MATAGRANO, RHOADS INK NLI'S TO JOIN MEN'S BASKETBALL PROGRAM

DURHAM, N.H. – Head coach Bill Herrion and his staff announced Friday that Chris Matagrano (Sayreville, N.J.) and Chandler Rhoads (Berryville, Va.) have signed National Letters of Intent to attend the University of New Hampshire and join the men’s basketball team in the fall.

“We are excited with the addition of both of these young men,” Herrion said. “We really think that they will be good pieces as we continue to build our program and get closer to our goal of winning an America East championship.”

Matagrano, a 6-foot-9-inch, 250-pound post player from Sayreville, N.J., averaged 12 points and eight rebounds per game last season for Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J. Matagrano led Blair to a 19-4 record, as well as the program’s first New Jersey Prep A state championship in school history.

Matagrano graduated from Sayreville High School, where he led the program to the NJSIAA tournament in 2007-08 for the first time in five years after averaging 12 points and 12 boards per game en route to being voted the squad’s MVP.

“What we really like about Chris is his work ethic and how hard he plays,” Herrion said.” He has great size and real good skill for a big man. He will give us another physical presence in the frontcourt to go along with Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass.). We are excited to have him.”

Rhoads, a 6-2, 190-pound point guard from Berryville, Va., attended Air Force Prep during the 2008-09 season, and averaged 17 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals per game.

Rhoads, who played AAU ball with current Wildcat forward Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) for East Coast Fusion and head coach Cade Lemcke, graduated as the all-time leading scorer at Clarke County High School with 1,638 points. Rhoads, who was named Virginia State A Basketball Player of the Year after averaging 25.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game during his senior campaign, lead Clarke County to a pair of state championships during his four years at the school. Rhoads was also a First Team All-State member his junior and senior seasons, as well as being a McDonald’s All-American nominee his final year at Clarke County.

“Obviously one of our needs with this recruiting class was to get a point guard,” Herrion said. “Chandler has great size, speed and strength and will increase our depth on the perimeter.”

The Wildcats put together their most successful season in 15 years, finishing 14-16 overall and 8-8 in the conference. The ‘Cats earned the fourth seed – their highest since the 2002 season – in the America East tournament and came within minutes of their first title game, falling to eventual champion Binghamton in the semifinals.
 

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