Tough. Physical. Ready to play. Coach Brownell has a competitive trio of freshmen that are going to fight for early minutes.
Darian Catharn has the look. At 6'0" 190, Catharn has the body to be a point guard in any conference in the country. He combines his size with good athleticism and speed, which will make him tough to stop in the open court. Catharn still needs to work on consistency with his jumper but shouldn't be pushed into early minutes with N'Gai Evans stepping in for Will Graham. Expect Catharn to struggle at times defensively but he is ahead of most freshmen with his advanced physique and athleticism.
Paul Darkwa may have the most interesting story of any player coming into the league this season. At 26, Darkwa is one of the oldest freshmen in the country. He was in the Navy for eight years so he is a relative unknown in recruiting circles. He has excellent size, 6'7" 235 lbs, and obviously has advanced physical tools. He fits in with Catharn as having a body that is ready for a full D1 season. Eight years in the Navy gives Darkwa discipline and maturity that no high schooler or JUCO transfer could imagine. Let's hope we don't see him wearing these out on the court.
The gem of this class could be Tyler Koch. Koch had an excellent career at Winchester, a small-town Indiana high school, so let the Hoosiers references fly. He's the same size as Todd Brown, as a freshman, and has an advanced game. He is physically strong and may surprise people with his ability to rebound. Koch also has good range and can put up points in bunches. He's got a good basketball IQ and should adjust well to Horizon League basketball. Koch hit a lot of big shots in high school and played best when the lights were brightest, so watch out for him as an option late in games for the Raiders. I was lucky enough to track down his coach at Winchester High School, Chip Mehaffey.
Overall, it's a small class but it's clearly built to play coach Brownell's tough style. All three âkids' in this class are physically tough and mentally ready to play WSU-style basketball. There are few freshmen, if any, coming into the league this season that are better than Koch. Vaughn Duggins and Todd Brown will be his mentors on the court the next two years. From there, we could be talking about Koch being the leader of this team. He's that good.
This is the 6th of 10 recruiting profiles being released on the Horizon League Network. Tomorrow: Youngstown State.
Tags: Wright State - Men's Basketball