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Men’s Hoopsters
creating excitement with big-name transfers, high-profile recruits

Men’s Hoopsters
creating excitement with big-name transfers, high-profile recruits

Thanks to a pair of high-profile transfers from national basketball powers and a strong recruiting class, Lindenwood Belleville’s men’s basketball team is off to a strong start. They’ve got a 3-1 record with their only loss coming last week to top-ranked Mid-America Christian University in Oklahoma City. They’ve averaged more than 99 points a game through their first four contests.

“It’s an exciting time for sure,” said Head Coach Scott Spinner. “We’ve been able to add some players who are going to help us now–and who will help us add more quality players in the future.”

Shooting guard MarTavian Payne was heavily recruited by the University of Missouri but decided he wanted a change of scenery when he ended up playing off the bench. Given the chance to get on the court regularly with Lindenwood Belleville, he has led the Lynx in scoring, averaging 29 points per game as the team started the season with a 3-1 record.

Basketball playersThe 6-foot-2 junior sports management major from St. Louis said that when picking a school,  playing close to home was a priority. When Spinner offered him a chance to move right into the starting lineup, Payne couldn’t resist.

“I wanted to play near home, and I wanted to be somewhere I had a chance to win,” Payne said. “Lindenwood Belleville has been an excellent fit for me. The best part is the atmosphere. We have a great team, and I believe we can accomplish great things.”

Spinner said Payne is the sort of player who makes the people around him better.

“He can score from anywhere, but he’s always willing to pass the ball,” Spinner said. “He wants to get his teammates involved in the game. He’s a great leader by example.”

Senior Joey De La Rosa is a transfer from St. John’s University. From the Bronx, the 6-foot-11, 255-pound center has starred in Big East Conference games at Madison Square Garden. But when Head Coach Steve Lavin was ousted by the Red Storm last year, De La Rosa decided it was time for a fresh start.

When a friend of a friend suggested Lindenwood Belleville, De La Rosa was intrigued.

“When I talked to (Spinner), I just told him I wanted to go to his school,” De La Rosa said. “I didn’t want to go through the recruiting process again. I just wanted to find a place where I could go to school and play.”

Spinner said De La Rosa, who plans to pursue a professional basketball career overseas after he graduates with a sports management degree, is the team enforcer. He keeps things from getting out of control under his basket and he’s tough to stop under the other team’s goal.

“He’s an imposing guy out there on the court,” Spinner said. “He can be a real force in the paint.”

While the high-profile additions are exciting, Spinner said his team is also thrilled to add several local recruits to the roster this year. They include freshman point guard Braden Fitzjerrells of Mount Vernon and freshman shooting guard Logan Kohrmann of Bartelso.

“Those players are big additions for us, and we’re hoping they’ll open the pipeline to local talent,” Spinner said. “They’re two of the best regional recruits who were out there. They could have gone a lot of places, but we’re excited that they decided Lindenwood Belleville is the place they want to play and go to school.”

The Lindenwood Belleville men’s basketball team next takes the home court at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, against Williams Baptist College. The Lynx will play Freed-Hardeman University Saturday, Nov. 19. Tipoff is at 3 p.m.

Thanks to a pair of high-profile transfers from national basketball powers and a strong recruiting class, Lindenwood Belleville’s men’s basketball team is off to a strong start. They’ve got a 3-1 record with their only loss coming last week to top-ranked Mid-America Christian University in Oklahoma City. They’ve averaged more than 99 points a game through their first four contests.

“It’s an exciting time for sure,” said Head Coach Scott Spinner. “We’ve been able to add some players who are going to help us now–and who will help us add more quality players in the future.”

Shooting guard MarTavian Payne was heavily recruited by the University of Missouri but decided he wanted a change of scenery when he ended up playing off the bench. Given the chance to get on the court regularly with Lindenwood Belleville, he has led the Lynx in scoring, averaging 29 points per game as the team started the season with a 3-1 record.

The 6-foot-2 junior sports management major from St. Louis said that when picking a school,  playing close to home was a priority. When Spinner offered him a chance to move right into the starting lineup, Payne couldn’t resist.

“I wanted to play near home, and I wanted to be somewhere I had a chance to win,” Payne said. “Lindenwood Belleville has been an excellent fit for me. The best part is the atmosphere. We have a great team, and I believe we can accomplish great things.”

Spinner said Payne is the sort of player who makes the people around him better.

“He can score from anywhere, but he’s always willing to pass the ball,” Spinner said. “He wants to get his teammates involved in the game. He’s a great leader by example.”

Senior Joey De La Rosa is a transfer from St. John’s University. From the Bronx, the 6-foot-11, 255-pound center has starred in Big East Conference games at Madison Square Garden. But when Head Coach Steve Lavin was ousted by the Red Storm last year, De La Rosa decided it was time for a fresh start.

When a friend of a friend suggested Lindenwood Belleville, De La Rosa was intrigued.

“When I talked to (Spinner), I just told him I wanted to go to his school,” De La Rosa said. “I didn’t want to go through the recruiting process again. I just wanted to find a place where I could go to school and play.”

Spinner said De La Rosa, who plans to pursue a professional basketball career overseas after he graduates with a sports management degree, is the team enforcer. He keeps things from getting out of control under his basket and he’s tough to stop under the other team’s goal.

“He’s an imposing guy out there on the court,” Spinner said. “He can be a real force in the paint.”

While the high-profile additions are exciting, Spinner said his team is also thrilled to add several local recruits to the roster this year. They include freshman point guard Braden Fitzjerrells of Mount Vernon and freshman shooting guard Logan Kohrmann of Bartelso.

“Those players are big additions for us, and we’re hoping they’ll open the pipeline to local talent,” Spinner said. “They’re two of the best regional recruits who were out there. They could have gone a lot of places, but we’re excited that they decided Lindenwood Belleville is the place they want to play and go to school.”

The Lindenwood Belleville men’s basketball team next takes the home court at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, against Williams Baptist College. The Lynx will play Freed-Hardeman University Saturday, Nov. 19. Tipoff is at 3 p.m.

Click here for more information about Lynx men’s basketball.