HAMDEN, Conn. – Quinnipiac University Men's Basketball Head Coach Tom Moore has announced that Umar Shannon (Atlantic City, N.J.), Kasim Chandler (Newark, N.J.), AJ Sumbry (East Windsor, N.J.) and Alain Chigha (Gainesville, Fla.) will suit up for the Bobcats' 2013-14 campaign. Quinnipiac enters its first season of competition in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) this year and looks forward to the new additions to the team.
"I am very excited to welcome Umar, Kasim, AJ, and Alain to our Quinnipiac Basketball family," said Moore, who enters his seventh season at Quinnipiac. "I feel this is an excellent first recruiting class as we transition to the MAAC. We got everything we were looking for in this class. We were hoping to improve our backcourt skill level, add some size on the wing, and add some frontcourt depth. These four young men will do that for us."
Atlantic City, N.J. / Atlantic City / Saint Francis U
Height: 5-11 / Weight: 185
A familiar face to Coach Moore and his staff, Umar Shannon comes to Quinnipiac after graduating from Saint Francis University back in May. Shannon, one of the top guards in the Northeast Conference during his stay, will use his final year of eligibility as a graduate student at QU. Shannon averaged 9.0 points and 1.2 assists per game in his rookie season before emerging into one of the NEC's top scorers as a sophomore. The 5-foot-11 guard averaged 15.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game en route to All-NEC and All-NABC All-District 18 Second Team honors. Shannon posted double-digits in 23 of the 30 games he played in, which included a career-high of 30 at Sacred Heart on Jan. 11, 2011.
As a junior at Saint Francis U, Shannon was poised for another big season after being named preseason second team All-NEC by College Sports Madness. Shannon didn't disappoint in his season-opener, netting 26 points against VCU – a team that was fresh off an NCAA Final Four bid a year ago. Unfortunately, he was forced to red-shirt the remainder of the season after sustaining an injury in his next game. Shannon persevered through the setback though, and was in the starting lineup in the 2012-13 season-opener. The Atlantic City, N.J. native went on to average 11.2 points, 3.3 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game last year.
What Coach Moore Says About Umar…
"Umar Shannon brings us a wealth of experience and talent to our backcourt. We are obviously very familiar with his game playing against him at Saint Francis (PA) for the last four years. He is a strong, talented combo guard who has proven he can score and distribute the ball very well at this level." – Tom Moore
Newark, N.J. / The Robinson School
Height: 5-10 / Weight: 160
Chandler is a talented playmaking guard with a lightening quick first step, and will make an immediate impact in the Bobcats' backcourt next year. Chandler comes from The Robinson School where he averaged 23 points and six assists per game in a season that concluded with a 25-10 record. Evidenced by his assists per game average, he is a great passer off the dribble which allows him to find the front court underneath and shooters around the arc. He is also very athletic and weaves in and out of the lane with long bouncy strides. His 2012-13 season highlight was in a the East Coast Post Grad Tournament Semifinals when he netted 31 points, including 19 in the first half, in a 79-72 win over Mount Zion Prep Academy.
Prior to The Robinson School, Chandler attended Imani Christian Academy in Pittsburgh. He averaged 23.2 points, 6.8 assists, 2.8 steals and 1.4 rebounds per game in 2011-12, leading the Saints to a successful season. Chandler spent his first years at Newark East Side High School where he averaged 16.5 points per game as a junior – which included a 28 point outburst against Science Park on December 29, 2010. He was tabbed All-State at season's end.
What Coaches Say About Kasim…
"Kasim Chandler is a talented point guard from Newark, N.J. He is very good with the ball and highly effective in transition. He is a very creative passer who should help us a great deal offensively, both on the fast break and in the half court." – Tom Moore
"Kasim is a dynamic pass-first point guard who can break down defenders one-on-one and he is extremely good with the pick-and-roll. He is a great addition to Quinnipiac University." – Coach Robinson, The Robinson School
East Windsor, N.J. / St. Benedict's Prep
Height: 6-8 / Weight: 240
Sumbry is a gifted post player with great mobility for the forward position. He began his high school career with the Hightstown Rams, transferred to NIA Prep in Newark and then followed with a one-year stint at Trenton Catholic Academy for the 2011-12 season. Last season, Sumbry wrapped up his interscholastic career at St. Benedict's Prep in Newark. He averaged 16.0 points and 13.0 rebounds per game in a prosperous campaign for the Gray Bees.
Defensively, his lengthy 6-8, 240 pound frame is a nightmare for opponents on the block. He is extremely active, runs the floor very well and also has good range for a big man. Sumbry is also a great rebounder which will fit right into Coach Moore's system. Sumbry was also a member of The Playaz Basketball Club – one of the nation's elite AAU Travel Team programs. NBA stars Vince Carter, Kobe Bryant and J.R. Smith have all been a part of the organization.
What Coaches Say About AJ…
"AJ Sumbry is an aggressive power forward who rebounds the ball very well at both ends. He comes to us from St. Benedict's Prep School in Newark. AJ is also a very good shot blocker and post defender. He has a soft touch and good hands which will help him to contribute offensively right away." – Tom Moore
"AJ is an extremely hard worker at both ends of the court. We wish we would have had him in our program for a longer time than just the one year he was here. He'll be a nice addition to the Quinnipiac program." – Mark Taylor, St. Benedict's Prep
Gainesville, Fla. / The Rock School
Position: Small Forward
Height: 6-7 / Weight: 200
Chigha comes to Quinnipiac after a successful career at The Rock School in Gainesville, Fla. Chigha blossomed as a sophomore, averaging 9.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game en route to a spot on the Florida All-State team. The 6-foot-7 forward delivered another stellar season a year later, averaging 10.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. He was once again named to the All-State team while also earning his first of two Lion awards – an honor given to the best all-around student-athlete, athletically and academically.
Chigha is an energetic wing who attacks the basket and finishes well around the rim. A very smooth player offensively, Chigha has a quick first step and a solid stroke along the perimeter. He became a very diverse player when he developed a mid-range game as a junior. Chigha gives maximum effort on both ends of the floor, especially the glass, and his length creates havoc on the defensive side of the ball. Chigha's career was highlighted by a game in a North Carolina Tournament where he finished with 17-points, 19-rebounds, seven assists and six steals. He was named to the All-Tournament team.
What Coaches Say About Alain…
"Alain Chigha is a terrific small forward who can really defend and shoot the ball well. He is from Cameroon and went to The Rock School in Florida. He is very athletic and works very hard. He will bring an element of size and athleticism to our perimeter." – Tom Moore
"Alain is a great teammate and improved immensely as a player over his four years at The Rock. His perimeter game is constantly evolving and he has learned how to play the game at a high level. Alain is the type of player that can change the game in a major way without scoring the ball. He is a great leader and someone that every coach wants his team." – Justin Harden, The Rock School
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