MOSCOW, Idaho – A few days before the start of the 2010-11 season, Idaho men’s basketball coach Don Verlin is certain he has four roster spots to fill for next year. Three will be created by departing seniors, and another opened up when freshman guard Gary Winston left the team a few weeks ago.
Yet Verlin also has come expect at least some turnover – such as Winston’s exodus – on the Vandals’ roster from year to year. That’s why he and his staff aren’t done recruiting after bringing in three players Wednesday to open the early letter-of-intent signing period.
“Every year it surprises me how many guys move or don’t make it through the year (and) you have more (scholarships) than you expect,” Verlin said.
Idaho signed Xavier Bazile, a 6-foot-4 senior from Mt. Tahoma High in Tacoma, and two junior college players – Wendell Faines of Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Calif., and guard Anthony Jones of Memphis, Tenn.
If the Vandals add a fourth player to the class, Verlin said the signing will be in the spring period.
“We’re going into the season expecting to at least have one more (scholarship),” the third-year coach said.
Bazile, who averaged 19.6 points and eight rebounds last year for Mt. Tahoma, is the latest in a recent run of Northwest prep and JC players to join the Vandals. The Vandals’ two true freshmen on this year’s squad, Matt Borton and Stephen Madison, are from Yakima and Portland, respectively.
Faines is a 6-8 forward who drew looks from several Missouri Valley schools. He led Saddleback in blocked shots last year with 1.8 per game while scoring 7.2 points.
“He brings not only size and athleticism to our program, but also a hunger and a work ethic that any program can use,” Verlin said. “He’ll be a great addition to our already strong front line.”
Smith is enrolled at Paris JC in Texas after spending last year at Holmes College in Mississippi, where he averaged 15 points, five assists and five rebounds.