With the National Letter of Intent late signing period scheduled to begin Wednesday, the University of Maine men’s basketball team has secured another verbal commitment.
Noam Laish, a combination guard from Israel, has accepted a scholarship offer from the Black Bears.
Laish confirmed via e-mail that he plans to sign with UMaine next week.
“I visited UMaine and committed to play there as a Black Bear in the coming fall,” Laish said.
Laish is another on a list of UMaine recruits coming from overseas, thanks in part to recruiting connections developed by Bears associate head coach Doug Leichner. UMaine also has junior Svetislov Chetinov from Bulgaria and freshman Alasdair Fraser from Scotland.
The 6-foot-1 Laish has been a standout on his age-group national teams. He helped Israel earn a fourth-place finish at the U18 European Championships. He averaged 11.6 points per game in the tournament, shooting 47 percent (25-for-53) from beyond the 3-point arc.
Judging from video highlights he placed on YouTube, Laish excels shooting from long range and isn’t shy about taking shots. He appears to be shifty and slippery off the dribble rather than flat-out quick.
Laish is part of a recruiting class that will include previous verbal commits Kilian Cato, a 6-7 forward from Finland, and Xavier Pollard, a 6-1 combination guard out of the Winchendon School in Massachusetts.
UMaine head coach Ted Woodward is not allowed to comment on recruits until the university has received a signed NLI.
UMaine football begins workouts
The UMaine football team was out on Morse Field at Alfond Stadium on Thursday afternoon as it kicked off its spring workouts.
Coach Jack Cosgrove had 73 players in uniform for the practice, which will be among 15 sessions allowed during the spring under NCAA rules.
UMaine wraps up its spring season April 30th with the annual Jeff Cole Memorial Scrimmage. The Bears will begin reconfiguring a squad that lost several key seniors on their way to a 4-7 record last season.
Among the departed players are linebackers Mark Masterson, Ryan McCrossan and Levi Ervin, cornerbacks Steven Barker and Dom Cusano and defensive linemen Ryan Nani and Omar Jacobs. On offense, senior wide receivers Tyrell Jones, Des Randall and Jeremy Kelley, along with lineman Matt Barber, have departed.
UMaine also is moving on without oft-injured multipurpose running back Jared Turcotte of Lewiston, who intends to transfer to Bates College in Lewiston to complete his undergraduate degree in an effort to attend medical school.
The Bears are blessed with considerable experience at quarterback, where seniors-to-be Warren Smith and Chris Treister of Cape Elizabeth are expected to be pushed by redshirt freshmen Marcus Wasilewski and John Ebeling.
USM’s Towle named coach of year
University of Southern Maine women’s track and field coach George Towle was named the Little East Conference Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year for the second straight year and third time in the four-year history of the award.
Towle guided the Huskies to their 11th consecutive LEC and New England Alliance indoor championships, an 11th-place finish at the New England Division III Championships and a 17th-place result at the ECAC Division III Championships.
UM team hosts eating contest
The University of Maine women’s ice hockey team is hosting an All You Can Eat Wing Night fundraiser at ACME Pizza in Old Town on Thursday, April 14 from 6-9 p.m.
There will be a raffle in addition to the wing-eating contest. The cost is $10 and there will be unlimited soft drinks for $3. All proceeds will benefit the UMaine women’s ice hockey team.