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.
Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.
The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.
It wasn’t pretty.
And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.
Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.
The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.
But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.
Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: