By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University men's basketball Head Coach Kip Ioane has announced the 2018-19 recruiting class for the Bearcats. The class includes four freshmen. Two of the freshmen are from California, with one each from Arizona and Colorado. There are two guards, one wing and one forward.
"I'm proud of the effort Coach Nathan Covill and Coach Kevin MacRae put into helping us bring in four guys who fit us both on and off the floor," Ioane said.
With both a varsity and a junior varsity program at Willamette, the new Bearcats will be eligible to compete for time on either team. The junior varsity team provides an extra way for newcomers to gain experience while playing for the Bearcats.
Here is the Willamette recruiting class for the 2018-19 season:
Charles Hicks (Fr., 6'4", F, Prescott, AZ/Prescott HS) played basketball at Prescott High School in Arizona. He averaged 7.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game as a senior. He also earned 1.0 steals and 0.3 blocks per game.
He helped Prescott go 8-4 in the 4A Grand Canyon Conference this past season. While at Prescott, he was a member of the National Honor Society, was active in the 4-H Club and was an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. He is interested in pursuing a career in emergency medicine.
Coach Ioane on Charles:
"He was the first player to commit to our class. Chuck fits right into our expectations of a player both on and off the floor."
Dylan Streett (Fr., 6'2", W, Santa Barbara, CA/Bishop Garcia Diego HS) was a strong player at Bishop Garcia Diego High School in Santa Barbara, California, where he averaged 17.0 pionts and 7.3 rebounds per game this past season. He also provided Bishop Garcia Diego with 2.3 assists, 2.9 steals and 1.5 blocked shots per game. He helped his team go 10-8 overall and 9-3 in the Tri-County Athletic Association in 2017-18.
As a high school student-athlete, Streett also competed in football and baseball. He was named First Team All Tri-County in football.
Coach Ioane on Dylan:
"I love his multi-sport background and the competitive nature he brings to the basketball court every game."
Johnny Valdez (Fr., 5'11", G, Bayfield, CO/Ignacio HS) competed in basketball at Ignacio High School in Bayfield, Colorado. During his senior year, he averaged 14.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 5.1 steals per game. He led the San Juan Basin League in steals and was second in assists. He finished the season with a 3.44 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Valdez helped Ignacio finish the year with a 20-6 overall record, including 11-1 in the 2A/1A San Juan Basin League. Valdez contributed to the Bobcats reaching the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) 2A State Tournament. As a senior, Valdez was chosen Second Team All-State in Class 2A. He also was named San Juan Basin Boys' Basketball Player of the Year.
Coach Ioane on Johnny:
"His work ethic and commitment to bettering himself on and of the court really stood out to us throughout the recruiting process with him."
Jonathan Watts (Fr., 6'2", W, San Diego, CA/Rancho Bernardo HS) played at Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego, California. He helped Rancho Bernardo achieve a 15-11 record in 2017-18, including a first place finish in the Palomar League with a 9-1 mark. In addition, he competed in volleyball as a high school student-athlete.
Watts was selected Boys' Basketball Player of the Year in the Palomar League as a senior. He also was named First Team All-Palomar League. He played point guard and shooting guard for Rancho Bernardo. He will likely play as a wing for the Bearcats.
Coach Ioane on Jonathan:
"Jonathan brings a combination of strength and skill to our backcourt that we are excited about adding to the depth chart there."