Six men’s basketball players made their verbal commitments official by putting pen to paper, signing National Letters of Intent to play for Weber State in the 2020-21 season, the school announced Thursday.
Three of the six players will be seniors and four are transfers from Division I schools. Stories about each are linked to their name below:
Dontay Bassett — The 6-foot-9 forward and native of Oakland, California, will be a senior this season after transferring from the University of Florida.
Isiah Brown — The 6-foot-2 guard and native of Seattle, Washington, will be a senior, transferring from Grand Canyon after two seasons at Northwestern.
Darweshi Hunter — The 6-foot-5 wing player and native of Phoenix, Arizona, and Cincinnati, Ohio, will be a sophomore after a high-scoring freshman campaign at Division II Central State.
Balint Mocsan — The 6-foot-3 shooting guard and native of Budapest, Hungary, will be a senior after a three-year career at Idaho State where he shot 42.6% from the 3-point line.
Zahir Porter — The 6-foot-6 wing player and native of The Bronx will be a junior after a season at Division II New York Institute of Technology and a season at Independence Community College.
Seikou Sisoho Jawara — The 6-foot-3 guard and native of Mataro, Spain, will be a sophomore after one season at Loyola Marymount.
Five of the six are immediately eligible to play next season. Sisoho Jawara is the lone question; he can become eligible either with NCAA approval of a rule change allowing immediate eligibility to all first-time transfers, being voted upon late next month, or by being granted a transfer waiver.
Porter was the first to commit, pledging on March 13 just two days after WSU’s season ended. He said it’s “definitely been fun” to watch the class develop after being the first to commit.
“I think we are a high-scoring group with a lot of experience and we could definitely do some damage,” he told the Standard-Examiner.
The signing period opened Wednesday.
“We are excited about this class of recruits,” head coach Randy Rahe said in a release from the school. “We identified some areas that we needed to address and I feel like we were able to achieve that. We knew we wanted to get older, improve our 3-point shooting and add a bunch of guys that are just good all-around basketball players, as well as high quality people that have winning intangibles.
“We are eager to get this group together, whenever that may be, and get started.”
Rahe undertook a roster overhaul this offseason after a 12-20 season marred by injuries and poor, inconsistent outside shooting.
WSU rostered four scholarship upperclassmen (seniors and juniors) last season, while the rest of the Big Sky averaged 7.2 per roster. Three teams had nine seniors. Most of that league-wide statistic is due to the recruitment of transfers and junior college players.
So, with a few players still outstanding, WSU is up to five seniors and one junior, and will enter the 2020-21 season with a substantially larger number of previously played college games and minutes than last year’s squad.
The six signed players represent the bulk of the 2020 class. Weber State is expected to sign two more players, with one planning to announce his commitment Saturday.
Another piece of WSU’s 2020-21 schedule appears to be in place, giving the Wildcats a total of nine known games against Division I opponents, including four at home.
D1 Docket reported Thursday morning on Twitter that Weber State and UC San Diego have agreed to an in-season, home-and-home series next season, citing a public records request.
The Tritons have been one of the best Division II programs in the country, going 30-1 last season, which has led UCSD to jump to Division I next season. The Tritons are joining the Big West Conference.
D1 Docket’s report says the teams will play in San Diego on Nov. 14, then in Ogden on Dec. 9.
WSU is also expected to host Fresno State, Utah State and Utah Valley in the Dee Events Center.
The Nov. 14 game at UCSD is the first known road game for WSU’s schedule.
Despite the cancellation of the Beehive Classic, Weber State and BYU plan to resume their in-state series with a game at Vivint Smart Home Arena, similar to the home-home-neutral series that included a Salt Lake City game in 2015.
Weber State is also part of the field for the 2020 Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The bracket is not yet set; the tournament is seeking a replacement for Colorado State, who was once committed but has since pulled out. The rest of the field includes Bradley, Buffalo, Cleveland State, Florida International, Long Beach and St. Bonaventure.