Three of the 10 Northeastern State men’s basketball signees are frontcourt players.
Head coach Ja Havens has brought aboard Obi Agu, Jack Rusch and Trey Sampson in his first recruiting class at NSU.
Forwards gone from last year’s 18-11 team are Aaron Givens, Josh Ihek and Iain McLaughlin. Returning are sophomore Daniel Dotson and Blake Hall, who redshirted as a freshman last year under former head coach Mark Downey.
Agu, a 6-foot-6 junior, played at Western Wyoming Community College for two years, averaging 10 points and 4.9 rebounds in 28 games as a sophomore and 12.9 points and 5.8 rebounds as a freshman. A native of London, England, Agu signed with Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, but the institution closed in May.
“Obi brings a great combination of size, strength, and skill to our program,” Havens said. “He is an adept scorer and rebounder that will provide a physical presence in our front court. Obi is also a savvy player that can score facing up and in the post, and he will be counted on to play and produce this season.”
Rusch appeared in 22 games and had 16 starts as a true freshman at Minnesota State-Moorehead, a NCAA Division II school. He averaged 5.6 points and shot 37.3 percent from 3-point territory. Rusch finished with a season-high 20 points against Wayne State.
“Jack is a versatile forward that really fits our style of play with his ability to shoot the basketball,” Havens said. “He is competitive on the defensive end, and he has proven that he can play at the Division II level. We are excited that Jack will have three years in a RiverHawks uniform, and we will count on his experience and skill level to elevate our program next season.”
Sampson, a junior, comes to NSU by way of Northern Iowa Area Community College. As a sophomore, Sampson broke a NIACC single-season record with 60 blocked shots. He played in 29 games, had 20 starts and averaged 15.5 points and 5.8 rebounds.
“Trey is an athletic and versatile forward who plays with a high motor,” Havens said. “He has the ability to score in the open floor as well as facing the basket and posting up. Trey also impacts the game with his ability to defend multiple positions, block shots, and rebound. He played an integral and productive role on a very successful North Iowa Area Community College team this past season. We are confident that Trey will be a difference-maker in our program, and he will be counted on heavily right away.”
The seven guards in Havens’ 2020 signing class include Jaxon Jones, Christian Cook, Dillon Bailey, Cale Eaton, Rashad Perkins, Caleb Williams and Kavion Hancock.