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Local products and transfers highlight Vermont's incoming class for 2016

A talented class once again puts the Catamounts in the America East championship picture.

University of Vermont Men’s Basketball
University of Vermont Men’s Basketball

After another 20-plus-win season, the Vermont Catamounts are in the running to again win the America East. With a batch of newcomers on their way in, the Catamounts will have some serious fire power and defensive talent -- it's just a matter of blending the newcomers with the returners.

Ben Shungu

Shungu is a well-known name around the Green Mountain State. From the Burlington area, Shungu was named the Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year in 2016, averaging 21.9 points per game, 5.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.2 steals.

He also nabbed the USA Today American Family Insurance ALL-USA Vermont Player of the Year and Metro League Player of the Year, en route to his selection as Mr. Basketball by the Burlington Free Press.

Anthony Lamb

Lamb had quite a few America East schools to choose from, having offers from both Stony Brook and Binghamton, along with Vermont. The 6-6 forward averaged 30 points and 17 rebounds a game and was one of the four finalists for New York State Mr. Basketball, as a two time Greater Rochester Player of the Year.

Samuel Dingba

He chose Quinnipiac over Vermont out of high school, but Dingba decided to change his mind, transferring from the Bobcats to the Catamounts. The 6-5, 200-pound sophomore will have to sit out due to NCAA transfer rules for the 16-17 season, but will have two years of eligibility after that.

He played in 27 games with 10 starts with the Quinnipiac Bobcats, with a solid track record against America East opponents. He had highs of six points against both Albany and Vermont, with a high of eight rebounds against Hartford and three blocks against Albany. Though only 6-5, he has a 7-foot wingspan that will surely give his new team a much needed boost on the defensive end.

Kian Dalyrimple

Dalyrimple comes to the Catamounts from Long Island as a 6-5 freshman from Hollow Hills West High School. In addition to averaging 18.1 points per game as a senior, he managed to sink 73 three pointers in just 24 games -- better than three per contest. His performance at Hollow Hills West helped bring his team to the Class AA championship game. He was a late recruit for the Catamounts, but his three-point prowess seemed too good to pass up.

Josh Speidel

Lastly, the Catamounts welcome a special member to their roster in Speidel. He was supposed to be a promising factor for the Catamounts before a car accident in early 2015 left him in a coma. The 6-7 forward has spent the last year and a half in rehabilitation and was finally able to see his team play when they visited Purdue last season. He sat on the bench for the Purdue and Florida games and made the 900-mile trip to Vermont for a homecoming game against the Stony Brook Seawolves. While Speidel is still a long way from being able to suit up, he has received a waiver from the NCAA to participate with UVM this coming season without using a year of eligibility.