Building for the Best

Triton basketball has had a productive offseason, already signing five recruits and two coaches in the hopes of building the CCAA’s most elite squad.

After coming just shy of clinching a postseason berth in March, the UCSD men’s basketball squad concluded this past season on a bitter note. Finishing with a 15–11 record, the Tritons recorded the program’s most wins in five years during their 2013–14 campaign but still fell short of making a playoff run. In response to the season’s disappointing end, UCSD has already taken major strides in pushing next fall’s squad to newer heights, signing five new recruits and adding two new members to the coaching staff in only the past month. Take a look at the UCSD Guardian’s guide to the host of new talent that will don blue and gold in the upcoming season.

Brendan Clowry: Clowry is the most recent addition to the Tritons — a May 12 announcement declared him an assistant coach — and he has an impressive amount of experience. Clowry acted as the assistant coach to crosstown school University of San Diego for the 2013–14 season, but he appears to have been everywhere else beforehand. He played four years of collegiate basketball at Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina before playing professionally in Egypt and Australia. He coached extensively in all three countries and most recently led the University of San Diego to a National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association championship.

Clint Allard: Former UCSD player and assistant coach Clint Allard returns as associate head coach. As a four-year starter for UCSD, Allard led the Tritons to a program-best 18–1 record, their first California Collegiate Athletics Association tournament championship and their first NCAA Division II West Regionals appearance in 2008. Allard spent another four seasons with UCSD as an assistant coach. He also served as an assistant coach to No. 24 Cal Poly Pomona, helping the Broncos to a 28–3 record and on to their first CCAA regular season crown and tournament championship. Allard, who clearly knows his way around Triton basketball, will play a crucial role in individual player development, scouting and recruiting.

George Buaku: Buaku is a 6-foot-2-inch, 170-pound point guard from El Toro High School in Lake Forest, California, with the potential to earn serious playing time in his freshman year. He earned the Most Valuable Player award in his team’s South Coast League in his senior year and averaged 12.4 points, 4.8 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game. After leading El Toro to a 26–3 record in his final season, he was named to the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Division IA First-Team. As an all-around playmaker, Buaku stands to take over for graduating senior and point guard James McCann.

Jordan Flannery: A 6-foot-5-inch, 195-pound swingman of Oaks Christian High School, Flannery is a capable scorer who can potentially provide the Tritons with consistent points off the bench. He was named the Tri-Valley League Player of the Year after leading his team to a strong 26–7 season with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists in his senior year. Flannery also earned a spot on the Second Team All-Ventura County and scored a team-high of 19 points in the California Interscholastic Federation Division IVAA title game, where the Lions came up short to JSerra Catholic High School despite the strong offensive display from Flannery.

Kenny Fraser: Fraser is a 6-foot-7-inch, 185-pound forward from Turlock High School who will bring much-needed inside presence and rebounding ability to the under-sized UCSD squad. Despite his height, Fraser will need to fill out his tall frame and become physically stronger to compete on the collegiate level. Fraser averaged 17.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game as a senior and was named First Team All-Central California Conference. As the UCSD team has consistently struggled in the past with the lack of a scoring big man, Fraser’s size and midrange jumper will play a huge role in changing up the Tritons’ game.

Grant Jackson: The 6-foot-1-inch, 170-pound point guard comes from reigning California Division I state champion Monte Vista High School and will provide clutch experience on a large high school stage. Jackson averaged 10.1 points, four rebounds and three assists his senior year to lead the Mustangs to a nearly perfect 32–1, title-winning season and was named first-team all-league and Honorable Mention All-Metro. Though Jackson may not have size, his skills as a point guard, positions him to take on a significant guard role akin to that previously helmed by graduating seniors Matt Bailey and James McCann.

Brett Oosdyke: Hailing from Santa Margarita High School, a consistently high-profile high school contender, Oosdyke is a 6-foot-6-inch, 200-pound shooting forward with an excellent spot-up game. In addition to hitting shots from the perimeter, Oosdyke also has a solid touch in the paint. Combined with his size and frame, Oosdyke provides the potential to double up as both a desperately needed center and forward. He averaged 10 points, six rebounds and three assists and led the Eagles to a 26–9 season in his senior year en route to a CIF Southern Section 3AA championship victory.