First-year IPFW men's basketball coach Tony Jasick put a halt to his initial recruiting class a few days ago when the Mastodons claimed 6-foot-4 guard Joe Edwards from prestigious St. Joseph High School in Chicago, alma mater of one Isiah Thomas.
Edwards averaged 18 points in high school last season, but lit it up in summer AAU ball, where he averaged 26 points, which included a 41-point game.
Counting local standout Justin Jordan, who in mid season last year came to IPFW from Saint Louis, Edwards' arrival makes seven new faces. Five are guards, two are forwards and, so far, 6-10 returning senior Trey McCorkle seems to be the only true center on the team.
A pair of JUCO players will bring some length to the Mastodons. Demario Hines is 6-8 and averaged 11.3 points and 9.5 rebounds last year, and 6-6 Mike Brigham averaged 14 points and nine boards.
Aside from 6-4 guard Herbert Graham, a freshman from Florida, the other guards are 5-9 (Jordan), 5-10 (Jonny Marlin, from Center Grove) and 6-1 (Isaiah McCray, from Baltimore).
What Jasick appears to have is a little bigger team from last season (believe it or not), and some guys who can play multiple positions, which is always a plus.
The guy to watch this coming year is, of course, Frank Gaines, the 6-4, lefthanded junior swingman who led IPFW in scoring with nearly 15 points per game.
I'd be surprised if Gaines won't be one of the best players in the league this season.