Maverick Maniac's Musings

June 3, 2008

Basketball signs new recruits to help replace lost senior talent, leadership

Filed under: College Sports,Omaha Mavericks — Jon Green @ 6:00 am

Another article I wrote for the gateway….  With Scott Stewart’s amazing editing making it look good. http://media.www.unogateway.com/media/storage/paper968/news/2008/06/03/Sports/Basketball.Signs.New.Recruits.To.Help.Replace.Lost.Senior.Talent.Leadership-3377708.shtml

UNO lost two great players when seniors Jerry Bennett and Denny Johnston graduated this year.

The Mavericks will need others to step up in their place and will look to the four incoming recruits to help fill some of those holes. Those four incoming players are transfers Dion Curry and Matt Akins and freshman Drew Thompson and Alex Welhouse.

Curry, who has good size at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, joins UNO from Missouri Western, where he spent the fall semester but never played. However, he did spend two years playing at Iowa Western, where he averaged 5.3 points and 4.3 rebounds as a sophomore.

Curry has two years of eligibility remaining, and he said he came to UNO because of its good program.

“The coaches were really cool and they knew what they were talking about, basketball-wise,” he said.

He expects to contribute next year by using his “athletic ability around the rim, rebounding ability and leadership,” he said.

Matt Akins, a 6-foot-9, 230 pound center, joins UNO from Tarleton State, where he spent the fall semester and played one game. Atkins also had some time at Iowa Western and Western Nebraska.

Akins averaged 10.3 points and 5.3 rebounds at Western Nebraska during the 2006-07 season. Akins has one year of eligability remaining, but will appeal to the NCAA for an extra year since he only played one game for Tarleton.

Drew Thompson is a 5-foot-9, 150 pound point guard from Millard West, who UNO hopes can follow in the family tradition of starring at UNO. Thompson’s father, grandfather and uncle all played for the Mavericks. His father, Dean Thompson Jr., is the all-time leading scorer in Maverick history.

Thompson had 121 assists and shot 59 percent for the Wildcats last fall. He chose to come to UNO because “it’s close to home so my family and friends can come watch me play,” he said.

Next year Thompson will redshirt and “hopes to be able to come in, run the scout team and push my other teammates in practice so they will be prepared for the games,” he said.

Alex Welhouse is a 6-foot-6 guard/forward who comes to UNO from Kaukauna High School in Wisconsin. Welhouse scored 1,009 points in his high school career, second on the school’s all time scoring list, and he averaged 21.7 points per game as a senior.

With these four additions and the returning players, UNO looks to be primed to compete for a Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletic Association title next year.

Last season, the Mavericks split a two game series with Northwest Missouri State, who went on to win the MIAA title. They also are hoping to compete for the South Central Regional title and their first trip to the Elite Eight.

They will begin the 2008-09 season with a home game against Doane on Nov. 15 before traveling to Kearney on Nov. 17.

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