Whitworth announced Wednesday the signing of six new players, including two originally from Spokane, who join a Pirates team that has made eight consecutive trips to the NCAA Division III national tournament and won five straight conference crowns.
Coach Matt Logie lost all-conference guards Colton McCargar and Dustin McConnell to graduation, but gets back two starters and key reserve players from a team that went 23-6 last year and eventually lost in the second round of the national tournament.
To fill that void, which included senior Robbie Douglas, Logie signed four transfers and two freshmen.
“We feel we have addressed many of our team’s needs, both in the short term as well as from a long-term perspective,” Logie said in a news release. “This group of student-athletes not only fit the culture of our program, but they bring a terrific combination of shooting ability, skill, length, and toughness.”
The transfers are 6-foot-7 sophomore forward Forrest Baker, who played last year at Lewis-Clark State after starring at Mead; sophomores Austin Damon, a 6-5 forward, and Derek Isaak, a 6-2 guard, who both played last year at Northwest Nazarene; and 6-1 junior guard Matt Staudacher, who played last year at Simon Fraser.
Damon played at Lewis and Clark High School before attending Northwest Nazarene.
The freshmen are Alberto De Miguel, a 6-7 forward from Madrid, and Josh Thayer, a 5-9 guard from Stanwood, Washington.
“Forrest is athletic and can score in a variety of ways,” Logie said. “Austin is a terrific shooter, brings size and maturity, and will be a terrific leader in our program and on our campus.”
As for the freshmen, De Miguel comes to Whitworth from Spain by way of The MacDuffie School in Granby, Massachusetts.
“Alberto is the latest in a long line of international student-athletes to join our program,” Logie said. “His size and length along with a very developed skill set make him a very unique player and we are very excited about his potential in our program.”
Thayer led Stanwood High School to a 24-3 record as a senior last season, averaging 16 points, three rebounds, three assists and four steals per game.
Thayer’s “ability to shoot the basketball and put pressure on the ball defensively will be welcomed additions to our backcourt depth,” Logie said.