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Latina Finalizes 2016 Men’s Basketball Recruiting Class

Coach says new players fill areas of need

Coach Anthony Latina

Sacred Heart Men’s Basketball Head Coach Anthony Latina finalized the Pioneers’ 2016 recruiting class Thursday, announcing the additions of Zach Radz of Ogdensburg, N.Y., and Kinnon LaRose, originally of Watervliet, N.Y.

“We’re excited about adding Zach and Kinnon to our program,” said Latina. “Zach is a shooter and scorer with a good feel for the game and can provide instant offense. Kinnon has good size and is an excellent shooter.”

LaRose transfers to SHU after playing at Siena College this past season. A 6’4” guard, he played in 29 games for the Saints off the bench as a freshman. He scored 1,769 points in high school at Odgensburg Free Academy and was named MVP of Section X twice. As a senior, LaRose was a finalist for Gatorade Player of the Year and New York’s Mr. Basketball. He will redshirt the 2016-17 season and will have three years of eligibility remaining.

Radz, a 6’2” guard, attended St. Thomas More Prep School in Oakdale for a post-graduate year in 2015-16, averaging nine points per game as the Chancellors went 31-7. He was an Honorable Mention All-NEPSAC selection. Radz attended Troy High School in New York, where he averaged 19 points, six assists, and five rebounds per game. As a senior, Radz was named to First Team All-Albany, All-City, Third Team All-State and News Channel 13 All-Star Team.

LaRose and Radz join Joe Lopez, Charles Tucker, Jr., and Shawn Montague as part of the 2016 SHU men’s basketball recruiting class.

“We’re really excited about this year’s recruiting class,” Latina said. “Not only are they talented basketball players that fill areas of need for our program, but also from a character standpoint, we have five very good kids that come from great families. They’ll have a positive impact on our team both on and off the court and will be an excellent fit with our campus community.”

A native of Miami, Fla., Lopez began his collegiate career at Winthrop University and, as a freshman, appeared in 28 games for a team that went 19-13 and appeared in the Big South Championship game. He then moved on to Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. where he became an FCSAA/NJCAA Region 8 All-State and First Team All-Southern Conference performer. In addition to scoring 14 points per game, he ranked fourth in the country with 12.6 rebounds a game and shot 60.4 percent from the floor.

Latina said Lopez “is a versatile forward who we believe will help our program in many ways. He’s a ferocious competitor who plays with tremendous energy on every possession.  He is a humble young man that wanted to be a part of something special, and we believe he will help our program reach new heights.”

Tucker, from Lansing, Mich., finished second in NJCAA Division I basketball in assists per game last season at Panola College in Carthage, Texas, averaging 8.5 helpers to go along with 13.5 points and 3.3 rebounds. He was selected First Team All-Region 14 at the conclusion of the regular season before earning a spot on the Region 14 All-Tournament Team in postseason play. Tucker attended Tennessee State as a freshman, where he appeared in all 31 games, making 18 starts. He led the team in assists and free-throw percentage and was named Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Week once.

“Charles is an experienced pass-first point guard,” Latina said. “He’s a high-character individual that will have an immediate impact on our program. Charles is a true point guard with excellent court vision and a tremendous feel for the game. His maturity is unique for a player of his age.”

Montague was a First Team All-Tri State and Third Team All-New England selection at Canterbury School, New Milford, as a senior after averaging 17 points and five rebounds a game while shooting 52 percent from the field. The prestigious New England Recruiting Report ranked the Yorktown Heights, N.Y. native as the 38th-best prospect in New England. In addition to his accomplishments in high school, Montague was a member of Sports U, one of the top AAU programs in the country.

“Shawn is an extremely athletic wing player that has the ability to affect a game in multiple ways,” Latina said. “He has tremendous upside, and we look forward to seeing him develop on a daily basis.”

The Sacred Heart basketball team ended its 2015-16 season at 12-18, including going 11-7 in Northeast Conference play to tie for second place, matching its best ever league finish in program history. The season culminated with back-to-back conference tournament appearances for the first time since 2006-07, and the Pioneers hosted their first Northeast Conference Quarterfinal since 2009.