WESTON, Mass. - Ahead of the season opener at Lasell this Tuesday, Nov. 15, Regis (Mass.) men's basketball head coach Nathan Hager has rolled out a roster of 18 players. Half of the team, ranked second in the NECC Preseason Poll, is new to Regis, with eight freshmen and one junior college transfer. Coach Hager and his staff break down the roster as follows.
"Anyone who is going to be running the point guard position for us is going to be new," said Hager. The Pride will rely on three newcomers at point guard after graduating two seniors at the position last season.
Julio Galay comes in as a junior transfer, having played the last two seasons at Herkimer Community College in Herkimer N.Y., where he won a pair of regional championships. "He's a tough player," said Hager. "He great at changing speeds, has a great mid-range game, and is a superb athlete."
The Pride's other impact point guard will be freshman Josh Germain. A 2016 graduate of Charles W. Flanagan High School in Pembroke Pines, Fla., Germain is a player that Hager says makes his teammates around him better. "There are times where he looks like he's been here for two or three years," said Hager. "He's a pass first guy, gets to the rim, and is a great ball handler."
#2 Milik Wallace, So., 5-9, 155 lbs., Hinesville, Ga.
#5 Ademola Afonja, So., 6-5, 210 lbs., Staten Island, N.Y. - Captain
#13 Sam Jean-Gilles, Sr., 6-3, 220 lbs., Melrose, Mass.
#15 Isaiah Wilson, So., 6-2, 190 lbs., Cambria Heights, N.Y. - Captain
#23 Jaiwon Martin, Sr., 6-4, 190 lbs., Coral Springs, Fla. - Captain
#24 Shaun Wingfield, Fr., 6-3, 165 lbs., Pembroke Pines, Fla.
#30 Jordan Seldon, So., 6-4, 190 lbs., Everett, Mass.
#31 Dimitri Rosa, Fr., 6-0, 165 lbs., Tiverton, R.I.
#35 Jay Christopher, Fr., 6-3, 170 lbs., Plymouth, Mass.
#55 Jamal Rene, So., 5-10, 190 lbs., Methuen, Mass.
The first of the men's basketball captains is sophomore guard Ademola Afonja. As a freshman last season, Afonja ranked second on the team with 11.4 points per game, and Hager had nothing but praise for the Staten Island, N.Y. native. "He's extremely athletic, has a knack for getting rebounds, and he finishes everything at the rim," said Hager of Afonja. "He's a guy who has really worked to improve his overall game."
Now a senior, Sam Jean-Gilles ranked third in scoring last season, right behind Afonja with 11.0 points per game. "He's arguably our best playmaker and he can score in bunches," said Hager. "He's a player who can be both a back-to-the-basket guy or play the perimeter. He's just a smart basketball player."
Isaiah Wilson will serve as the Pride's second captain in 2016-17, and is a guard that Hager describes as a "glue guy." The sophomore is a "tough, hard-nose kid," says Hager. "He's in the running for best defensive player on the team."
The final Pride captain is senior forward Jaiwon Martin, a native of Coral Springs, Fla. "He's arguably our best defensive player," said Hager. "He understands gaps and angles and takes charges. He's also cool on offense - he makes the right play, makes the right pass."
Jordan Seldon joins the Pride as a sophomore in 2016-17 and has already caught the attention of the Regis coaching staff. "Jordan is the hardest worker on the team," said Hager. "He's a strong, explosive guard who can shoot it and can score in a bunch of different ways."
#0 Chris Leak Jr., Sr., 6-4, 210 lbs., New Haven, Conn.
#1 Jawaun Lewis, Jr., 6-7, 220 lbs., Jacksonville, Fla.
#12 Justin Trawick, Fr., 6-4, 185 lbs., Fort Mitchell, Ala.
#33 Malik Seldon, Fr., 6-5, 190 lbs., Leesburg, Va.
#42 Gibou Njie, Fr., 6-4, 210 lbs., Miramar, Fla.
Chris Leak Jr. is the first of two student-athletes Hager says will serve as the Pride's primary post players in the upcoming season. One of three seniors on the roster, Leak has "a high motor and is a very, very good athlete," says Hager. "He's got a nose for the ball and is a guy who can knock down a mid-range jump shot." Hager noted that the senior has multiple double-doubles on his resume, including in back-to-back games last season on Jan. 2 against Westfield State (13 points, 10 rebounds) and on Jan. 6 against UMass Dartmouth (10 points, 11 rebounds).
Jawaun Lewis, the Pride's biggest player, standing at 6-foot-7, is the team's "best back-to-the-basket threat," according to Hager. The forward had a career night last season against Elms on Jan. 16, when he scored 22 points and pulled down 10 boards. "He's very, very accomplished on the block," said Hager. "He's a guy who can pass out of the post and can hit a mid-range jumper."
The men's basketball team will kick off its 2016-17 campaign next Tuesday night, Nov. 15 on the road against future conference foe Lasell College. Tip-off is slated for 8:00 p.m.