The UMBC men's basketball program welcomed five newcomers to campus this summer, as the Retrievers prepare for a challenging campaign under second-year head coach Ryan Odom. They will join ten returners, including four starters and a quartet of America East all-conference honorees.
"I'm extremely excited about our newcomers for this season," Odom said. "Each of them brings something a little different that will enhance our team, while they all share in their commitment to being scholar-athletes."
Daniel Akin (Eltham, England/Barking Abbey), a 6'8", 205-lb. power forward, competed for England in the U-18 European B Division Championships in the summer of 2016 and averaged 4.9 points and 3.2 rebounds per game in eight contests in Macedonia. In 2016-17, his prep year at Barking Abbey, Akin led the team to a league and playoff title. He averaged 10.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game during the regular season, then earned MVP honors with a 28-point, 14-rebound effort versus Charnwood in the title contest.
Akin was named the Academy League Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year in 2015-16 while competing for the Kent Crusaders.
Like Akin, Brandon Horvath (West River, Md./Southern) comes to UMBC after completing a post-grad season. The 6'9", 195-lb. swingman attended The Kent School in 2016-17, where he averaged 14 points and seven caroms per game.
Horvath was selected to Maryland Basketball Coaches' Association First Team (2A/1A), Capital Gazette First Team, Washington Post All-Metro team (Honorable Mention) and All-State squad after his senior campaign at Southern High School in 2015-16. The four-year honor roll student earned Second Team Capital Gazette honors as a junior in his first season of varsity basketball when he averaged 15 points and seven rebounds per game, while shooting 82 percent from the stripe and 39 percent from behind the arc.
Max Portmann (Wichita Falls, Texas/Temple College) should also bolster the Retrievers' front line. The 6'7", 220-lb. low post player will have two years of eligibility after an outstanding two-year tenure at Temple College in Texas. He averaged 17.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game last season for a Leopard squad which posted a 24-7 record and averaged 109.0 points per game.
Portmann, whose father Kurt earned four letters in men's basketball at the University of Wisconsin (1986-90), shot 59.2 percent from the field and contributed 43 steals and 34 blocked shots. He earned Northern Texas Junior College First Team All-Conference honors and Academic All-State honors in his senior campaign at Rider High School in 2013-14.
Josh Rosario (Miami, Fla./Miami Catholic) was a key member of a nationally-ranked Miami Christian squad that won two Florida 2A state titles in the span of three seasons. The 6'2", 205 lb. guard helped his Victors' team to a 30-2 season in 2016-17, including the state championship. Rosario competed in the 2017 HoopMIA All-Star game.
Ricky Council (Durham, N.C./Providence College) transferred to UMBC from Providence and will become eligible in the 2018-19 campaign. The 6'5", 195-lb. off-guard competed for the Big East power, which earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament in both 2016 and 2017.
Council attended Northern Durham and Moravian Prep prior to his Big East experience. He led Moravian Prep to a 38-7 record in 2015, averaging 28.3 points per game while shooting over 45 percent from beyond the arc. Council was named Conference Player of the Year, First Team All-State, and District Player of the Year in 2014 as a senior at Northern Durham. He scored over 2,000 points in his high school career and was ranked the eighth-best prospect in North Carolina by Max Preps.
The Retrievers won 21 games (21-13), the second-most in 30 NCAA Division I campaigns, under Coach Odom and his staff a season ago. UMBC reached the semi-finals of the College Insider Tournament, the program's first post-season tournament competition since winning the America East Championship in 2007-08.
Graduate student guard Jairus Lyles (Silver Spring, Md./DeMatha) earned America East Second Team honors for the second consecutive year in 2016-17 and is the league's returning leading scorer at 19.0 points per game. Backcourt mate K.J. Maura (San Juan, Puerto Rico) was tabbed to the All-Defensive Team as he led the conference in steals per contest and was ranked 56th in the nation at 1.9 thefts per contest. He also averaged 8.9 points and 4.2 assists per game, ranked fourth in America East in ball distribution.
Sophomore forward Arkel Lamar (Bridgeport, Conn.), who averaged 4.8 points and 3.7 caroms per game was selected to the league's All-Rookie Team, while junior Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) earned a spot on America East's All-Academic team. Sherburne averaged 10.9 points per game in 33 starts and is already tied for ninth in UMBC history with 129 treys made.
The Retrievers open the 2017-18 season with two road contests in the Battle for Atlantic Mainland Tournament. UMBC will face SMU on Nov. 10 and they take on Arizona on Nov. 12.