On Tuesday morning, Bryant University Men’s basketball head coach Jared Grasso announced the addition of five new players to the team for the 2020-2021 season. Joining Joe Moon IV, who signed back in November, the Bulldogs have added Erickson Bans from Pawtucket, Rhode Island. A local kid who should be able to get people from the area interested in the program.
Jared Grasso also signed Chris Childs from the Bronx, New York. Darius Guinn from Portland Oregon. The most importantly Luke Sutherland who played last season at Siena and Mello Eggleston who played last season at Arkansas State. Melo Eggleston, a former top 100 recruit in the country, might well be one of the biggest signings in program history.
“We are very excited about this class of young men we have added to our program,” said head coach Jared Grasso. “We upgraded our size, athleticism, and our love and passion for the game of basketball. These young men will be great ambassadors for our University.”
Erickson Bans, the local kid who played four years at Shea high school in Pawtucket, is sure to be a great addition to the team. Not only because of his play on the court, but the buzz he will create in the local area.
While at Shea, Bans scored 2,605 points. That is the most in Rhode Island Interscholastic League history. “Erickson Bans is an explosive combo guard is an elite playmaker. Erickson has deep three-point shooting range and can shoot it off dribble and off the catch” says coach Grasso.
His ability to score will be the key of what helps get playing time for the Bulldogs. While only 5 feet, 11 inches, and 165 pounds, his play will be similar to what Michael Green III showed in his rookie season in 2019-2020.
Chris Childs, a 6 foot 2 inch guard from the Bronx, New York played the 2019-2020 season at Indian Hills Community College. Childs played very well in the 32 games he played in, averaging 14.2 points per game and shooting 45% from three point range.
“Chris Childs was one of the top three-point shooters in the nation the past two seasons,” says coach Grasso. “His basketball IQ and ability to play both sides of the ball will immediately impact our program. He will add a much-needed scoring punch and a New York City swagger”.
That New York City swagger that coach Grasso is talking about is something that he would say regarding freshman (soon to be sophomore) Michael Green III. That energy that Green would bring the the court is something that you will see from Childs in the 2020-2021 season.
Darius Guinn is a 6 foot, 7 inch forward played the 2019-2020 season at Central Wyoming college. During the 2019-2020 season, Guinn averaged 17 points per game and came down with 6 rebounds per game.
“Darius Guinn is a skilled wing player who can play inside and out. He is able to stretch the floor with his shooting ability and can make plays off the dribble. He is a guy who can defend multiple positions and led his region in charges taken (five in one game) this season. [Guinn] will give us a boost of defensive toughness” said coach Grasso.
His toughness and ability to get inside will be much needed after the loss of Patrick Harding. It came out a few weeks ago that Harding will be transferred to Columbia University.
Luke Sutherland is a 6 foot 7 inch sophomore who played the 2019-2020 season at Siena College. Sutherland didn’t see much time on the court in 2019-2020, only playing in seven games.
“Luke Sutherland is an athletic frontcourt player who can really stretch the floor with his shooting ability. Luke’s athleticism will give him the opportunity to play either of our frontcourt positions and his gym rat work ethic will be a great fit in our culture” says coach Grasso.
The size from Sutherland will be a much needed help for the Bulldogs. On multiple occasions in the past, they struggled due to their lack of size. Sutherland was also AAU teammates with current Bulldog Charles Pride with the New York Jayhawks.
Melo Eggleston, a former top 100 recruit, is a 6 foot, 8 inch guard who played the 2019-2020 season for Arkansas State in the Sun Belt conference. In 20 games for Arkansas State, Eggleston averaged 8.4 points per game.
“Melo Eggleston was a top-100 player coming out of high school and has a huge upside. His length and athleticism will allow him to guard any position on the floor. Offensively Melo is a 6’8″ playmaker who has had prior success at the Division I level that we hope will carry over here at Bryant” sad coach Grasso.
In just over 20 minutes per game in 2019-2020, Eggleston averaged 8.4 points per game. For a player who had over a dozen offers from high major programs, Eggleston has the chance to show what type of player he could be.
These five players have a legitimate shot to be key contributors for the Bulldogs in 2020-2021. With the loss of key players to either graduation or transferring like Adam Grant, Ikenna Ndugba, SaBastian Towns, and Patrick Harding, these five guys might be sliding right into the regular rotation for Jared Grasso on any given night.