The regular signing period for recruits to sign a letter of intent came to a close on May 17. Even though schools can continue to fill out their rosters during the summer months, we now have a good idea of what many teams will look like next season.
We can now also begin to see what incoming freshmen could play significant roles in 2017-18. Here are several Horizon League newcomers that appear poised to make an impact early on next year.
Chris Vogt - Northern Kentucky
The Norse won the Horizon League Tournament this past season. But, if they were missing anything from that squad it was an intimidating post presence as they didn’t have anyone listed taller than 6’7” on the roster.
Incoming freshman Chris Vogt can change that. Vogt is a 7-foot center who holds the Kentucky high school records for both blocks in a game and blocks sin a single season, according to NKU’s announcement of his signing. He’ll add an extra dimension to a defense which finished 291st in block percentage last season according to KenPom.
Head coach John Brannen wasn’t afraid to play his freshmen last year, and was rewarded with excellent performances from Carson Williams and Mason Faulkner. Brannen could turn to Vogt in hopes of a similar payoff.
Jaylon Hall - Wright State
The transfer of leading scorer Mark Alstork has left the Raiders without a clear top threat on offense. Jaylon Hall could be given a chance to develop into that threat early should no other player step up to the challenge.
According to the Dayton Daily News, Hall was a scorer in high school. He averaged 19 points per game as a senior and eclipsed 1,000 total points for his career. In that same article, Wright State head coach Scott Nagy is quoted as saying he values Hall’s “versatility to play multiple positions.”
If Hall is able to adjust to the college game on the offensive end, his versatility and Wright State’s need for a scorer could result in early playing time.
Jermaine Jackson Jr. - Detroit Mercy
The Titans may have signed the best incoming freshman in the league. Jermaine Jackson Jr. averaged 26 points per game as a high school senior and, according to the Detroit Free Press, had interest from nearly 30 schools.
Depth at point guard could keep Jackson Jr. from starting right away, as Josh McFolley has established himself as the Titans’ starter at the position. Because of his size - Jackson is listed at 5’10” - he may be limited to backing up McFolley. But, it will be hard to keep Jackson Jr. off the court if he can score like he did in high school. Bacari Alexander might have to get creative to get him into the lineup without losing McFolley’s impact.
Manny Patterson - Green Bay
The Phoenix will have an opening in the post next season after the graduation of Kenneth Lowe and transfer of Kerem Kanter. Freshman Manny Patterson will look to fill that void and start from day one in Green Bay.
Patterson will have to compete with fellow freshman Will Chevalier for time on the court. But, even with the competition, playing time in the post should be plentiful next season in Green Bay, opening the opportunity for Patterson to swoop in.