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June 6, 2013

Recruits add more talent to CSU basketball

Looking to return to tournament play, recruits should fit right in


By Ronnie Holman

After finishing the season at 5-11 in conference play and 14-18 overall, Cleveland State’s men’s basketball team is adding some talent to improve and get back to tournament play in 2014. The women’s basketball team finished the season at 13-17 and brought in some talent to add to an already young Vikings hoop squad.

The men lead the way with two strong recruits – one from abroad and the other local.
The men’s basketball program signed an international talent in Ismaila Dauda from Kano, Nigeria. He is a 6-foot-10, 250-pound center. Ismaila has shown his ability to be successful at his position by averaging a double-double at junior college Polk State this past season. He scored 10 points per game and pulled 10.2 rebounds off the glass all while shooting 44.8 percent from the field

Ismaila Douda“Ismaila is long overdue for us,” Waters said. “He is the true center that we have been looking for. Ismaila has the ability to score on the low block, rebound the basketball and has shown tremendous defensive prowess. We are excited about his signing and believe that he is one of the missing pieces for us to have continued success in the future.”

The team didn’t have to go too far to sign Demonte Flannigan, a 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward from local Cleveland Catholic High School, VASJ. Flannigan has averaged a double-double since his freshman year at VASJ. He had an average of 15.7 points per game and 10.9 rebounds per game prior to this past season. Flannigan had offers from Duquesne University, DePaul University and Akron University, yet chose to play for his hometown school.

Demonte Flannigan“With the loss of Tim (Kamczyc) at the four at the end of the season, Demonte has the ability to come in and help offset that loss,” Waters said. “Demonte is a very skilled forward and we are excited about everything that he will bring to the program. He is extremely athletic, can score from the inside as well as the outside and is an outstanding rebounder.”

These two standouts have a lot to offer the men’s basketball team. The coaches understand that and decided to have them be apart of the Cleveland State family.

“Our entire coaching staff did an outstanding job in recruiting these two young men,” Waters said. “The quality that they will bring on the floor and in the classroom represent what Cleveland State basketball is all about.”

“With this recruiting class, we have met our team and individual needs. Both of these signees are tailor-made for the Cleveland State system and we believe they can help us during their first year in the program.”

The women’s basketball program signed five recruits from a few different areas around the country. Olivia Voskuhl is from Kentucky; Chrishna Butler from Columbus, Ohio; Khayla Livingston from Florida; Brooke Thompson-Smith Twinsburg, Ohio and Alliyah Anderson from Florida.

“I am thrilled about our 2013 recruiting class,” head coach Kate Peterson Abiad said. “We have found a great mixture of highly talented individuals. These young women are dedicated to becoming the best that they can be, both on and off the basketball court. I look forward to coaching and working with all five of them.”

Voskuhl, a 5-foot-10 forward, was the first recruit to sign. According to Peterson Abiad, she will be a very important piece of the team.

“Olivia was our first commitment, and we are very excited to add her to our program. She represents a lot of things that we don’t have – she is a big, physical guard with a sweet shooting touch,” Peterson Abiad said. “She will add size and skill to our perimeter position.”

Livingston, a 5-foot-6 guard, was ranked No. 1 player by Florida’s high school athletic association for the majority of the season.

“Khayla is a dynamic point guard with tremendous scoring ability. She is crafty and smart and will be able to play both the point guard and off guard position,” Peterson Abiad said. “We are fortunate to add a player of her caliber to our program.”

Thompson-Smith, a 5-foot-8 guard, is a local area recruit from Twinsburg. She was a defensive stand-out at Twinsburg, something the team is looking for her to bring to the Vikings.

“Brooke is a perimeter player who is quick and aggressive, and her athleticism will help us both at the offensive and defensive end of the court,” Peterson Abiad said. “She is a confident young player and she comes from a winning program.”

Anderson, a 6-foot-1 post player from Florida, is expected to add a much-needed presence in the paint for the Vikings this season.

“The addition of Alliyah fills a significant void for us in the paint,” Peterson Abiad said. “Her size and physical play should transition nicely to the collegiate game. She is both skilled and athletic and has excellent foot speed for her position. Alliyah may be the key to this recruiting class because she will bring us a dimension that we have not had in recent years.”

Butler is a 5-foot-8 guard from Columbus. She brings experience from being a four year letterman at her school.

“Chrishna rounds out our recruiting class; she is a versatile guard with good quickness and athleticism,” Peterson Abiad said. “Chrishna is a great kid, as we were searching for the final player for our 2013 recruiting class we felt that she was exactly the player and person that we wanted.”

With the addition of the new talent added to the 2013-2014 Cleveland State basketball teams, these players will come together at training camp to develop chemistry and a bond with their coaches and other teammates. This is the beginning of a new season and we can only wait to see what is ahead for the squads.