THURSDAY, JULY 17, 2003
Basketball Announces 2003 Signing Class

July 17, 2003

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Basketball coach Hugh Durham has announced the signing of five players to national letters of intent for the 2003-04 season, including Florida 5A First-Team All-State forward Haminn Quaintance (Sarasota, Fla.) and seven-foot center Jure Lozancic (Omis, Croatia). Other signees include 6-foot-10 center Ljubisa Vrcelj (Windsor, Ontario), as well as guards Aubrey Conerly (Calumet, Ill.) and Woury Diallo (Dakar, Senegal). JU must replace eight seniors from last year's squad, including two-time All-Atlantic Sun point guard Kevin Sheppard and last season's leading scorer and rebounder, Calvin Warner.

Quaintance averaged 22.2 points, 12.0 rebounds, 6.0 blocks and 6.0 steals per game as a senior at Riverview High School as he helped lead the Rams to a 23-7 record and a spot in the Sweet 16 of the Florida State playoffs. The 6-foot-7, 205-pound forward was tabbed Florida Athletic Coaches Association (FACA) District 16 Player of the Year after leading the Riverview to the district title and was voted co-MVP of the FACA North-South All-Star Game after recording a triple-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

"Quaintance has the ability to make an immediate impact for us next year," said Durham, who is entering his seventh season at JU. "His strength is in the post, but he is versatile enough to play out on the wing."

Lozancic averaged 7.8 points and 5.4 rebounds last season at Olney (Ill.) Central College, where he helped lead the Blue Knights to a 20-11 record and a fourth-place finish in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference. As a true seven-footer, he gives the Dolphins an instant inside presence.

"Nothing can replace pure size," said Durham, who last season became just the 32nd Division I coach to eclipse 600 career wins. "Jure is a legitimate shot-blocker whose presence in the paint will enable us to play aggressive pressure defense."

Vrcelj, a native of Benkovac, Yogoslavia, averaged 16.0 points and 12.0 rebounds per game last season at W.F. Herman Secondary School in Windsor, Ontario, where he helped lead the team to a 31-5 record en route to all-city honors. As a junior, he averaged 13.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per contest as W.F. Herman went 29-6 and won the WECSSAA Championship.

Conerly played one season at Illinois Valley Community College, where he averaged a team-high 13.7 points per game, while finishing fifth in the nation with 8.85 assists per contest. The 6-foot sophomore also ranked 25th in the country with 2.78 steals per game en route to All-Arrowhead Conference honors. Conerly, along with current Chicago Bull Eddy Curry, helped lead Thornwood High School to a second-place finish in the Illinois State Tournament in 2001.

Diallo joins the Dolphins from Trinity Valley Community College, where he averaged a team-high 14.9 points in 28 games as a sophomore. The 6-foot-4, Senegal, West Africa native also pulled down a team-high 116 rebounds and had a team-best 80 steals.

JU returns no starters from last year's 13-16 squad, but does return senior forward Nolan McBride (Hartford, Conn.), sophomore guards Riley Didion (Cambridge, Wisc.) and Desmond Copeland (Sarasota, Fla.), and junior guard David Lee (Columbus, Ga.). The Dolphins also hope to get some production at the wing from redshirt sophomore Brian Novitsky (Horsham, Pa.), who has missed his first two seasons with chronic foot problems, as well as redshirt freshman forward Jarred Stockton (Jacksonville/Arlington Country Day). JU opens the 2003-04 regular season against Puerto Rico-Mayaguez on Nov. 21 at 7 p.m.

Name               Pos.   Ht.   Wt.   Cl.   Hometown (High School/Previous School)
Aubrey Conerly      G     6-0   170   So.   Calumet, Ill. (Thornwood/Illinois Valley CC)
Woury Diallo        G     6-4   195   Jr.   Dakar, Senegal (Trinity Valley CC)
Jure Lozancic       C     7-0   235   Jr.   Omis, Croatia (Gimnazjia/Olney Central College)
Haminn Quaintance   F     6-7   205   Fr.   Sarasota, Fla. (Riverview)
Ljubisa Vrcelj      C     6-10  230   Fr.   Windsor, Ontario (W.F. Herman Secondary School)