Around the MAAC: Some Incoming Freshmen to Keep Your Eyes on

Ari KramerSenior Analyst IIOctober 10, 2009

Some will receive playing time immediately, others were signed for the future. Either way, there is an impressive freshman class entering the MAAC.

1. Robert Olson, 6'4" SG, Loyola Md—Olson is the highest rated MAAC recruit, according to, and has tremendous potential. He is an athletic shooter, scorer, and dunker and will likely play both the one and two for coach Jimmy Patsos. Loyola already has a solid repertoire in the backcourt, but Olson will definitely earn minutes early in his freshman year.

2. Andre "Scooter" Gillette, 6'9" PF, Niagara—Before signing with Joe Mihalich's Purple Eagles, Gillette considered A-10 schools Xavier, Temple, and Saint Joseph's. Gillette will likely start at center, filling the void left by Benson Egemonye's graduation. If he lives up to his potential, he'll surpass the level of a typical MAAC big man.

3. O.D. Anosike, 6'8" PF, Siena—Despite being a thin 6'8" Anosike is an adept rebounder and will probably be Fran McCaffery's sixth man. I saw Anosike in the 2009 Jordan Classic and he scored the majority of his points off offensive rebounds. He runs the floor very well, which will help him fit in with Siena's uptempo style of offense.

4. Chris Pelcher, 6'9" C, Iona—Iona is not going to feed the ball into Pelcher like he is Shaquille O'Neal, but Pelcher is the big man the Gaels need to replace the likes of Gary Springer and Devon Clarke. A rebounding force and a good post defender, he should receive playing time from day one.

5. Colin Nickerson, 6'2" SG, Fairfield—After losing Jon Han and Herbie Allen, Ed Cooley needed to sign Nickerson, a combo guard who can pass, shoot, drive, and handle the ball. Nickerson might be in the starting lineup for the season opener.

6. Jonathan Breeden, 6'0" PG, Siena—Breeden adds to Siena's depth at point guard. He is quick and capable of running Siena's run-and-gun offense. A skilled passer, Breeden will compete for a starting spot at the one in 2010-11. Until then, he will be integrated into the rotation as a sub.

7. Derek Needham, 5'11" PG, Fairfield—Like Nickerson, Needham is a multi-faceted guard. He is a quick, solid ballhandler. His defense is exceptional and, above all, he is a scorer. Needham will likely compete with Nickerson for the Stags' final starting spot.

8. Kevin Laue, 6'11" C, Manhattan—On Nov. 14, Laue will become the first one-handed person to play in a Division I basketball game. Manhattan's signing of Laue came as a surprise to many, but it shouldn't have. The Jaspers were desperate for a defensive-minded big man, and that's what Laue is. He may only have one hand, but he can defend, block shots, and grab boards.