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Whitworth basketball lands six recruits

In recruiting, success usually builds on itself.

That’s the hope at Whitworth, where men’s basketball coach Matt Logie recruited a diverse group of six players that was introduced on Monday.

“It’s been a great recruiting year,” said Logie. “Whitworth is so well-received academically by student-athletes, and the success on the court has created a lot of interest.”

This group of six joins a Pirates squad that finished 26-4 overall and 15-1 in the Northwest Conference last season, Logie’s first as head coach.

“We felt it was important that we build depth in our program with this recruiting class, and in doing so, I believe we have found a group of skilled, tough players who will be great future leaders in our program,” Logie said.

Whitworth returns three starters from that team, and Logie expects to have 18 players on the roster this year, a season that begins with an exhibition game on Nov. 6 at Idaho State of the Big Sky Conference.

The Pirates open their home season on Nov. 17 against 2011 Division III national champion St. Thomas of Minnesota, then host perennial Division III power Mary Hardin Baylor on Nov. 23.

“I hope the exhibition game will let us adjust quickly to a high level of play,” said Logie, whose team reached the Sweet 16 of the national tournament last season.

This year’s recruits include:

• Hank Aldous, a 6-foot-6, 180-pound freshman from Shelton High School in Dallas, Texas.  He averaged 25.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 3.2 steals per game as a senior in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools. “Hank is an athletic wing player who possesses a tremendous scoring ability, as evidenced by his multiple games of 50-plus points in his career,” Logie said. “Hank is a versatile scorer … (who is) also very dynamic.”

• Brandon Loiler, a 6-6, 210-pound freshman from Lakeridge High School in Lake Oswego, Ore., who put up 14.7 points and 9.8 rebounds last season, earning first team All-Three Rivers League honors.  He is also the son of former Pirates standout Doug Loiler, the NCIC Player of the Year in 1992. “Brandon is an athletic forward/post who is an excellent rebounder and defender with a growing offensive skill set,” Logie said.

• Grant McNeil, a 6-2, 175-pound freshman from Wilsonville (Ore.) High School, who was a three-year starter and earned first team All-Northwest Oregon Conference honors as a senior.  He helped the Wildcats win 75 games the last three years. “Grant is a versatile, hard-nosed guard with a 6-foot-7 wing-span,” Logie said.

• George Valle, a 6-2, 175-pound freshman from Bellevue’s Sammamish High School, was a two-time All-Kingco honoree and averaged 14.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game as a senior. “George is an extremely versatile player, able to play and defend multiple positions on the floor,” Logie said. “He has an opportunity to make an impact right away. He plays any position, and he’ll be one of our best defenders.”

• Taylan Yildiz, a 6-4, 170-pounder, comes to Whitworth from Istanbul, Turkey, where he attended German High School.  He averaged 25.4 points, 11.4 rebounds, 7.2 assists, and 3.8 steals per game a year ago. “He has great size and he’s very dynamic with the ball,” Logie said. “It’s a big transition, so he’ll have some adjustments to make.”

• Dan Hutchinson, a 7-0, 235-pound post who was second-team All-Great Northern League for Deer Park as a senior in 2009, where he averaged 12 points, 9 rebounds and 7 blocks. He’s a sophomore transfer from Mount Hood Community College in Oregon. “Dan is an excellent shot-blocker and defender who continues to improve his all-around game,” Logie said.

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