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Niagara, Bona fill big needs with recruits

Niagara University’s men’s basketball team added sought-after 6-foot-7 forward Marvin Prochet of Brooklyn as the eighth member of its recruiting class, the Purple Eagles announced Thursday.

Meanwhile, St. Bonaventure announced the official signing of a much-needed second option at point guard, Canadian Nelson Kaputo.

Prochet missed the first two months of his senior season at Long Island Lutheran due to a fractured leg but helped the school reach the state semifinals. He appears to be a strong recruit for Niagara coach Chris Casey. According to various reports, he also had offers this spring from Niagara conference rivals Iona, Monmouth and Quinnipiac, along with Maine, St. Francis and Fairleigh Dickinson.

“Marvin comes from an outstanding program and has great versatility as a player,” Casey said in a statement. “He can score the ball in a variety of ways and guard multiple positions. He has character, a strong work ethic, and will be a positive contributor to our program immediately.”

Prochet was slowed some upon his return from the leg injury this season but finished with an average of 10 points and seven rebounds. He was Lutheran’s top player as a junior, averaging 12 points and eight rebounds. He told reporters late in the 2014 season that he had drawn interest from Minnesota, Seton Hall and Dayton, among others, and an offer from St. Bonaventure.

Prochet spent his first two seasons at Boys and Girls High School in Brooklyn.

Given Niagara’s need in the front-court, Prochet has a good chance to see significant time, and perhaps start, as a freshman. The Purple Eagles could be without their top forward, Dominique Reid, who is facing three felony counts due to arrests in the past year.

Six of Niagara’s eight new recruits will be able to play right away.

The 6-foot-1 Kaputa is a left-hander who was ranked No. 8 among 2016 Canadian prospects by North Pole Hoops. He played for Canada’s under-17 national team and helped his St. Michael’s College secondary school team to a 48-1 record.

The Bonnies needed a point guard to back up starter Jay Adams.

“We are ecstatic to have Nelson join our program,” said St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt. “He’s a consummate point guard … a pass-first point guard with a great feel for the game. He’s an attacker and a playmaker on the floor.”

Last season Bona had to shift star shooting guard Marcus Posley to the point when Adams was injured late in the season.

“Nelson gives us depth,” Schmidt said. “We won’t have to shift Marcus to the point guard if something happens to Jay – we can keep him at his natural position. He really gives us more flexibility. Maybe we’ll play all three of them together at times. It’s just a good situation to have more depth.”

Kaputo helped St. Michael’s to two Ontario Provincial titles in the past three years. He also played for a quality AAU program, CIA Bounce.