LANCASTER, Pa. — Franklin & Marshall men's basketball coach Glenn Robinson announced the Diplomats' incoming freshman class. The nine-member group is one of Robinson's largest and most geographically diverse, featuring two from each New York and New Jersey, as well as one each from Texas, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Nigeria.
The Class of 2021 joins seven returners from last year's team that finished with an 18-8 record and made its 20th appearance in the CC Tournament over the 24-year history of the Conference.
"This is an extremely talented and large freshman class this year," said Robinson. "We look forward to seeing how quickly they can learn our system and contribute to the success of our team."
F&M starts the 2017-18 season on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at home against Misericordia at 8:00 p.m. The Diplomats host the annual William Marshall Tip-Off Tournament a day later on Friday and will face Bethany at 7:30 p.m.
The Recruit Breakdown
Jerry Ben | C • 6-9 • 215 | Ebonyi, Nigeria / Kent School
High School: Four years of varsity basketball...Two-time Regional Championships in 2014-15, and 2015-16… 2016 Scholar-Athlete of the Year… Led team in blocked shots during junior and senior seasons… Adidas Sweet Sixteen team with Greenwood Elite AAU... One-year varsity soccer… MVP at Bank Hoops Camp… Attended the Nike Michigan Elite Camp twice... 100 hours of community service, serving at a soup kitchen and helped donate bottled water during Flint Water Crisis… Graduated with Cum Laude Honors.
Matt Groll | F • 6-8 • 205 | Armonk, N.Y. / Byram Hills
High School: Played four years of varsity basketball… Named Team Captain and MVP Senior year… Sectional and Regional champion in 2016… Two-time All-Section selection by coaches… Two-time NY All-State player in 2016 and 2017… Honor Roll student all four years of high school.
Brian Hines | F/C • 6-6 | 215 | Lancaster, Pa. / Manheim Township
High School: Played three years of varsity basketball... Lancaster-Lebanon League All-Defensive Team... Two-year LL League Section One All-Academic Team... Four-year First Honor Roll... National Honor Society... Played three years of varsity volleyball... Volleyball team captain senior year... LL League Volleyball Champion 2017... Two-year Lancaster-Lebanon League Second Team Volleyball All-Star... E. Jerry Brooks Academic Excellence Award Recipient.
Justin Kupa | PG • 6-2 • 170 | Mt. Laurel, N.J. / Lenape
High School: Three years varsity basketball… Captain senior year… South Jersey Basketball Club's Outstanding Captain Award Winner… Selected to the South Jersey Al Corino All-Star Game… New Jersey Olympic Conference Champion… Ended the regular season ranked as No. 2 team in South Jersey.
Keith Rado | PG • 6-1 • 175 | Woodbury, Conn. / Canterbury School
High School: Four-year varsity starter and letter holder at the Canterbury School… 2017 Captain of the basketball team… 2017 Don Gowen Award for basketball and academic achievement… Three-time recipient of basketball team academic achievement award… 2017 Tri-Varsity Athletic Award for three-sport varsity seniors (football, basketball, and lacrosse)… Four-year Honor Roll member.
Zach Ravitz | F/C • 6-7 • 215 | Millburn, N.J. / Millburn
High School: Three-year varsity basketball starter… Team captain (2016-17)… Selected to North-South New Jersey All-Star Game… Twice named to the First Team All-Conference… Most blocks in one game in Millburn history (10)… Two-time champion of the Joe Pepe Holiday Tournament… MVP of the Joe Pepe Tournament (2016-2017)… Sideline Chatter/360 Fitness Athlete of the week.
Matt Redhead | G/F • 6-5 • 190 | Bedford, N.Y. / Suffield Academy
High School: Played three years of varsity basketball... Two-time team captain... Section One Class AA Champion... Section One MVP... Hudson Valley Player Of The Year 2016... Journal News Player Of The Year 2016... Winner Of The Dapper McDonald Memorial Scholarship... Winner Of The Thomas V. Caione Scholarship... Graduated with honors.
Les Thomas | G • 6-4 • 185 | Oklahoma City, Ok. / Heritage Hall
High School: Played varsity all four years… Advanced to state three years in a row… Helped win Heritage Hall its first-ever state championship, followed by state championship runner-up… Selected for Vype Oklahoma Top 100… Set school record for most 3-pointers in a single game (9). All-State Honorable Mention two years in a row… Selected to play in All-City All-Star game two years in a row… Tallied more than 1,000 career points… Ranked No. 6 in John Lucas camp… Ranked No. 2 in Phenom National Camp… Won the state championship in track 4x4 race… National Honors Society… Mu Alpha Theta, and Chinese Honors society.
Bo Williams | G • 6-3 • 180 | Flower Mound, Texas / Faith Christian School
High School: Three-year Varsity basketball player… 2016/2017 Grapevine Faith school record most steals in a season (93)… Second-leading scorer in Grapevine Faith school history… Top 3-point shooter in the state of Texas in 5A... 2017 Most Valuable Player Award… 2016 Offensive Player of the Year Award… 2016, 2017 First Team All-District… 2016 Texas All-State Honorable Mention… 2017 Texas All-State Second Team… 2016, 2017 Academic All-State Honors… 2012-17 – AAU Basketball: Texas Sonics (2016, 2017); Texas Thunder (2015, 2016)... Varsity Football Player: 2016 "Team – Me Award" winner... 2015 Certificate of Selection Award … 3x National Society of High School Scholars… 4x Academic Honor Roll… 3x National Honor Society… 2x Carnegie Hall Performance Choir… 2017 Advanced AP Debate Team.