APSU signed 6-9, 225-pound center Matt Hasse (pronounced Hass-ee), of Napierville (Ill.) High School; 6-7, 215-pound forward/center Joe Harms, of Belleville (lll.) Althoff; 6-6, 230-pound forward Will Triggs, of Edwardsville (Ill.) High School, and 6-5, 180-pound guard Thomas Greer, of West Carroll (Atwood) High School. All four prep players will be a part of the 2010-11 recruiting class.
Hasse and Harms immediately will offer APSU something it has been somewhat lacking in recent times, legitimate low-post play.
“I think that is something that really stands out, we have signed some kids that have some size,” APSU coach Dave Loos said. “We have been undersized for so long that this is probably big news. Joe Harms is 6-7 and Matt Hasse is 6-10 on a good day. Matt also has some size to him as far as his body build. Joe is a left hander who is really aggressive and has a good stroke. They give us something (size) we haven’t had in awhile.
“Both of them, in addition to being good prospects from a basketball standpoint, are certainly not guys you are going to have to worry about in the classroom. They are both top-notch student—I think Matt is going to be a physics major and Joe is just a terrific student. It makes a little easier on the old coach.”
Their respective styles and background remind Loos of another former Govs post player, 6-8 Zac Schlader, who played from 2002-05.
“They are reminiscent of Zac in a lot of ways,” Loos said. “They are great guys with a lot of character about them and terrific in the classroom. If they turn out to be the kind of player that Zac Schlader was I will just absolutely tickled to death because he was a pretty good basketball player for us.“
Hasse averaged 10 points and eight rebounds per game as a junior and was named a Top 50 recruit in Illinois. Harms, meanwhile, averaged only 5.5 points per game a year ago but shot 85.5 percent (59 of 69) from the floor for 22-8 Althoff, which lost to Champaign Centennial 65-60 in the Class 3A Springfield Super-Sectional—Centennial went on to win the state title. His strong offseason during AAU play saw his stock rise dramatically.
Triggs, meanwhile, averaged 15.9 points, shooting 64 percent (159 of 263) and 10.7 rebounds a game last season. He scored in double figures 26 times, including 15 double-doubles in 28 games as Edwardsville finished 22-6.
“Will Triggs is a big-bodied guy who is competitive, who is tough and is pretty athletic,” Loos said. “That gives us a guy who I think is going to be a good OVC-type player. He is that mid-sized guy who is really strong. We are really excited about him. Of course, he is a former teammate of Anthony (Campbell). We found out in a hurry that kids coming out of that program are pretty well coached. Triggs will be like that too. Mike Waldo just does a terrific job at that school.”
Greer, meanwhile, is the only guard the Govs signed early. And he is a big guard, someone who is reminiscent to a pair of former Govs, Todd Babington with his offensive skills and Rhet Wierzba with his basketball acumen.
Greer averaged 24 points and 9.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game for West Carroll High School, where he is coached by his father, Mike. He helped lead West Carroll to a 16-8 record a year ago and the District 13-A championship. He was first-team Class A All-State and was the 2008-09 District 13-A Most Valuable Player.
Greer already has scored 1880 career points entering his senior season. He is a 20-10 McDonalds All-America nominee and Class A Mr. Basketball candidate.
“Thomas is 6-4, 6-5 kid who can shoot it, can pass it, can handle it…just really knows how to play,” Loos said. “He is a coach’s son and spent his whole life in the gym. He just has a real feel and knack for the game—he has just been around it his entire life. We are really excited about what he can bring to the floor.
“We are getting some guys from different programs that have some outstanding coaches. I don’t Matt’s coach that well because he is new, but certainly the other three guys are very accomplished and that gives them a leg up when they arrive. They know what this game is about and how to go about playing it.