UH-Hilo Adds Depth for Upcoming Men’s Hoops Season
University of Hawai`i at Hilo men’s basketball coach GE Coleman has added three more players to his squad for the upcoming season.
JaMario Clayton, Yev Dyachenko, and Darius Johnson-Wilson have committed to play for the Vulcans for the 2013-2014 campaign.
Clayton, a transfer from Long Island University’s CW Post campus, joins the Vulcans through a connection with former UH-Hilo standout Andy Smith. Smith recently took the head coaching position at Ocean County College in New Jersey and Clayton spent two seasons there before transferring to LIU-Post. A coaching change prompted Clayton to look for a change of scenery.
“I think he has an ability with his athleticism to get out in transition for us,” said Coleman. “He can handle the ball and play both guard positions. The biggest thing, like I told him, is that he can really help us with our full court pressure defense.”
Smith told Big Island Now that Clayton had contacted him after learning about his work with Hawai`i Island Hoops and his new job at Ocean County.
Smith raved about Clayton’s “lightning quick” speed, but spoke even more about Clayton’s personality. “He’s very humble. I love that about him, and I think the people of Hilo will love that about him as well.”
Prior to last season, Clayton twice received First-Team All-American honors at Ocean County. At one point, he ranked second in the National Junior College Athletic Association with 26.1 points per game.
Last season, he started 14 games and averaged 3.4 points per contest.
Coleman praised assistant coach Tyson Sturza for keeping in contact with Smith, who Coleman said alerted the UH-Hilo coaching staff to take a look at Clayton. The Durham, NC native will have one season of eligibility at UH-Hilo.
Dyachenko, a transfer from Yuba College, played two seasons for the 49ers. Prior to that, he greyshirted for two years while dealing with a back injury.
The 6-foot-4, 190 pound guard is expected to add some shooting range to Coleman’s uptempo offense.
“Yev comes from an outstanding junior college program at Yuba and a great coach in Doug Cornelius. He is a proven winner and really helps our perimeter shooting immediately,” Coleman said. “He shot over 50 percent from beyond the arc last season, which is outstanding. Yev also has solid size which will give him versatility in our system on the defensive end.”
Johnson-Wilson comes over from Tacoma Community College. The 6-foot-6 forward will have three seasons of eligibility with UH-Hilo. He joins Tacoma teammate Dominique Campbell, who previously transferred to play for Coleman for the upcoming season.
“Darius brings us an immediate inside presence and he is highly skilled,” according to the rookie UH-Hilo coach. “His best days are ahead of him. He was playing at a very high level at the end of his freshman season.”
In his senior season at Curtis High School, Johnson-Wilson earned player of the year and first team all-league honors in the South Puget Sound League. He did that while weighing 300 pounds in high school. Coleman says that the incoming sophomore’s figure has slimmed substantially.
“Darius is dedicated to his game and the transformation of his body, he has lost close to 50 pounds since the start of last season,” Coleman said.
Earlier this month, the university announced that Campbell, Jeff Perkins, and Joey Rodriguez had signed on with UH-Hilo for the upcoming season. The roster currently sits at 12 players for the upcoming season.