Lancer Men’s Basketball Head Coach Chris Cheng Introduces 2020-21 Recruiting Class
Joining the blue and gold are nine standout athletes from Canada and the United States. Locally, Terence Williams will transfer back home from Mott Community College, while Brayden Amlin joins the Lancers from St. Anne’s High School.
Also donning the blue and gold this year are Brampton’s Anthony Mensah and Lorenzo Barbieri, Ziphion Grant from Vaughn, ON, Ben Mascarenhas from Cambridge, Isaiah Mayambu of Burlington, ON, and Segun Akimbulumo from Winnipeg, Manitoba.
“In my first few months in the new position, I really had the opportunity to appreciate our campus and the tradition of our program,” said Cheng. “I have grown to learn further that the University of Windsor is a special place and to be a member of our Lancer program is truly an honour.”
“I feel this class represents the type of character and talent we look to bring to our program yearly,” Cheng continues. “Each person understands who we are and who we work to become both on and off the floor. I am very pleased with this year’s class and excited to see what we can become.” – Chris Cheng, Head Coach
Recruiting coordinator Barry Amlin is very pleased with the depth of this group. “This year’s class covers all the bases for our program. Impact transfers, immediate first year contributors, and players that project as solid pieces we will need down the road. All are good students and people that we are excited to have as Lancers.”
Leading the way for this year’s class are three transfers that will bring maturity and experience. “In order for us to stay competitive and to achieve our vision of bringing a championship to Windsor, it is and always will be a priority to bring in experienced talent that not only will improve our competitive play on the court but also compliment our program’s culture,” said Cheng. “I feel we have done so with the additions of Terence Williams, Jalen Sykes, and Anthony Mensah.”
This past season, Williams was named to the Michigan Community College Athletic Association (MCCAA) all-conference team and the conference all-defensive team with Mott Community College in Flint Michigan. The 6’2 guard is a welcomed addition to the blue and gold.
“Terence gives us an experience guard that can handle the ball especially against pressure, create for his teammates and himself, good catch and shoot 3-point shooter, and fierce defender and rebounder,” said Cheng. “His experience, maturity and leadership will be valuable to our younger guards.”
Sykes, a 6’5 guard out of Detroit, transfers to Windsor from St. Clair College. “Jalen fits the bill to what I was looking for in a taller perimeter guard. Jalen is a versatile and athletic player who can defend 1-4, create off the dribble for others and himself, and very good catch and shoot 3-point shooter. Jalen automatically improves our perimeter play. I am really excited to what he can bring to our program.”
Rounding out the trio is Mensah, a 6’8 forward from Central Wyoming College. “Anthony gives us length, experience, skill and athleticism to our front court. I am really excited to what Anthony can bring,” commented Cheng. “He is the perfect type of player we needed to add to our front court especially how we utilize our forwards. His experience, leadership and play will be counted on from the start.”
The Lancers’ six high school recruits are equally as impressive as the three transfers joining the team this year. “These six athletes bring shooting, passion to defend and rebound, and strong character and maturity to our program. I really like what each individual brings to our program both on and off the floor,” said Cheng.
A 6’2 guard from Brampton, ON, Barbieri was team captain and an honour roll student at Lincoln Prep. “Lorenzo is a huge get for us. I am really happy he feels at home with us,” commented Cheng. “Lorenzo is capable of guarding multiple positions, creating shots for others, creating for himself, and is a capable catch and shoot player Lorenzo provides us with another strong ball-handler that can pressure the paint and pressure guards defensively.”
Ziphion Grant is a 6’4 guard from Southwest Prep and Thornlea Secondary School in Vaughn, ON. Grant was an OSBA finalist in 2019, in addition to being a EYBL and adidas gauntlet player.
“Ziphion improves our perimeter play on both ends of the floor because of his versatility. He is athletic and skilled. He has a passion to defend his position, rebound on both ends of the floor, and can shoot the three and pressure the paint. I am excited to see Ziphion perform over his years with us. He has huge upside potential to be a force in our league.”
Another 6’2 guard, Ben Mascarenhas is a five time D8 all-star, a D8 MVP & D8 champion with St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School. Cheng says, “Ben is a strict knock down shooter. He is known for his shooting ability both catch and shoot and off the dribble. Ben comes from a well-respected high school program and is coached by a very good coach in John Malnerich. Ben’s ability to stretch the floor will help create drive lines for some of our crafty guards to get into the paint as well use our post to create from the block and high post.”
The tallest of the group, Akinbulumo checks in as a 6’8 centre from Northstar Prep Winnipeg. “Segun adds to our depth in our front court with his height and size in the paint. He is a capable passer from the post, good paint finisher and rebounder. Segun will need some time to adjust to the physicality and speed of our level but he has the mindset to improve daily. We will count on Segun’s interior play to help us improve our front court play.”
Staying home for school was a natural decision for Tecumseh’s Brayden Amlin. At 6’1, Amlin will join the Lancers in the guard position. “Growing up a Lancer fan, Brayden was destined to wear the blue and gold,” reflected Cheng. “I am glad that Brayden stayed committed to his roots and passion for Lancer Basketball. Brayden is another guard that can stretch the floor with his shooting ability. Physicality and speed will be an adjustment for him but once he figures it out and improves these areas, his shooting ability will be more effective.”
This past season was an impressive one for Isaiah Mayambu of Burlington, ON. The 6’2 guard was named a first team all star at two tournaments, was named the All-Ohio Red Nike tournament MVP, and led his team to the GHAC finals and OFSAA qualifiers.
“All the times I watched Isaiah play this past high school season he put up high numbers and shot the ball at a high percentage. He can score in bunches with his catch and shoot and ability to create off the bounce. If he continues to progress like he has this past season, he has the potential to be legitimate scorer for us over the years.”