ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine men’s basketball program will further enhance its international flavor next season.
Despite Canadian Mike Allison having exhausted his eligibility, there will be a net gain of players from north of the border on the Black Bears in the fall.
Guard Troy Reid-Knight and post player Erik Nissen have verbally committed to accept scholarships from UMaine and play for coach Ted Woodward’s team, according to published reports.
They join dynamic junior guard Justin Edwards, UMaine’s top returning scorer and an All-America East second-team pick, on the Canadian contingent. The Bears also feature six players from Europe, among them senior forward Alasdair Fraser of Scotland, another all-league second-teamer.
Tariq Sbiet of NorthPoleHoops.com reported Thursday that Nissen has committed to UMaine. He is a rangy, 6-foot-9 forward from Quispamsis, New Brunswick, a suburb of Saint John.
Nissen’s YouTube highlights show a slightly-built but mobile frontcourt player who has 3-point shooting range. The lefthanded shooter played for Kenebecasis High School, leading the Crusaders to a division runner-up finish as a junior.
This winter, Nissen averaged 20.9 points and 10.3 rebounds for Kennebecasis. He shot 56 percent from the field and 63 percent from the foul line and racked up 121 blocked shots (3.1 bpg) and 79 steals (2.0 spg).
During last summer’s 17U national tournament, Nissen averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds and was named a second-team all-star. He was a three-year member of Team New Brunswick and also received an invitation to try out for the Men’s Cadet National Team.
Verbalcommits.com reports Reid-Knight, from Vaughan, Ontario, is headed for Orono. The 6-1 combination guard played last season at Thornley Prep after helping Vaughan Secondary School win the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations provincial championship in 2012.
In 2011, he played in the 17U men’s national championship. Reid-Knight is known as a good 3-point shooter and a strong perimeter defender.
The National Letter of Intent signing period begins April 16. The recruits’ participation at UMaine is contingent upon being accepted at UMaine and compliance with NCAA initial-eligibility guidelines.
UMaine baseball venue changed
This week’s snowstorm has resulted in UMaine’s baseball home opener being relocated.
Because of field conditions at Mahaney Diamond (14 inches of snow), the three-game America East series against Hartford will now be played Saturday and Sunday at Fiondella Field in West Hartford, Conn.
Saturday is a noon doubleheader and Sunday is a nine-inning single game.
New conference rules dictate that if a field is unplayable during the first half (five weeks) of the season, it will be moved to the opponent’s site, if it is playable.
That means UMaine’s second series against Hartford, scheduled for April 27-28, will be played in Orono.
Coach Steve Trimper’s ballclub (11-12) now must await an April 6-7 series against Binghamton to make their home debut. By then, the Bears will have played their first 29 games on the road.