HAMDEN, Conn. – The 2015-16 Quinnipiac men's basketball roster is now complete for ninth-year head coach Tom Moore. Transfers Daniel Harris (Odessa, Florida), Donovan Smith (Chicago Ridge, Illinois) and Will Simonton (Vienna, Virginia) have signed National Letters of Intent to play basketball for the Bobcats in the upcoming season.
"I am very excited to announce that Daniel Harris, Donovan Smith, and Will Simonton will be joining our 2014-15 recruiting class," Moore said. "We were looking to add talent, character, and experience this spring and I feel we've done that with these three additions to our program. Daniel's terrific shooting stroke will help us to improve a weakness of ours from a year ago while Donovan and Will should allow us to continue to be one of the stronger frontlines in the MAAC in terms of rebounding and shot blocking."
Harris, Smith and Simonton join Andrew Robinson (Silver Spring, Md.), Aaron Robinson (Silver Spring, Md.) and Abdulai Bundu (Upper Marlboro, Md.) who signed last December. The six newcomers will team up with the returning class of James Ford, Jr. (Hopewell, Va.), Giovanni McLean (Bronx, N.Y.), Alain Chigha (Yaounde, Cameroon), Chaise Daniels (Meriden, Conn.), Samuel Dingba (Yaounde, Cameroon), Dimitri Floras (Nashua, N.H.), Ayron Hutton (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Greg Tarca (Skillman, N.J.).
Position: Shooting Guard
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 185
Hometown: Odessa, Florida
High School: Walter L. Sickles High School
College: Hillsborough Community College
Daniel Harris comes to Quinnipiac with two years of college basketball eligibility. The 6-3 shooting guard out of Odessa, Florida attended Hillsborough Community College where he played two seasons with the Hawks. Last season, Harris led the team to 17-16 record which included a SunCoast Conference Tournament Championship. HCC defeated the State College of Florida comfortably in the semifinals before knocking off Polk State College in the finals – advancing to the NJCAA Region 8/FSCAA State Tournament. At seasons end, Harris was tabbed SunCoast First Team All-Conference.
Harris brings tremendous work ethic and possesses the ability to shoot from long range. He averaged 14.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists last season, while shooting 37.9 percent from the floor and 37.7 percent from three-point. Harris eclipsed 20 points in seven games, which included a season-high of 29 against Tallahassee Community College. He went 5-of-11 from long range and 11-of-20 from the floor.
What Coach Moore Says About Daniel Harris…
"Daniel is a strong guard with very good three-point shooting range. He is a cerebral, versatile player that I feel will be able to help us in many ways."
Position: Power Forward
Height: 6-9 | Weight: 230
Hometown: Chicago Ridge, Illinois
High School: Richards High School
College: Triton College
Hailing from Chicago Ridge, Illinois, Donovan Smith comes to Quinnipiac after two successful seasons at Triton College. During his stint, Smith led the Trojans to an overall record of 53-13 which featured a 29-4 mark last season – the most wins since the 2010-11 campaign. Smith averaged 12.4 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game – setting a program record with 120 blocked shots on the season. Offensively, Smith scored in double figures in 22 of the 30 games, hitting the 20-point plateau four times. He also had six double-doubles on the year – highlighted by a 12-point, 11-block game against Kishwaukee College – setting the program record for most blocks in a single game.
In his first year at Triton College, Smith saw similar success averaging 12.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game. Most impressive, he shot over 60 percent from the field and nearly 70 percent from the free-throw line. After his two seasons with the program, Smith leaves as the all-time leader in blocked shots (205), and ranks 17th all-time in scoring (832) and 16th all-time in rebounding (470).
What Coach Moore Says About Donovan Smith…
"Donovan is an extremely talented frontcourt player who combines great size and length with a terrific shooting touch. He is already an outstanding shot blocker who can immediately help us on both ends of the floor."
Class: Red-Shirt Senior
Height: 6-10 | Weight: 217
Hometown: Vienna, Virginia
High School: Fishburne Military Academy
College: University of Illinois-Chicago
After four years at the University of Illinois-Chicago, Will Simonton will use his last year of eligibility at Quinnipiac. Simonton has 74 collegiate basketball games under his belt, playing in his freshman, sophomore and junior seasons before missing all of last year with an injury. He averaged 1.8 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.5 blocks per game on the court for UIC. Simonton posted career numbers in the 2012-13 season – a campaign which saw an 18-16 record and an appearance in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. He played in all 34 games, averaging 2.2 points and 2.4 rebounds in 13.1 minutes of play.
Simonton earned increased playing time in his junior season, but sustained an injury to his hand that sidelined him from competition after 20 games. Prior to UIC, he was a three-year letter-winner at Marshall High School in Falls Church, Va., along with one year at Fisburne Military School in Fairfax. Simonton was named the Liberty Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, and chalked up All-Conference honors. That same season, he averaged 12.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game while shooting 50 percent from the field.
What Coach Moore Says About Will Simonton…
"Will is a fifth-year transfer who has very good size and strength. He is good offensively in both the low and high posts with a nice shooting touch and excellent passing ability. Will is another strong defender as well, in particular in the low post."
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