La Salle landed a late 2014 commitment when Ukrainian forward Yevgen Sakhniuk committed to the Explorers, according to a release from his club program, Get Better Academy.
The 6-foot-7 Sakhniuk is a member of Ukraine’s U20 national team and played with GBA Sparta out of the Czech Republic last season. Sakhniuk also played for Ukraine’s U16 and U18 teams the last few years.
The 19-year-old Sakhniuk spoke about playing with Get Better Academy and how he came to his decision to play for La Salle in an interview on the club’s website.
“The impact was big, (GBA coach Julian Betko) has played already in NCAA and he has experience in terms of knowing colleges and coaches, basic on the conversation and research about La Salle University and their coach, who is great coach in my opinion and the coach who can continue make me better in NCAA and helping to achieve my goals in future,” Sakhniuk said.
Sakhniuk averaged 16 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and 1.5 blocks per game in four games against American high school competition with Get Better Academy during the NPSI in February.
The forward joins Washington D.C. native and point guard Johnnie Shuler in La Salle’s 2014 class.
Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.
Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.
Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.
The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.
John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.
We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.
For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.
Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.