@DuqMBB Announces Five Early Signees
Nov. 13, 2017
Gavin Bizeau | Amari Kelly | Austin Rotroff | Dylan Swingle | Brandon Wade
PITTSBURGH -- Duquesne University head men's basketball coach Keith Dambrot has announced the signing of a five-man recruiting class to National Letters of Intent.
The group, consisting of 6-11 small forward Gavin Bizeau (Plainfield, Ind./Plainfield), 6-9 power forward Amari Kelly (Roosevelt, N.Y./Norcross, Ga. Meadowcreek), 6-10 power forward Austin Rotroff (Wauseon, Ohio/Wauseon), 6-11 center Dylan Swingle (Chillicothe, Ohio/Paint Valley) and 6-2 point guard Brandon Wade (Ann Arbor, Mich./Skyline) comprise the tallest single recruiting class in school history.
"In order to win big, you have to think big, and in order to think big, you have to be big," said Dambrot. "We felt the most efficient way for us to jump up in the standings was to, one, believe in ourselves, so we were thinking big, but we also had to improve our size and our ability to score the ball around the rim and defend around the rim. This group will give us a chance to do those things."
Bizeau, ranked among the Top 10 players in Indiana by multiple recruiting services, averaged 15.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in helping Plainfield to its first double-digit win season since 2008-09.
"Gavin is a skilled three/four who can really shoot and pass the ball," said Dambrot. "As he continues to mature physically, it's easy to see that his best days are ahead of him. His father [John] played with our assistant coach Terry Weigand at Ashland in the late 1980s and was as tough as they come. We know Gavin has those `tough' genes in him."
The 225-pound Kelly is ranked as one of the Georgia High School Association's `top six big men to watch' by OTRHoopsReport. He averaged 10.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in 19 games in a junior year limited by injury.
"Amari was one of the most defensive-ready players we saw," said Dambrot of the New York native who is playing for Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, Ga. "He is very tough physically and has the ability to block shots. He is also very well coached in the low post and has the ability to step out and shoot it as well."
Rotroff, who also weighs 225 pounds, is rated as a 3-star recruit and ninth-best player (No. 2 center) in Ohio by ESPN.com. The second team Associated Press Division II All-Ohio honoree averaged 13.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game for 27-2 District II runner-up Wauseon.
"Austin has tremendous touch and feel for the game," said Dambrot. "He has great passing ability and great length which he puts to good use as a shot blocker. We feel he can be a diversified guy who can develop into a special offensive player."
Swingle, at 6-11, 300, is the largest member of the Duquesne's tallest class. A 3-star recruit, he was named the tenth-best player (No. 3 center) in Ohio by ESPN.com. Swingle averaged 21.3 points and 13.0 rebounds on his way to being named first team Associated Press Division III All-Ohio. He had games with 41, 40 and 39 points as a junior.
"Dylan is just a huge human being," said Dambrot. "As he gets in better condition, he'll be a load for anyone to handle. You'll have to be at least 260 to be able to keep him from getting where he needs to get. He has tremendous touch and it shows in his ability to shoot the ball. As he gets adjusted to higher-level basketball, I think he'll take a big jump."
Wade, a three-year starter who averaged 21.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 3.0 steals per game last season, is the lone guard in the group. The Ann Arbor News boys Player of the Year scored in double figures in all but one game as a junior, including four games with 30 or more points.
"When we were putting this class together, we felt like we needed the head to run the body," said Dambrot. "Brandon has a great understanding of the game with a proven ability to run a team. He has tremendous winning qualities. Since his commitment, he has improved in a lot of areas. He has become more explosive athletically and the range on his jump shot continues to improve. He's a guy who has a complete understanding of the game, which is huge at this level."
This is Duquesne's first recruiting class with more than two players 6-9 or taller.