Cambridge, Mass. (August 7) -- The MIT men's basketball program and head coach Larry Anderson have announced this year's incoming recruiting class as the Engineers welcome eight new student-athletes to the team.
"I really think this is a solid group that is eager to learn and fit in with our returning roster," said Anderson. "There seems to be a natural chemistry between this incoming class. Any time you bring in a big class, it's a natural challenge to figure out how to help them adjust and how we develop as a unit."
This year's incoming class features student-athletes from six states and one foreign country as the MIT roster now hails from 11 different states and three foreign countries. Comprising this year's class is Giannis Chatziveroglou (Athens, Greece), Alex Cho (San Diego, Calif.), Cooper Driscoll (Wallingford, Pa.), Julian Manyika (San Francisco, Calif.), Grant Miller (Park Ridge, Ill.), Muna Nwana (White Plains, N.Y.), Dan Pilsbury (Millington, N.J.) and Brendt Stephens (Troy, Mich.).
Chatziveroglou, debuted in the Greek Professional Men's Third Division as an amateur at 15 years old with Illisiakos. He was also a co-captain of the Greek National U16 Team while starting every game. His Panathinaikos U18 Team advanced to the Conference Finals, while he also competed in the ANGT U18 Euroleague Tournament in Barcelona, Spain, where he averaged 10.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and two assists. In 2018, Chatziveroglou averaged 20.5 points, eight rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while serving as the team captain for the Panathinaikos U18 Team. He also received the 2018 Award of Athletic Excellence from Panathinaikos BC. He finished in the top 20 nationally in the Greek National Computer Science Competition, along with the top 50 in the Greek National Chemistry and Math Competitions. Chatziveroglou was a four-year high school Honor Roll student who placed in the top 10 in the STEM Greek National Competition F1 in Schools.
Cho, a four-year varsity starter and three-year captain at La Jolla Country Day School, was a three-time All-League honoree and a two-time All-State Honorable Mention selection. Also playing football, he averaged 13 points, five rebounds and four assists per game as he reached the 1,000-point mark for his career with his team claiming the 2016 CIF Championship. Cho was also a member of the Cum Laude Honor Society and the Business Club Leader.
Driscoll was a three-year varsity letter winner in basketball and a four-time letter winner in track and field at Strath Haven High School. In basketball, he was the league Defensive Player of the Year and a Second Team All-Central League honoree. Driscoll was the Rising Field Athlete in track, a two-time Track MVP and was awarded All-Delco honors twice. A forward on the basketball team and a javelin thrower on the track and field team, he was a member of the National Honor Society. Driscoll will also compete on the MIT track and field team.
Manyika, a four-year varsity letter winner and two-time team captain at University High School, was a 2018 Second Team All-League honoree averaging 12 points, three rebounds, three assists and three three-pointers per game. He was a 2016 All-League Honorable Mention, 2017 First Team All-League and a two-time league champion. A team captain, Manyika set the single-season school record for three-pointers made with 103 while finishing second all-time in career threes with 250 and shooting 42 percent from distance for his career. He served as an Admissions Ambassador as a senior and Co-President of Academics as a junior.
Miller, a three-time letter winner in basketball at Maine South High School, was also a member of the volleyball team and a captain of both programs. He was an All-Conference performer, the Team MVP, a CSL Scholar and an IHSA Scholar-Athlete. For his career, he averaged 12.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. Miller was a member of the National Honor Society, the Juggling Club president and won the Department Award for Mathematics. He was named as the District's 207 Best for Academic Achievement and was a Maine Scholar (top 1% of class).
Nwana, who was a four-year letter winner at the Brunswick School, was also a four-year letter winner on the track and field team and the captain of both teams. The brother of junior Nacho Nwana, Muna, who was a point guard, was the captain of the math team and a high roll student. He also won the 2018 Thomas Shields Mathematics Award and the 2015 Kenneth T. Merit Mathematics Award.
Pilsbury, a Third Team All-State Group 4 honoree at Watchung Hills Regional High School, was a three-time First Team All-Conference selection and First Team All-Area. Averaging 15.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.1 assists and two steals per game, he set the career scoring record with 1,233 points to go along with the single-game mark of 38 points. Academically, Pilsbury was an NJSIAA Somerset County Scholar-Athlete Award winner.
Stephens, a varsity letter winner in both basketball and track and field at Athens High School, was the MVP of the 2017 Detroit Roundball Classic while finishing with the No. 2 free throw percentage in the state of Michigan. He was a member of the National Honor Society, the Physics Club President, a National AP Scholar and a member of the All A's List.
"This is an important recruiting class for our program as we will graduate five seniors this coming spring," said Anderson. "This group of young men will help fill some holes and add some much-needed depth. They want it and we'll expect more from this class if we're going to continue to build on our long MIT basketball tradition."
MIT is coming off a 25-6 overall record a season ago as the team won its second straight NEWMAC Tournament Championship and advanced to the NCAA Division III Elite Eight.
"A big time thank you goes out to my staff, Tyler Papadinis, Rob DiBernardo, Larry Farmer, John Sanchez and David Kroopnick for all the hard work they put in to bring in a solid recruiting class," Anderson said.