Iona lands JUCO forwards Jahnathan Maxwell, Niksa Nikolic (UPDATED) | Zagsblog
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Monday / November 18.
  • Iona lands JUCO forwards Jahnathan Maxwell, Niksa Nikolic (UPDATED)

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    No Jared Grasso, no problem.

    Iona this landed their first verbal two commitments since Grasso took the head coaching job at Bryant College.

    Jahnathan Maxwell, a 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward from Odessa (TX) College, committed to the Gaels on Tuesday. He will have two years of eligibility.

    On Wednesday, Niksa Nikolic, a 6-8, 235-pound forward from Southeastern (IA) Community College, also committed.

    Maxwell also considered Hofstra and Hampton.

    “I picked Iona because the program is on the rise,” he told ZAGSBLOG. “They’ve played post season basketball for the last few years and have won the [MAAC] Conference the last two years. I feel wanted here by the coaches from top to bottom.”

    In 19 games last season, Maxwell averaged 8.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in 18.1 minutes per game. He shot 56.9 percent, including 46.9 percent from 3-point range.

    “I believe I will bring a consistent scoring option and playmaking power forward to the team and also shooting and shot-creating from the power forward position,” he said.

    As for Nikolic, he averaged 6.8 points and 4.6 rebounds last season on 56 percent shooting. Utah State and Old Dominion also offered.

    Iona, which lost to Duke in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, returns E.J. Crawford and Roland Griffin in the front court, and Rickey McGill, E.J. Crawford and Schadrac Casimir in the backcourt.

    Maxwell and Nikolic join Eastern Kentucky transfer Asante Gist, who will be eligible in December but could get a waiver to play at the start of the 2018-19 season, and Robert Morris transfer Isaiah Still.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. 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.