loss to Georgia Tech was the only time all season someone other than Singletary, Diane or Joseph had the team high in scoring.  He also led the team lead in rebounding twice.  His shot selection and decision-making were questionable at times, but with Zeglinski will be coming back from a serious injury and very little playing experience under his belt, Baker is the only proven option at point guard.

Leitao’s next class appears to have a star in NYC-native Sylven Landesberg, a McDonald’s AA who last week led his team to its first city championship in 40 years.  However, the talent level of the class drops off a cliff after that.  At least the projectable immediate impact would seem to.  6-11 John Bandenburg of St. Louis and 7-0 Assane Sene of Senegal (by way of Connecticut) both weigh in around 220-230 pounds and appear to be projects.  Brandenburg averaged 13 ppg and 7 rpg for a low-scoring team while Sene averaged 6 and 10.  Both totaled around 3 blocks per game, which could translate into some much-needed inside defense next season.  The latter did have offers from UConn and Syracuse, while the former picked Virginia over Stanford, but I think most would be surprised if either makes a significant contribution next season.

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