New Hofstra Coach Mihalich Hitting Recruiting Trail
Joe Mihalich’s first order of business after officially getting the Hofstra job on Tuesday was to help rebuild the roster through recruiting.
Hofstra had six players arrested last season, including Jamal Coombs-McDaniel and Taran Buie, who are leaving the program.
Mihalich quickly got to work, landing 6-foot-4 Gill St. Bernard’s small forward Chris Jenkins, a former Florida Atlantic commit who had previously visited Hofstra.
He has also reached out to 6-2, 185-pound combo guard Marquise Moore of Queens, who has opened up his recruitment, according to Oakdale (Conn.) St. Thomas More coach Jere Quinn.
“I’ve been doing this for the last 48 hours with my staff,” Mihalich, who can’t comment on unsigned recruits, told SNY.tv by phone Wednesday.
“We did the depth chart, we analyzed each guy, who’s right, who’s wrong,” the former Niagara coach said. “Who wants to come, who doesn’t, that kind of stuff. I can’t mention names, but I talked to a couple guys this morning.
“It was a really good dialogue, I said, ‘Look, our heads are all spinning. Your head’s spinning, my head’s spinning. You don’t know me. I don’t really know you, but I do know this. You committed to Hofstra University and Mo Cassara. Now, Mo Cassara has changed, but Hofstra University hasn’t. It’s an awesome place, so take a deep breath, don’t forget that Hofstra University is still a good place and let’s talk. You like where it’s going, let’s keep talking. If you say, you know what, that’s just not the guy that I wanted to play for, then I get it, I’ll understand.'”
Three of Hofstra’s commits under Cassara play for Quinn at St. Thomas More — Moore, 6-foot point guard Amadi Udenyi and 6-7 small forward Gabe Levin.
Quinn told SNY.tv that Udenyi would remain committed to Hofstra, but that Moore and Levin were going to open it up.
“Amadi Udenyi is all set right now, but Joe wants to meet them, they want to meet Joe,” Quinn said.
Quinn said Moore is still considering Hofstra, but is also being courted by George Mason, Creighton, Boston University and Fairfield.
“He’s an athletic, young point guard,” Quinn said. “He gets from Point A to Point B as quickly as anybody. His potential is really, really on the upscale. He had a wonderful season.”
As for Levin, Quinn said he likely won’t go to Hofstra and is hearing Duquesne, Fordham, Loyola-Marymount, Illinois-Chicago, BU and others.
Asked what his philosophy was in rebuilding the program, Mihalich told SNY.tv,
“I think the general thing is to do it the right way….We’re not going to take the wrong person, whether it’s not a good enough player, not a good enough person. We’re going to do it the right way.”
As for how long that might take, Mihalich said, “I hope it takes 24 hours. I hope three All-Americans call up right now and say, ‘Hey, I’m coming.’
“I just don’t know but we’re going to try to make it happen fast. But we’re not going to compromise principles.”
And he also doesn’t know what kind of style he can play until he gets his team set.
“We gotta put the team together and then we’ll figure out what we can do,” he said. Can we play fast, can we play slow? We’ll put the team together and try to find a way to win.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.