After the departure of six seniors from his 2011-12 squad, Augustana men's basketball coach Grey Giovanine and his staff have brought in a seven-player recruiting class in preparation for the 2012-13 season. It's a group that, along with 11 returning players from this year's 19-7 team, has Giovanine excited about the future.
Always eager to add local talent, Giovanine did this year with United Township product Tayvian Johnson.
"We always want to recruit the best student-athletes from the Quad-Cities, and Tayvian certainly fits that description," Giovanine said. "We expect him to have a terrific career with us."
Johnson, 6-foot-5, averaged 17.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game as a senior.
The Vikings also landed Jake Gylten, a 6-6, 220-pound forward from Iowa Class 4A state champ Iowa City West. The Trojans went 26-0 and defeated Marion Linn-Mar and North Carolina-bound Marcus Paige by 20 points in the state semifinals. Gylten averaged 8.2 points and 4.2 rebounds.
Brandon Motzel, a 6-6 forward from Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein, averaged 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocks per game as senior to earn Player of the Year honors for the Corsairs.
Hunter Hill, a 5-9, point guard, comes to Augustana from another high school program familiar to Viking fans. He was a three-year starter and two-time unanimous All-Big Northern Conference selection at Bryon, the alma mater of two-time Viking MVP Bryant Voiles. Hill is Byron's all-time assist leader with 395, and averaged 10.5 points, 4.9 assists and 2.9 steals per game.
For the second year in a row, Augustana landed a standout from Washington Community High School in Washington, Ill. Ben Ryan, a 6-5 swing man, will be a Viking. Ryan was the Pekin Times Class 3A/4A Area Player of the Year this year. He averaged 17.3 points and 7.5 rebounds this season for the 26-6 Panthers. He had a pair of huge games in the Class 3A sectional, scoring 30 points in a four-overtime semifinal win over Peoria Manual and 17 points to go along with 12 rebounds in an overtime loss to Peoria High in finals.
Griffin Pils, a 6-4 guard, also will be joining the Vikings next season. As a senior at Libertyville, he averaged 17 points, 6.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and two steals per game.
Jake Norcia, a 6-0 guard, was an All-Central Suburban League North selection as a senior at Highland Park, leading the 17-11 Giants in scoring at 14.5 points per game and in 3-point field goals with 58.
Today is Tuesday, June 18, the 169th day of 2013. There are 196 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: Fanatics have grown wonderfully civil since the president snubbedthem by revoking Burnside's infamous attack upon the freedom of the press. 1888 -- 125 years ago: The Interstate baseball league has collapsed, leaving Davenport'sleading team without a league connection. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Passengers were stunned yesterday when lightning struck a LongView street car at 9th Ave. and 25th St. 1938 -- 75 years ago: X-ray examinations today traced the trouble with Dizzy Dean's$250,000 pitching arm to a pulled muscle back of his right shoulder blade. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Radio station WQAD in Moline is being considered by the NationalCivil Defense Office for selection as a "secured communication center" Mrs. Gault,executive deputy director of the Moline Civil Defense unit reported today. 1988 -- 25 years ago: "Marketplace 29 A.D." an unusual vacation Bible school programthat will allow children to live three days as people did during the Bible Times June 21-23. The three day program, is a joint project of Aldersgate and Bethel-Wesley UnitedMethodist churches.