Third-year Indiana Tech men's basketball coach John Peckinpaugh has spent the past six weeks scouring the nation to replenish his roster for the 2017-18 season and he was able to do so, to a small degree, this weekend.
The Warrior program secured one recruit with a signed National Letter of Intent and received a verbal commitment from another, but Peckinpaugh is not anywhere close to being finished in terms of recruiting this spring.
“We're going to bring in some guards that can put the ball in the basket,” Peckinpaugh told The News-Sentinel recently.
Peckinpaugh signed guard Joel Wincowski and got a commitment from forward Nic Williams and said he hopes to “sign five more players,” as he tries to fill a 2016-17 roster that is losing as many as 10 players and nearly 80 percent of the Warriors' offense.
Wincowski spent three semesters playing at NCAA Division I Maryland-Baltimore County, before transferring to NCAADivisionIIIBardCollege this semester. However, a job transfer by his father to Fort Wayne led him to Indiana Tech and Peckinpaugh believes the 6-foot-3 junior-to-be can make an impact next season.
“I think he can be a pretty productive player in our league with his size at the guard spot,” Peckinpaugh said. “He can play all three guard spots. He is a smart player and has a knack to score the ball.”
In high school, Wincowski scored over 2,600 points and saw action in 26 games for UMBC as a freshman. Following a coaching change, however, his playing time eroded and he transferred to Bard.
In five games with Bard, he averaged over 10 points per game and played nearly 30 minutes per game.
“Once he gets his confidence back,” Peckinpaugh said, “he was a very, very productive high school scorer. If we can get him back to that level, he can be a very good scoring threat in our offense.”
Wincowski was the New York State Player of the Year twice and broke former NBA player Jimmer Fredette's area scoring record in high school. He also led Lake GeorgeHigh School to a pair of state championships.
In another twist of fate, Williams landed with the Warriors, not due to a job change, but because of Saint Joseph's College closing.
The 6-foot-4 athlete was very productive this past season with the Pumas, as he played in all 29 games and averaged over 10 points and six rebounds per game.
Peckinpaugh knew of Williams when he played at two-year school Columbus State in Ohio and when Saint Joseph's announced that it was closing, Peckinpaugh spent “probably three or four days watching every one of their games.”
Williams can not only score, but he was productive defensively at both ColumbusState and Saint Joseph's.
“Nic has the potential to be very good in our league,” Peckinpaugh said. “I think the (Great Lakes Valley Conference) is the best Division II league in the country. His game will translate to our league very well.”
Indiana Tech returns senior-to-be center Scott Schwieterman, as well as sophomore forwards Mitch Morken, Jason Boateng and Max Huber, but that is it. Peckinpaugh not only has to find players, but he has to find the right type of players to maintain the winning culture that he has tried to instill in the program since being hired.
“That is one thing that we are looking to recruit,” Peckinpaugh said, “are guys that have come from winning programs and have the ability to be vocal leaders right away.”
Williams helped ColumbusState to a 25-win season as a sophomore and will have one year of eligibility, while Wincowski has two.
“We are excited about the recruiting class that we are starting to piece together,” Peckinpaugh said.
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