FAIRMONT — A couple of transfers and plenty of local flavor are the themes of Fairmont State men's basketball coach Tim Koenig's 2020 six-player recruiting class.
Two of the six players in the 2020 class join Fairmont State as transfers from Division I programs, and half of the six newcomers have ties to the local area.
Former Fairmont Senior High standout and James Madison transfer Zyon Dobbs fits into both categories of Fairmont State's 2020 class. Dobbs is joined in the transfer department by former Syracuse guard Brendan Paul. Locally, Dobbs' former Fairmont Senior High teammate and 2020 FSHS graduate Trey Washenitz and 2020 Trinity Christian graduate Seth Goins join Fairmont State as true freshmen.
The final two members of the 2020 class are 6-foot-5 guard Andrew Mills from Owings Mills, Maryland, and 6-foot-8 forward Ade Jenkins from Virginia Beach, Virginia.
"This year’s class will bolster an experienced roster that went 23-7 and earned the No. 5-seed in the Atlantic Regional a season ago,” said Koenig. “We are very happy with what we have been able to do in recruiting this season. All of these guys fit areas that we needed to address for the upcoming season and our depth will allow us to go deeper into the bench this season. But even more than that, these guys will bring cohesion to our locker room and really have bought into our team concept.
“I would also like to thank the Fairmont State University administration, athletics administration, and our coaching staff for their hard work during recruiting this past year. And, I would like to thank our donors and the Fairmont community for their passion and support of the program. I look forward to November when they get to see these guys take the court for the first time inside Joe Retton Arena.”
Dobbs, a 6-foot-3 sophomore guard, announced his decision to join the Falcons last month. Dobbs, who was a two-time state champion and three-time all-state first team selection during his career with the Polar Bears, comes to Fairmont State after a freshman season at JMU in which he played in 17 games and a total of 115 minutes. He scored a career-high nine points to go with four assists and five steals against Shenandoah on Nov. 13.
Throughout his high school career just down the road at Fairmont Senior High, Dobbs was the team's go-to orchestrator at point guard, a player who could collapse opposing defenses, set up teammates and kickstart transition chances. He was equally impressive defensively as a technical and tenacious defender in the Polar Bears' full-court pressing scheme, a style of play he has said will be helpful in adapting to the Falcons' up-tempo game.
"Zyon is a local standout that brings in Division I experience from his freshman season at JMU. At this moment we really don't know what position he will play, but that's okay," Koenig said in a press release. "All I know is he is a player with great versatility, he guards the basketball very well, and he will help us in many different ways on the offensive end. He will play multiple positions for us and will be able to make a major impact this season."
Dobbs averaged 16.8 points, 6.2 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game as a senior at FSHS. During his decorated career he total over 1,000 points and 500 assists, leading the Polar Bears to a pair of state championships and two additional title game appearances.
Paul, like Dobbs, announced his decision to transfer to Fairmont State from Syracuse earlier this spring, citing a childhood friendship with current Fairmont State guard Dale Bonner and a prior relationship with Koenig as major factors in his decision. Paul joins the Falcons after playing two seasons at Syracuse as a walk-on from Hawken High School in Ohio. Paul played in 17 games for the Orange over the past two seasons, and he also saw action in four exhibition games during an international tour to Italy while playing for Syracuse.
"Brendan is a Syracuse transfer and Cleveland-area standout that I have known for quite some time. We are very fortunate that he picked Fairmont State to continue his basketball career because he had several offers this spring, including some at the Division I level," Koenig said.
Prior to walking-on at Syracuse, Paul helped lead Brewster Academy to a 26-7 record and a National Prep School Championship Game appearance in 2017-18. He was teammates with Buddy Boeheim at Brewster Academy.
Prior to his one season at Brewster, Paul was a standout guard and 3-point shooter at Hawkem. During his career he was named team MVP following his junior and senior seasons and set a single-season school record for 3-point field goals with 70 in 2016. He also matched that total in 2017. During his time at Hawken, Paul led the Hawks to a pair of Chagrin Valley Conference Championships in 2016 and 2017. During his senior season, Paul averaged 14.2 points per game and earned honorable mention All-State honors for his efforts.
