Men's Super League: Who's New?
September 22, 2016
Players In: Greg Womack - USA (Union Baloncesto Almendralejo), Will Hopper - GBR (Lemvig BK - Den), Eric Benedick - IRL/USA (UMF Sindri â ISL) Conor McElroy (Phoenix BC), Dominic Lynn (Phoenix BC), Oisin Duncan (Phoenix BC)
Players Out: Shawn Vanzant, Sasha Seymore, Martin McDonald, Jordan McClelland, Kevin Stanley.
Belfast Star are as ambitious as ever this season with Darren OâNeill taking over as Head Coach after a successful summer over the Ireland U20âs. Starâs Americans have been of All-Star quality in recent seasons and Greg Womack arrives in Ulster with both European club experience and a D1 College Career on his CV.
English Point Guard William Hopper comes in from the Danish Leagues with Irish-American Eric Benedick coming in off the back of some impressive stats in Iceland.
Players In: Nathaniel Muster - AUS (Lafayette College), Dillon Muldoon (DT Nets), Diogo Salazar - BRA, Laimonas Jonaitis (UCD Marian).
Players Out: Sean Gordon, Conor Gallagher
Nathaniel Muster is a big addition to the Menâs Super League - the 6â10 Centre replaces the departing Ireland International Conor Gallagher. The Australian is direct from 17 starts for Lafayette Leopards last season and scored in the NCAA Tournament Second Round loss to Villanova in 2015.
Division 3 Collegiate Player of the Year Dillon Muldoon transfers from Donegal Town Nets while Laimonas Jonaitas joins up with former Dublin Inter team-mate Remi Dimiciukas from UCD Marian. 6â9 Brazilian Diogo Salazar had a two-year spell with Georgia Southern Eagles from 2005-2007.
Ciaran MacEvilly will focus on playing duties Mick Thompson officially takes over as Head Coach.
Players In: Daniel Nelms - USA (Griffith Swords Thunder), Stephen OâHanlon (Trinity-Pawling School - USA), Robert Sullivan (St. Vincentâs), Josko Srzic - CRO (Oblate Centurions)
Players Out: Luka Nachbar Cvikl, Sean Moore, Duane Johnson.
As injuries mounted for DCU Saints last season, Duane Johnson parachuted in to almost turn the title race on its head. This year Ex-Davidson forward Dan Nelms is back in North Dublin after an eye-catching season with Griffith Swords Thunder.
That will take some of the pressure off Martins Provizors while Head Coach Joey Boylan has every reason to place more faith in the rookies in his squad after some impressive cameos last season.
Mark Nagle returns to the club having completed his studies in UCD and electric Point Guard Stephen OâHanlon is home from Trinity-Pawling School in New York.
Griffith Swords Thunder:
Players In: Justin Goldsborough â USA (Lehigh Mountain Hawks), Conroy Baltimore â USA (Lehigh Mountain Hawks), Charlie Coombes (Southeastern Oklahoma State University), Ian OâBoyle (Norwood Flames), Eric Westbrooks (Thomas Terriers), Conor Gallagher (Commercial.ie Eanna), Alex Calvo â ESP (CrÃ³nica Megacalzado Ardoi), Jose Maria Gil Narbon (Baloncesto Alcobendas)
Players Out: Kaylim Noel, Sergi Guardia, Iulian Corneanu, Juan Ferrales, Dan Nelms.
Once again Griffith Swords Thunder generated plenty of talk in the off-season. Ireland U20 International Charlie Coombes was one of the first to sign with Eric Westbrooks also returning from the States to join up with his brother Isaac. Senior International Shooting Guard Ian OâBoyle is home after a number of years in the southern hemisphere while Conor Gallagher is back in a Thunder uniform after a season with Commercial.ie Eanna.
The addition of Chema Gil could prove a major coup for Head Coach David Baker. The 25 year old was a serious underage prospect with Real Madrid and won Spainâs first ever European U20 Championship alongside current Chicago Bull Nicola Mirotic.
Irish TV Tralee Warriors:
Players In: Trae Pemberton, Dusan Bogdanovic, Goran Pantovic, Darragh O'Hanlon (UCC Demons), Kieran Donaghy (St. Brendanâs), Michael O'Donnell (St. Brendanâs), Gary Fernane (Tralee Imperials), Paul McMahon (St. Brendanâs), Fergal O'Sullivan (St. Brendanâs), StephenHannafin (St.Brendanâs), Ricardo Leonard (St. Brendanâs), Ryan Leonard (Tralee Imperials), Darren O'Sullivan (St.Brendanâs), Gary Murphy (Tralee Imperials), John Dowling (Tralee Imperials).
Hula Hoops National Intermediate Club Champions St. Brendanâs contribute seven players to the new squad including Kieran Donaghy who was part of the successful Tralee Tigers era under returning Coach Mark Bernsen.
Donaghy will be helped in his efforts by American Point Guard Trae Pemberton in his first year as a professional and 6â10 big man Dusan Bogdanovic who spent some time on the underage books at Real Madrid. Goran Pantovic boasts the same height, but the former Drexel University forward wonât be cleared to play until the first round of the Hula Hoops Menâs National Cup.
