Penguins men's basketball touts top recruiting class

Calling it his best recruiting class “top to bottom” in his five seasons as head men’s basketball coach at Dominican University of California, Bret Tovani has announced four new recruits who will join the Penguins for the 2010-11 season.

Dominican last year moved up into NCAA Division II competition and joined the Pacific West Conference. The Penguins finished tied for fifth place in their inaugural season in the PacWest and graduated only two seniors off the team.

Leading the incoming freshmen is Connor Haysbert , a 6-foot-8 center out of Center High School in Sacramento who Tovani called “an impact player.”  Haysbert  is a two-time all-league selection from the Capital Valley Conference who was named its Most Valuable Player his senior year when he averaged 14 points, seven rebounds and one blocked shot a game. He also was a second-team All-City selection.

“Connor will come in and compete for playing time right away,” Tovani said. “He will add depth to our inside attack and will especially add strength, and athleticism in our efforts to improve our rebounding at both ends of the floor.

 “I am very excited about the opportunity to work with Connor.  He is absolutely the guy we needed to bring in here to help us win a championship.  He is a terrific student, a great person and I think he has a tremendous upside as a player.” 

The Penguins are strong on the perimeter, led by Austin Bryan, who topped the PacWest in scoring last season as a freshman.  Dominican will add another talented shooter in Brendan Holmes, who last season at Marina High School surpassed former Stanford All-American Casey Jacobson in career three point field goals made in California prep basketball history.

Holmes also broke Marina’s all-time career scoring record held by former Duke star Cherokee Parks. He had 2,015 points and finished his senior year with a 22.1 points per game average and ranked second all-time in the CIF in three-point goals (409) for his high school career and threes in a season (149).

A three-time All Sunset League First Team member and a three -time All-CIF selection, Holmes will come in handy at Dominican.

Anytime you can get a young man of great character, an excellent student, and a great shooter all wrapped into one you have to feel good going forward,” Tovani said. “Brendan will fit nicely into our campus community and will contribute to our basketball family right away.”

Joining Holmes at Dominican as a 2010 recruit is Myles Carrillo out of Foothill High School, who was the MVP in the Sea View League in Southern California. He was a four-year varsity player and an All-League member for the last three, capping his senior year by being named  CIF 3AA Player of The Year and being selected to the CIF Division 3 All-State Team.  Carrillo led the CIF 3AA in assists per game with seven and had an assist to turnover ratio of 3:1.

“ In addition to his ability to pass the ball and create for his teammates he can score when necessary,” Tovani said. “He shot just under 60 percent from the field and 38 percent from beyond the arc and averaged 12 points and three steals per game. He showed in many games the ability to score in bunches if his team needed him to do so.  He is a very smart player with a high basketball IQ.  He is good at both ends of the court …  I think Myles will be able to come in and contribute right away in a myriad of ways.” 

After spending a season at Santa Rosa Junior College following a stellar career at Piner High School, Ian Collins is ready to resume his academic and athletic career at Dominican. In his senior year at Piner in 2005, Collins averaged 18 points and seven rebounds a game in helping lead Piner to the North Bay League championship. He was league MVP and Co-MVP of the Redwood Empire.

“Ian is an athlete who plays much bigger than his 6-2 frame.  He is extremely strong, plays above the rim and is a fierce rebounder,” Tovani said. “He can help us in every facet of the game and will bring a toughness that is necessary to win at this level.  I’m looking forward to working with Ian and watching as he develops with the young team around him.”

The Penguins’ 2010-11 season will begin November 4 with an exhibition game against Pacific Union College at Conlan Center.