"Brendan is a very skilled player and is a really good shooter from behind the arc. He also brings in a very good basketball IQ and has valuable experience coming from a top-notch Division I program at Syracuse," Koenig said. "He is another guy that will come in and make an impact during the 2020-21 season. He gives us another three-point option and is a great decision maker on the offensive end, both areas that we needed to improve this season."
Washenitz and Goins will be true freshmen in the 2020 class who have plenty of familiarity with Fairmont State as a school and a program after attending Fairmont Senior and Trinity Christian, respectively, in high school. Washenitz played in two Class AA state championship games with the Polar Bears, serving as a long and tough defender with a reliable outside stroke. This past season as a senior, Washenitz earned second team All-County honors from the Times West Virginian after averaging 10.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
"Trey comes in from nearby Fairmont Senior High School and has great length and enthusiasm. We look forward to watching his development and improvement as a freshman as he works with the team day in and day out," Koenig said.
Washenitz also has strong family ties to Fairmont State, with both of his parents, Frank and Terri Washenitz, having etched basketball careers with the Falcons.
Goins, a 5-foot-11 guard out of Morgantown, joins Fairmont State after a breakout senior season at Trinity Christian School following a transfer from Morgantown High which he attended for his first three years of high school. As a senior this past season, Goins averaged 20 points, five assists and two steals a game en route to earning first team all-conference honors and an all-state third team selection.
Like Washenitz, Goins also has bloodlines that trace back to Fairmont State as his father James Goins Jr. played football for the Falcons in 1993 and 1994.
"Seth is a local player with ties to the program. We look forward to watching his development and improvement as a freshman," Koenig said. "He will be a guy that can help us during preparations at practice, as well as develop his game while working with the team day in and day out."
Mills and Jenkins round out the class as high stars in Owings Mills, Maryland, and Virginia Beach, Virginia, respectively.
Mills was a 1,000-point scorer and averaged 15 points and seven rebounds per game during his four-year career at New Town High School in Maryland. Mills was named Baltimore County Player of the Year and was a USA Today Maryland First Team selection in 2018-19 as a junior. He also added first team Baltimore County Division I honors in 2019, and second team all-county honors in 2020 as a senior. The standout helped lead New Town to a pair of Baltimore County Championships (2019, 2020), and added a regional championship last March during his senior season.
"Andrew was the Baltimore City Player of the Year as a junior and All-Baltimore City as a senior. He was one of the best players in Baltimore the past few years," Koenig said. "Andrew is a shot maker, playmaker, rebounder, and has great length. He was a flat-out winner and leader for his high school team and he fills a team need of ours with his length, rebounding ability and skill. He will make an immediate impact during the 2020-21 season."
Jenkins, meanwhile, was a three-year standout at Portsmouth Christian in Virginia. The 6-foot-8, 245-pound forward averaged a double-double during his junior and senior seasons and ranked second in the Metro Conference in scoring at 18.3 points per game as a senior. Jenkins was a second team all-state selection as a senior and earned first team all-conference honors as a junior and senior. He averaged 18.3 points and 10.4 rebounds per game as a senior, and 13 points and 10 rebounds per game as a junior. As a senior he helped Portsmouth to its first-ever conference championship and state tournament appearance – advancing to the second round of the state tournament. Jenkins finished his career with over 1,200 career points.
"Ade went to the Carolina Basketball Academy this past year to play against better competition and is from Virginia Beach. He's another guy with great size, great length, and is very skilled. He was one of the best shooters on his prep school team and they had multiple scholarship guys on the roster," Koenig said. "One of our focuses for this recruiting class was length, skill and guys that could come in right away and help the team. Ade helps us in each of those areas. Another thing we loved about him during the recruiting process was his competitiveness and unselfish leadership he provided in high school and prep school."