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Men's Basketball Announces Five Recruits for Class of 2017

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By Mark Washburn
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HANOVER, N.H. — Dartmouth men’s basketball head coach Paul Cormier today announced his recruiting class of five student-athletes that will enroll this fall. The Big Green are looking to take the next step up in the Ivy League standings one year after posting its best finish and overall record in four years.

“We’re very pleased with these five recruits we are bringing in and think this will be a special class,” said Dartmouth Head Coach Paul Cormier. “Two or three of them could have an immediate impact and definitely will help with some deficiencies that we’ve had in our lineup over the last couple of years.”

Wesley Dickinson, Forward, 6-7, 220
Bergenfield, N.J. (Dwight Morrow/Peddie School)
Dickinson earned numerous honors at Dwight Morrow, including first-team all-county twice, first-team all-prep and third-team non-public all-state (along with current Big Green point guard Alex Mitola) when he averaged 18.4 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two blocks as a senior in 2011-12. He went on to spend a postgraduate year at the Peddie School and continued to shine as he put up nearly 17 points a game.

Coach Cormier’s Comments: “Wes is an excellent rebounder and a very quick jumper, attributes that will help us immediately on the defensive end. He likely will be our best shot blocker as well. He does have a back-to-the-basket game, but he has never really been called upon to be a high-producing scorer. As he develops, he will make more and more of an impact at the offensive end during his four years at Dartmouth.”

Mike Fleming, Guard, 6-0, 175
Lake Forest, Ill. (Stevenson/Northfield Mt. Hermon (Mass.))
Fleming spent the past year an hour and a half south of Hanover at Northfield Mount Hermon in Massachusetts as a postgraduate student, averaging 5.8 points and 3.3 assists to help the Hoggers to a 29-5 record and the National Prep Championship. Before his year in the Northeast, Fleming was a two-time all-area point guard in his home state of Illinois at Stevenson High. As a senior he led his squad with 16.8 points per game while averaging 3.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists, plus was an all-academic first-team selection.

Coach Cormier’s Comments: “Mike finds a way to be productive with whatever his team needs, whether at the point or the two. He can distribute and he can shoot, though his statistics aren’t necessarily going to blow you away. But the more you watch him play, the more you realize his team plays much better with him on the floor. Every coach wants to have a guy like Mike in their program, and we expect him to contribute immediately.”

Cole Harrison, Center, 6-10, 235
Brentwood, Tenn. (Montrose Christian (Md.))
After two years at his hometown Brentwood Academy, Harrison spent his senior season suiting up for basketball powerhouse Montrose Christian in Maryland, averaging seven points and eight rebounds for a Mustang team that finished the year ranked 25th in the country with a 19-5 record. He is a true center who garnered interest from numerous Division I programs, and is quite agile for his size with a strong back-to-the-basket game and soft hands.

Coach Cormier’s Comments: “If I had to guess, Cole might have the biggest impact not only as a freshman but overall, and a big reason for that is the fact that he is 6-10. He is a true back-to-the-basket five man. He can come away from the basket and be involved in a high-low situation. At his size, he is quite mobile and he has good hands, so we expect him to be our true center in the near future. He could have a good chance of moving into the starting rotation come January or February as we figure out best how to utilize his size and skills.”

Eli Harrison, Small Forward, 6-6, 185
Sisters, Ore. (Sisters)
Harrison (no relation to Cole) put together a stellar four-year career at Sisters, scoring 1,108 points, including 519 as a junior to set a school record while leading the Outlaws to a 24-5 record and the state semifinals. The Sky-Em Conference Player of the Year and first-team all-state selection in 2011-12 was well on his way to repeating the honor as a senior, averaging 19.5 points, eight rebounds and four assists, before being sidelined by an injury after just one conference game.

Coach Cormier’s Comments: “Eli is a bit of an X-factor for us. We went after several strong shooters during the recruiting process, and Eli is one that we landed. He was one of the best, if not the best, player in his league, but he will have some adjustments to make, as all freshmen do, getting up to speed with the college game. How quickly he can make those adjustments will determine how quickly he can make an impact on the floor.”

Ikemefuna Ngwudo, Forward, 6-6, 200
Baldwin, N.Y. (Milton Academy (Mass.))
An athletic wing with the ability to slash to the hoop, Ngwudo earned All-Independent Scholastic League honorable mention during his senior season after missing nearly his entire junior campaign due to a foot injury. During the summer of 2011, he participated in a two-week trip to Russia organized by USA Basketball, getting exposed to the international flavor of the game while playing against the local athletes.

Coach Cormier’s Comments: “Ike is a very, very special athlete, and probably the most athletic player on the team. He is still learning the game, and we as a coaching staff have to help him improve his skills. If he develops as I believe he can, he is going to be a special player for us. Unfortunately we’re not sure how soon we will be able to work with him as he has an injury that could sideline him for just the summer or for the season.”