Hawk Talks Recruiting

Broncos Illustrated got the chance to sit down for a talk with men's basketball head coach Steve Hawkins. One of the subjects discussed was recruiting; read on to find out what Hawkins thinks of the incoming freshman class and how the recently repealed 5/8 rule may affect WMU.

On incoming junior college transfer Stanes Bufford:

"We felt if there was one area that we really didn't have it was someone that could really break down a defense and drive the ball and get to the basket; Stanes gives us that. This is what he's best at, that's getting to the basket. He's a very athletic wing player that can drive the ball, also a very good defensive player and rebounder."

On why Mike Jefferson transferred out of WMU, opening a scholarship for Bufford:

"Playing time, and I can't blame him for that. Mike did a great job for us this year; he came in and ran the scout team well his redshirt year. At the end of the year we talked a little bit about it and he said ‘coach, it's just killing me to not be on the floor. And I look around and I see Ricky Willis back and I see Brian Snider back so I know I'm not going to be on the floor for another year.'"

On Corunna native Dan Hess:

"Dan is someone that is extremely athletic. Kind of an inside/outside guy. A good shot from three. Very long, very athletic, and he's got a shot at contending for playing time right away."

On big man Joe Reitz out of Indiana:

"He is going to be a real good one for us. He'll contend for playing time immediately at one of the inside spots. He's a big strong physical kid that's also very athletic, and passed up on some football scholarships to come here and play basketball. The thing that we like about Joe is he's got a real mean streak in him, doesn't mind throwing his body around."

On Saginaw Arthur Hill's Bryan Moten, a finalist for Mr. Basketball in Michigan:

"Bryan can really shot it. He's got unlimited range. Another good athlete with good size at the guard spot. He can get to the basket and has a very quick release, comes off the screens well. He will be a real three-point threat for us.

"We felt like when we got a commitment from him last year that we got a steal. As he went throughout this year it became evident that we were right. He's very capable of playing well and having a great career here."

The NCAA recently repealed the so-called 5/8 rule. This is a rule that allowed NCAA Division 1 basketball programs to recruit on scholarship no more then 5 players per season and 8 every two seasons. Did Steve Hawkins think this would have an effect on recruiting at WMU?

"No, not at all. One of the things that I think we did as a staff when we got here (referring to his assistant coaching days at WMU) is with the 5/8 rule is we made a really concentrated effort on balancing our classes.

"The temptation when you come into a situation that we came into, we only had 3 scholarship players when we got here 5 years ago now, the temptation would have been to go out and sign a bunch of junior college kids in an effort to be competitive. Now last year was the first year where we used all 13 scholarships and we're obviously in that boat again this year. We have balance in our classes so that we're losing 4 this year and then next year we lose 4 again."

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