Men’s basketball fills gaps in offseason

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Men’s basketball fills gaps in offseason

Austin Lane, Staff Reporter

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CWU Men’s Basketball has added seven players to the team roster so far this offseason. Recruiting is a year-long process but at this time of the year, players signing is at a peak. Here’s a look at the newest players you’ll see on the court next winter.

Micah Pollard, Guard, Foss High School

Micah Pollard is a six-foot guard out of Foss High School in Tacoma, Washington. Pollard was on the 2018 News Tribune’s First Team All-Area for his efforts in his senior year. With over 2,000 career points in high school and a 2A state championship in 2016, Pollard comes in as the only true freshman in this offseason’s recruiting class so far. Head coach Brandon Rinta is excited for Pollard’s career at CWU.

“He’s gonna have a tremendous career here and he has the ability to step in and make an immediate impact,” Rinta said. “High level defender, high level competitor, high level athlete as well.”

 

Rayvaughn Bolton, Guard,

Eastern Arizona College

Rayvaughn Bolton stands 6-foot-3 and is coming back to Washington after spending two years playing for Eastern Arizona College. Prior to that, he graduated from Kentwood High School in Kent, Washington. He led Kentwood to a 4A state championship in 2016. At Eastern Arizona College, Bolton played in 61 games and shot 41.7 percent from the field in both his freshman and sophomore years.

According to Rinta, Bolton “makes us better defensively immediately.”

Davon Bolton, Guard,

Northern Arizona University

Both Rayvaughn Bolton and Davon Bolton went to high school in Washington. They both are coming back from colleges in Arizona and both played for Eastern Arizona College in 2017. Despite the similarities, the two are not related. Davon Bolton stands 6-foot-1 out of Northern Arizona University. He attended Cleveland High School in Seattle, Washington and graduated in 2016, attended Eastern Arizona College in 2017 then Northern Arizona University in 2018. In his two years playing for the Arizona junior colleges, Davon Bolton shot 42 percent from the field.

Coach Rinta said that Davon Bolton is a “is a high-level passer and has an ability to score the basketball.”

Kevin Baker, Forward,

Green River College

One of the qualities coach Rinta was looking for this offseason was size. Kevin Baker fits the bill, standing 6-foot-8. Baker averaged a double-double last season for the Green River Gators with 22 points per game and 10 rebounds per game, and finished top 10 in the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) in points per game, rebounds per game and blocks per game. Baker thought he was going to play Division I basketball this season, but after feeling like CWU “wanted him the most” he decided to become a Wildcat.

“I told Central that I wasn’t interested actually,” Baker said. “Something just clicked in my head that I should go somewhere where I’m wanted and they wanted me the most. They were still trying to get me three months after I told them no, so I just felt really wanted.”

 

Tariq Woody, Forward,

Wheeling Jesuit University

Another player adding length to the team next season is Tariq Woody. Woody is also 6-foot-8 and comes to CWU as a sophomore. Woody shot 64.2 percent from the field last year and had a season-high 18 rebound game against West Virginia Wesleyan College. The most rebounds in one game for CWU last year was 15 by Gamaun Boykin against Cal State Monterey Bay.

“I was a leader on and off the court at my last school and I want to bring that same energy to CWU,” Woody said.

 

Marqus Gilson, Forward,

Centralia College

Another player coming from the NWAC, Marqus Gilson, stands 6-foot-5 and was a former NWAC Freshman of the Year. In 2018, his sophomore year, Gilson was First Team Western All-Region, made the NWAC All-Star Game and assisted Centralia College to reaching the NWAC Elite 8.

Coach Rinta listed Gilson as another player who will help the team out with size on the court this upcoming season.

 

Amari Stafford, Guard,

Eastern Arizona College

Joining Rayvaughn Bolton on the trip north from Eastern Arizona will be Amari Stafford. Stafford is a 6-foot-6 guard that shot over 40 percent on three-point field goals last season. Stafford got hot late in the season. He shot for double digits in 10 out of the first 25 games. He then closed out the season shooting double digits in all of the final six games, including a season high 25 point game.

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