Four players step up from Tralee Imperials including talented youngsters Ryan Leonard and Gary Fernane.
Players In: Connor Ross (UCD Marian)
KUBS spent most of last season in contention for the Menâs Division One title and finished their campaign with a League Cup title before graduating to the Menâs Super League.
Their squad is largely the same as last season, but that means that American duo Jonathan Riles and Brian Edwards and both return alongside players of Super League experience like Conor James and Eoin Chubb.
Connor Ross moves across from UCD Marian to ensure strength-in-depth in the guard positions. Kevin Foley continues as Player Coach and is expected to continue to blood the younger talent in the squad.
Players In: Cian Nihill (SSE Airtricity Moycullen), Andrew McGeever (St. Vincentâs)
Players Out: Juan Gabriel Martinez Bruno (ESP),
Pyrobel Killester will have a settled squad for 2016/2017 as Coach of the Year Brian OâMalley looks to build on a strong first season with the club.
At 42 years old, Jermaine Turner continues to dominate but his help in the development of Eoghain Kiernan cannot be underestimated â the U20 International impressed in Europe this summer and showed flashes of genuine class last season.
Cian Nihillâs addition to the squad is the big news of the summer and his versatility and work ethic will help Killester defend their status as meanest defence in the league. Andrew McGeever makes the switch from St. Vincentâs.
SSE Airtricity Moycullen:
Players In: Philip Lawrence-Ricks (Marist College), Oisin Carey (Titans)
Players Out: Cian Nihill, Ronan OâSullivan, Raheem Lemons.
Galwayâs representatives in the Menâs Super League were without an American for much of last season as they battled their way to a 5-13 record. This time around Philip Lawrence-Ricks comes in from Marist College in the NCAAâs Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference as Moycullen look for a stronger start.
Ronan OâSullivan has finished his studies in NUIG and returns to Cork while Cian Nihill heads up the M6 to Pyrobel Killester. Thereâs also a change in Head Coach as Nollaig Cunningham redirects his energies elsewhere in the club structure with the experienced John Cunningham taking over.
Players In: Neil Randolph (Team Northumbria), Alan OâNeill (Kildare Gliders)
Players Out: Paddy Kelly
It may not look like Templeogue have been busy in the transfer market, but having fully fit players is just as valuable to Head Coach Mark Keenan after an injury ravaged second half to last season.
Point Guard Sean Floodâs acceptance of a scholarship in the states is a blow, but is off set by the arrival of Neil Randolph from the UK. The basketball pedigree of his older brother and West Ham goalkeeper Darren Randolph is well documented, but Neil scored 16 points on his pre-season debut for the Hula Hoops National Cup Champions and is definitely on the watch list.
Players In: Jacob Lawson (USA), Ronan OâSullivan - SSE Airtricity Moycullen, Conor Ryan - Fr. Mathews.
Players Out: Lehmon Colbert, Colin OâReilly, Niall OâReilly, Daragh OâHanlon.
The reigning champions lost both a player and a coach with Colin OâReillyâs departure to Cheshire Phoenix in the British Basketball League but Tim OâHalloran steps up from the defunct Division One side as a ready-made Head Coach.
Efforts to promote second-string players within the squad have been hampered by Jack OâMahonyâs season long recovery but OâHalloran has stated his âFull
Confidenceâ in the squad which features three current Senior Irish International in Kyle Hosford, Ciaran OâSullivan and Adrian OâSullivan.
Lehmon Colbert moves on after three seasons in Cork to be replaced by Jacob Lawson from Appalachian State Mountaineers in his first year as a professional.
Players In: Anthony Silvestri - USA (AST Taranto), Michael Garrow - USA (Griffith Swords Thunder), Scott Kinevane (Eanna BC).
Players Out: Alexander Zurn, Mark Nagle, Laimonas Jonaitis, Connor Ross.
UCD Marianâs initial American signing last year failed to make an appearance so the recruitment of the explosive Mike Garrow from Dublin rivals Griffith Swords Thunder looks an astute piece of business for Ioannis Liapakis squad.
Liapakis will also look to Anthony Silvestri, an American who is studying for his Masters after a season of professional basketball in Italy and a college career with the Cal Poly Mustangs (Big West Conference Champions in 2014).
Ex-UL Eagles and Ireland Point Guard Scott Kinevane rejoins the Super League to strengthen the back-court while U18 International Donal Ring comes into the squad after another strong FIBA European Championship performance.
Players In: Robert Lynch (Limerick Celtics), David OâConnell (Limerick Lions), Jack Kelly (Team Kilkenny)
Players Out: Staats Battle
The biggest recruitment news for UL Eagles at the moment is on the sideline with Thomas Walsh named as Head Coach for the coming season. The Irish American captained the side to Cup success in 2002 and returns to Limerick to take over the player development brief from Paul Kelleher.
A player from the professional ranks has yet to be confirmed but Robert Lynch returns to add steel and experience to the squad while Jack Kelly brings National League experience from Team Kilkenny.
UL Eagles continue to link with local clubs and David OâConnell makes the step up from Limerick Lions.