With a view toward replacing three graduating starters after this season, Saint Mary’s Huskies coach Jonah Taussig has announced a major recruiting coup with the signing of 6’5″ Nikita Kasongo, rated at #46 in North Pole Hoops in the class of 2017. Kasongo averaged 13.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2 blocks per game at Champlain St. Lambert in 2015-16 and has a strong chance to step in and earn minutes – potentially even be a starter from Day One – at Saint Mary’s.
Recall that Saint Mary’s loses fifth-year seniors 5’9″ Marquis Clayton, 6’5″ Theon Reefer and 6’4″ Brian Rouse, all 30+ minutes per game players and Taussig’s top three scorers this season. Huskies should also see the return next season of 6’8″ Osman Barrie, who has missed this entire season due to a knee injury.
Also, adding length and bulk up front for Saint Mary’s will be 6’6″ Andre Ntivumbura from Ottawa’s La Cite College, who is sitting out this season but has practiced with the team all season. Ntivumbura, who scored 8.3 ppg and 10.3 rpg with La Cite in 2015-16 also led the entire CCAA in blocked shots last season. The rim-protecting big should add depth to Saint Mary’s front line with Barrie, 6’6″ Achiul Lual and 6’5″ Brent Martindale.
Taussig expects 6’3″ Kemar Alleyne to assume more responsibilities as an offensive decision maker next season but also feels youngsters 6’1″ Jack Tilley (Rothesay, NB) and 6’0″ sophomore Tristan Arthurs (Vancouver) will mature into solid AUS pure point guards going forward.
Saint Mary’s currently in third place in the AUS standings with 30 points, finishes their season with a pair of games next weekend at Cape Breton. Huskies cannot finish any higher than 3rd place and will await the final results next weekend which will determine their first-round opponent at the AUS tournament in early March.