July 20, 2009
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Navy head men's basketball coach Billy Lange has released the names of the 2009 Navy men's basketball recruits on Monday as three commitments representing three different states have gone through induction ceremonies and began plebe summer.
"We are very excited about this class and the athleticism and talent it brings to our program," said head coach Billy Lange, who will begin his sixth year in charge of the Navy men's basketball program this fall. "We have brought in a very versatile and athletic class that can play all over the court."
Navy continues to land players from North Carolina, a state that has served as a pipeline for Coach Lange. Since Lange's arrival before the 2004-05 season, Navy has landed four players from the Tar Heel State, including Alex Newsome (Denver, N.C.). Navy's other two commitments are from Pete Banos (Trumbull, Conn.) and Montez Blair (Erial, N.J.).
Navy is coming off the program's best record in almost 10 years, as it posted a 19-11 record a year ago. The Mids will return three starters from last year's team, not including rising junior Romeo Garcia (Cypress, Texas), who started as a freshman but missed most of last year with leg injuries.
Pete Banos Center 6-10 250 Trumbull, Conn. Christian Heritage High School
Banos lettered four times at Christian Heritage High School, graduating in 2008 ... spent the last season at NAPS ... led team to an 18-12 record in 2008 and a regulat season conference title ... was a two-time all-county performer ... averaged 17.7 ppg as a high school junior and over 13.0 ppg as a senior ... full name is Peter Christos Banos ... born July 24, 1989, in Trumbull, Conn.
What Lange says: He has great size and worked very hard last year at NAPS. He is a very mature player and knows why he is here in terms of the Academy and the basketball program. In the short term, we are just focusing on getting him into shape after having two knee surgeries last year. He is, however, very skilled and can step out and hit a mid-range jumper, but can bang around inside, too. He has a good nose for the ball and has great touch around the rim. He just needs to work on getting his body right.
Montez Blair Guard 6-3 180 Erial, N.J. Timber Creek High School
An outstanding athlete, Blair lettered three times in basketball and four times in track at Timber Creek High School, graduating in 2009 ... averaged 12.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.1 apg and 2.3 spg as a senior ... led the hoops team to the South Jersey title as a senior, being named the title game MVP after scoring 26 points ... was named the Most Improved Athlete as well as Scholar-Athlete of the Year ... is an extremely accomplished track athlete, leading the track team to the state title in 2008 and 2009 (New Jersey Group III) ... Blair has high jumped 7-0, had a long jump of 22-6 and a triple jump of 45-2 ... was named a Nike All-American in 2008 ... a two-time state champion in the high jump, he was named all-conference three times and All-South Jersey twice ... placed third at the prestigious Penn Relays in 2009 ... was also the 2009 South Sectional long jump champion ... was named the Best Overall Student and was the Black History Month award winner at Timber Creek ... also was a member of National Honor Society ... had a GPA of 4.1 on a 4.0 scale ... full name is Montez Ryan-Anthony Blair ... born Oct. 23, 1990, in Mount Holly, N.J. ... son of Yolanda Blair ... attended the same high school as former UNC Greensboro star Kyle Hines, who at the time of his graduation in 2008, was one of six players in NCAA history to score 2,000 points, grab 1,000 rebounds and block 300 shots ... also considered offers from Siena, Saint Joseph's, Cornell and Binghamton.
What Lange says:
Montez is a very hard worker who wants be better at everything at everything he does. He has a very good jump shot with a quick, smooth release. He will be one of the best shooters in the Patriot League before all is said and done. He is also very, very athletic. He can run and jump with the best that we have had here. He is a very intelligent player that really knows the game.
Alex Newsome Center 6-9 235 Denver, N.C. East Lincoln High School Hargrave Military School
Newsome graduated from East Lincoln High School in 2008 and spent the last season at national prep school power Hargrave Military Academy ... lettered four times at East Lincoln and once at Hargrave ... helped Hargrave to a 28-1 record and a national runner-up finish ... was a two-time team MVP at East Lincoln High School ... averaged 14.3 ppg and 7.1 rpg as a junior, leading East Lincoln to a conference title ... averaged nearly 16 points per game as a senior ... was a member of the Student Government Association, Beta Club and won the Presidential Award for Excellence in Academics and Athletics ... full name is Randall Alexander Newsome ... born July 4, 1990, in Winston-Salem, N.C. ... son of Randy and Melissa Newsome ... Hargrave is well-known for producing basketball players such as David West, Josh Howard, Lonny Baxter, Korleone Young and several others ... nearly every player on the team signed with an NCAA Division I school this past year ... also received interest from Charleston Southern, North Florida, Davidson, Belmont and Lehigh.
What Lange says: The last year at Hargrave really helped him. He was playing with and against the best in the country. He is a legit big guy who can take up space in the lane. He is left-handed, which is unique in big men. He knows what he does well and is very committed to it, and knows what he needs to work on and is intent on getting better. He is a very good athlete for his size who can really post deep in the block. He is poised to make an impact right now.
# GO NAVY #