-- Rockets add Duquesne transfer for 2018-19
-- Oregon State grad-transfer joins Zips
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KALAMAZOO-- Thomas Wilder announced on May 22 that he has withdrawn his name for consideration for the 2017 NBA Draft and will return to Western Michigan University for his senior season.
Wilder had previously entered his name into the potential draft pool on March 21, however did not hire an agent, thus retaining his college eligibility and amateur status. Over the past month, Wilder has been able to work out for various NBA teams.
“I think our team is going to be really good next year so I am happy about my decision to return back to Western Michigan and help try to lead this team to a Mid-American Conference championship,” Wilder said.
“The past month has been a great learning experience in terms of seeing the business side of basketball. It really gave me new insight on how you need to approach things, that this is your business. I think that is going to help me in terms of knowing and improving on what NBA teams want to see from me.
“Before I leave Western Michigan, I want to win a MAC Championship,” Wilder said. “I want to hang a banner up for this community, for this program. I want to leave a mark and be remembered as one of the best ever to play at Western Michigan.”
Wilder has been one of the most dominating point guards in the MAC the past two seasons. As a junior this past year, he averaged 19.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.3 steals per game, becoming Western Michigan’s first First Team All-Mid-American Conference selection since 2014. He also had the best three-point shooting percentage in the conference at .444. As a sophomore, Wilder led the MAC from start to finish in conference scoring averaging 20.4 ppg on league games on his way to earning Second Team All-MAC honors.
“I was happy Thomas was able to go through the process and get valuable feedback,” said WMU head coach Steve Hawkins. “We were aware this year’s draft was very heavy in point guards and based on the information he received I think he is making a wise decision.
“We are elated to have Thomas back for his senior season and are very aware of what he is capable of. We’ll continue to help Thomas fulfill his dreams,” Hawkins said.
Rockets add Duquesne transfer for 2018-19
TOLEDO -- Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk announced on Wednesday that 6-4, 195-pound guard Spencer Littleson (Rochester Hills, Mich.) is transferring to the University of Toledo from Duquesne University. Littleson will become eligible to play for UT in the 2018-19 campaign and has three years of eligibility remaining.
“We’re very excited to have Spencer join our program and are looking forward to helping him grow as a player and a person,” Kowalczyk said. “Spencer is a very skilled guard that had a tremendous high school career. He’s a guy that we followed closely the last couple of years and then we had a chance to see him play in person during our closed scrimmage last fall against Duquesne. He played exceptionally well and really fits the profile we’re looking for.”
Littleson earned first-team Associated Press Class A all-state honors and finished third in the voting for 2016 Michigan Mr. Basketball at Rochester Adams High School. He averaged 25.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists and 2.0 steals per game with a 41.2 three-point field-goal percentage in leading the Highlanders to an 18-6 win-loss mark and the Class A regional championship. Littleson finished his career as the school record-holder for points in a season (502 as a senior), three-pointers in a season (72 as a senior), free throws in a game (19) and three-pointers in a career (161). As a junior, Littleson received honorable mention all-state accolades and averaged 19.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.4 steals.
Oregon State grad-transfer joins Zips
Akron -- The Akron Zips men's basketball program added a graduate transfer from Oregon State to their roster as Zips' head coach John Groce announced the signing of Malcolm Duvivier (Toronto, Ontario) on Tuesday.
"Malcolm is a great addition to our program," Groce said. "He is a big strong guard who is experienced and knows what it takes to compete at a high level. Malcolm's power and athleticism mixed with his toughness and competitiveness should allow him to become one of the top guards in the Mid-American Conference."
Duvivier is a 6-foot-2, 210-pound guard from the PAC 12 conference that will be eligible to compete for the Zips during the 2017-18 season. As a sophomore during the 2014-15 season at Oregon State, Duvivier posted career-high numbers while playing in all 31 games. He started 30 games and averaged 34.8 minutes per contest, scoring a second-best 10.7 points per game while dishing out a team-high 3.5 assists a night. He was OSU's primary ball handler and was one of the Beavers' top defensive players.
"Malcolm is an explosive scorer and elite defender,'' Groce said. "He can score in a variety of ways and is terrific in the open court, in isolation, and off ball screens. Defensively, he is very active and plays with a lot of energy, which allows him to be a versatile defender."
During his junior season, Duvivier helped lead Oregon State to its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1990. He started all 32 games and played 25.3 minutes per game. Duvivier contributed 6.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 2.2 assists as the Beavers posted a 19-13 overall mark. As a freshman, he played in all 32 games, scoring 3.1 points in 11.4 minutes of action. In three years with the Beavers, Duvivier averaged 6.6 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game.