"This is a really strong class," says Nee. "We've signed a quality junior college big man and two excellent local players. They all fit well at Duquesne."
Hernol Hall comes to Duquesne from a Lon Morris program that has sent 16 players to Division I schools in the last four years. The 6-9, 240-pound Costa Rica native averaged 10.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per game in helping the Jacksonville, Texas school to a 25-4 record and No. 10 final regular-season ranking in the NJCAA Division I Men's Basketball Poll last year. He shot 60.0 percent from the field (105-167) and 65.7 percent (90-137) from the foul line in being named honorable mention All-Region XIV.
Hall, who will have two years of eligibility at Duquesne, is listed as the top junior college center prospect in the nation by 2005-06 Lindy's Basketball. He was also named first team preseason All-America by JucoJunction and fourth team preseason All-JUCO by 2005-06 Street & Smith's magazine.
"We needed a big, strong inside player who can play immediately and that is exactly what Hernol Hall brings," says Nee.
Antonio DiMaria, a 6-6, 200-pounder, played at Sewickley Academy as a freshman, sophomore and part of his junior year, prior to transferring to Bishop Canevin. He was named Associated Press third team all-state in 2003 after averaging 17.0 ppg. in leading Sewickley Academy to a 26-5 record, its first WPIAL Class A championship, and an appearance in the PIAA final. He was first team all-section as a freshman and sophomore.
The 6-2, 190-pound Steve McNees was named to both the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Class AA first teams after finishing second in the WPIAL with a 26.1 points per game scoring average. A true point guard, McNees also averaged 8.8 assists, 7.3 rebounds per game and shot 35 percent from the 3-point arc in helping Shenango to an 18-6 record last season. McNees, a three-year starter for his father, Bill, at Shenango, will enter his senior year with 1,421 career points.
"I really like the versatility of Antonio DiMaria," continues Nee. "He's a big, strong wing player who does a little of everything. I also really like the court savvy of Steve McNees. Both Antonio and Steve's fathers are coaches and they are both familiar with our program. Having two local kids decide to stay close to home and sign with Duquesne is a giant step for us."
The three signees leave Duquesne with two available scholarships.
DUQUESNE UNIVERSITY BASKETBALL 2006-07 SIGNEES
NAME POS HT WT CL PPG RPG
Antonio DiMaria G/F 6-6 200 Fr. --- ---
Hernol Hall C 6-9 240 Jr. 10.3 8.0
Steve McNees G 6-2 190 Fr. 26.1 8.8a
PRONUNCIATION GUIDE: Hall's first name is pronounced AR-nle (like Arnold without the "d").
DiMaria's last name is pronounced De-MARE-e-a.