BALTIMORE – UMBC Head Men's Basketball Coach Aki Thomas is pleased to announce his five-member freshman class that will begin competition for the Retrievers in the 2015-16 season. The quintet of first-year players will join sophomore transfer Jairus Lyles (Washington, D.C./De Matha) and seven returners to form the roster for the squad as they prepare for their 13th season in the America East Conference.
Thomas and his staff cast a wide net as the five new Retrievers hail from four states, including New York, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. Six of UMBC's returning players hail from Maryland, while Lyles represents Washington, D.C. and sophomore center and Swedish native Jakob Stenhede is the lone international player on the squad.
"I am very excited to announce our newest Retrievers," Thomas said. "All of these young men are hard workers in the classroom and on the basketball court. My staff and I are looking forward to working with them this summer and beyond."
UMBC Class of 2019
An All-New England Class AAA Honorable Mention selection in 2014-15 after earning First Team honors the previous year… A 2015 McDonald's All-American nominee… Averaged 15.9 points, 5.1 assists, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.9 steals per game and buried 46 treys in the 34 games of the 2013-14 season… Slowed at the beginning of the 2014-15 season due to a summer injury… In his three-year career at NMH, he amassed 1,051 points, 360 assists, 300 rebounds and nearly a 2:1 assist to turnover ratio… As a sophomore in 2012-13, he was part of a national prep championship squad… Also lettered in track and field and placed fifth in New England's high jump competition… Considering a major in computer science.
Nolan Gerrity (6-10, 225 lbs., F/C, Cleveland, Ohio/Berea-Midpark)
A nominee for Cleveland Player of the Year in 2014-15… Earned All-Ohio Honorable Mention honors as a senior, when he was the Southwest Conference Most Valuable Player… Selected to All-Conference team in all four years with the Titans… Averaged 14.1 points, 13.0 rebounds and 3.9 blocks per game in his senior campaign… His squad won league titles in 2014 and 2015… Recorded a triple-double last season against John F. Kennedy HS, putting up 20 points, 20 rebounds, and adding 15 rejections… An honor roll student each quarter during his prep tenure.
Sam Schwietz (6-9, 235 lbs., F/C, Frisco, Texas/Johnson Ferry Christian Acad. (Ga.))
Selected as the team captain and eventually earned squad's Most Valuable Player award in JFCA's inaugural season (2014-15)… Squad recovered from a 2-7 start to finish the year at 23-8 against a national schedule… The team mounted a 21-game winning streak… His year was highlighted by a triple-double (21 pts., 18 rebs., 11 blocks) vs. New Faith Christian in December and a tournament Most Valuable Player honor at the Furtah Prep Holiday Tournament… Graduated JFCA with academic honors… Set school record for the shot put as a sophomore at Wakefield-Frisco… One of four siblings… Older sister Riley is a member of the track & field squad at Troy (Ala.) University… Younger brother Jack competed with him on the basketball squad at JFCA in 2014-15… Considering a major in business or psychology.
Competed for Brewster Academy in 2014-15… One of the Bobcats' top three scorers a month into the season and continued to establish himself as one of the best available three-point shooters in the second semester… Scored 16 points off the bench to help the Bobcats to their second consecutive National Prep Championship…A Whitefish Bay NOW All-Suburban selection in 2013-14… Went over the 1,000 point barrier (1,001) for his career in the season-ending loss to Piux XI in the WIAA regional final… Led Bay to an 18-6 overall record, leading the team in scoring and rebounding and earning the second spot in assists… Also earned Honorable Mention WBCA D2 All-State and co-North Shore Conference Player of the Year… Finished his high school career with an impressive 120 3-pointers…During his three full years on varsity, Joe's teams were a combined 51-20… Also a member of the National Honor Society.
Joel Wincowski (6-2, 175 lbs., G, Lake George/Lake George, N.Y.)
Named the 2013 New York State Player of the Year and a 2014 Max Preps All-American… Amassed 2,615 career points, breaking Jimmer Fredette's Section II record (2007) and ranking fifth all-time in New York state history… Selected four times to the Adirondack League All-Stars Team, and was twice Player of the Year… Made three consecutive Section II All-Tournament Team appearances and was twice named Most Valuable Player… The 2013 Times Union Small School Player of the Year… Led Lake George to a pair of state titles in three seasons… Shared the title with older brother Ethan, a member of the 2012-13 squad… Hit a long three-pointer with 1.6 seconds to play to propel the Warriors (26-1) to a 53-50 victory for another Class C title on March 21, 2015… Scored 30 points in the title game… Appeared in Sports Illustrated's "Faces in The Crowd" following that contest… A member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society.