With a month to go before the start of the college basketball season, we continue to look at the America East Conference for the 2023-24 season. This time we look at NJIT whose new head coach, Grant Billmeier had brought in his first recruiting class since becoming the head coach. Eleven new faces have joined the program. Two are graduate transfers and nine are freshmen. They will join five members of last year’s team that went 7-23 and 4-12 in the league. The class breakdown goes like this, six are backcourt players, and five are front-line players.
The two graduate transfers are from the same school, Manhattan College. Elijah Buchanan and Daniel Schreier arrived at NJIT. Buchanan played five seasons with the Jaspers, 117 games overall. Last season was cut short after five games due to injury. He made 85 career starts, averaging seven points and 3.6 rebounds. Schreier is a 6-9 forward who played five years in Manhattan. Injuries have been a problem for Daniel. Last season, he played 14 games. Both players are well known to new assistant coach RaShawn Stores who was with the Jaspers for the last five years.
The nine freshmen are Sebastian Robinson a 6-1 guard who played at Roselle Catholic in Montclair, NJ. Jalen Robinson, a 5-9 guard from Columbia and South Orange, NJ. Issac Hester, a 5-11 guard from Ranney School, Ocean Township, NJ. Tariq Francis, a six-foot guard from First Love Christian Academy in Pittsburgh, PA. JJ Chaikovsky, a 6-7 forward from El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, CA. Cameron Piggee, a six-foot guard from Rutgers Prep North Brunswick, NJ. Jake Goldberg, is a 6-4 guard from IMG Academy (Florida) Pasadena, CA.
Jeffrey Akintolu is a 6-7 forward from Avon Old Farms, Wellington England. He has already spent time playing basketball this summer. Back in July, Akintolu represented his country by playing in the FIBA European Youth Championship in Skopje, North Macedonia. The Great Britain team played against teams from Austria, Hungary, Luxembourg, and Portugal. Last season at Avon Old Farms, Akintolu averaged 13 points and 8.2 rebounds.
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