Sports

Vulcans Wrap Up Recruiting for 2015-2016 Hoops Season

September 2, 2015, 4:49 PM HST
* Updated September 2, 4:54 PM
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The difficult task of overhauling the University of Hawai’i at Hilo men’s basketball team was not lost on GE Coleman, who will enter his third year at the helm of the program.

Four seniors from last year’s squad have moved on from the program. Additionally, last year’s leading scorer, Tre Johnson, signed a pro basketball contract and left school early.

In all, six players, including a freshman who decided not to return, have left the program, leaving just five returning players from a year ago.

Several months ago, Coleman announced the addition of five new players to the program. Three more will be joining the squad, headlined locally by Pahoa High School graduate Tolby Saito, who joins 2011 Hilo High graduate Randan Berinobis and 2012 Farrington High graduate Ryan Reyes as the only players with local ties on the UH-Hilo roster.

“Being able to watch him over the last couple of years I’ve been here, you can tell he’s got a passion for the game of basketball,” Coleman said of the former Daggers star. “He’s a gym rat, always in the gym trying to get better, so I think whenever you can add somebody like that to your program, it’s a positive.”

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In his senior season, Saito led Pahoa with 27 points and seven assists per night, leading the Daggers to the 2015 Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division II championship and a berth in the state tournament.

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“He has the ability to score the basketball. We all saw that last year and throughout games he played in states. It gives him the opportunity to come in and develop in our program,” Coleman explained.

Coleman is also adding Division II experience in Salim Gloyd, a transfer from the University of Indianapolis, who will be playing in his fourth school in four years.

“He’s 6-foot-6, so he fills a need for us on the front line,” Coleman stated. “He’s got a nose for the basketball. He can really rebound, but he’s also got the ability to shoot the basketball from the outside, which gives us more options offensively.”

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Last season, Gloyd was part of a team that was ranked at the top of the Division II polls for a portion of the season. The Greyhounds made it to the NCAA tournament, where they reached the regional final. During the year, he scored 6.5 points per game, grabbed three rebounds per contest, and shot 83 percent from the free throw line.

Patrick Ball rounds out the recent list of recruits brought in by Coleman. Ball initially opened his collegiate career at Division I University of Idaho.

“I’ve watched him since he was a young kid. He went to Franklin High School in Seattle, where he was an all-league player,” Coleman said.

UH-Hilo opens up the 2015-2016 season against Montana State University, a Division I opponent, on November 14 at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.

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