| March 20, 2018

Vandal basketball: Verlin adds another big man

Courtesy of Shoreline CCNahshon George from Shoreline Community College in Shoreline, Wash., is the latest addition to the University of Idaho men’s basketball team.

At 6-foot-8, 200 pounds, George is a welcome sight to an Idaho team that was outrebounded in 18 of 34 games last season — 13 of which resulted in a loss.

In his second season at Shoreline, George averaged a double-double with 17.42 points per game and led the Northwest Athletic Conference in rebounds with 13.21 per game. He was also named to the NWAACC’s All-Defensive team.

“He’s a big man who can play inside and out,” Shoreline assistant head coach Adam Jose said. “He’s a tremendous rebounder and can really get up and attack the glass very well. When he uses his post game he can be really hard to guard and when his jump shot is going, he’s a matchup nightmare … His upside is tremendous.”

George, originally from Radford High School in Honolulu, made his way to Shoreline in 2011. After playing his first two years, Jose said George sat out last season to earn his associate degree. He added George was a good student and averaged a 3.0 GPA.

With only three players at 6-foot-7 or taller, the lack of height on Idaho’s roster is evident. It’s clear head coach Don Verlin put an emphasis on recruiting height, as George becomes the third incoming player who is 6-foot-7 or taller.

He joins Arkadiy Mkrtychyan (6-foot-7) from Portland’s Columbia Christian High School and Nate Sherwood (6-foot-8) from West Albany High School in Albany, Ore.

The up-tempo style Verlin likes to use should be an easy transition for George. Jose said Shoreline uses the old Loyola Marymount, Paul Westhead system, which was made famous in the late ’80s and early ’90s for its fast-pace, high scoring attack.

“There is no doubt in my mind that he would be able to fit that kind of style,” Jose said. “Nahshon was the peak of that offense. He was the four-man who would run up and down the court and attack the basket.”

If George works hard this summer and throughout the offseason, Jose said he can see his former player making an instant impact for the Vandals. He said if George isn’t starting, he thinks he’ll definitely have a big role coming off the bench.

The frontcourt was left with a huge void to fill when Stephen Madison and Joe Kammerer graduated — both played in all 34 games last season. With Ty Egbert, Bira Seck and Paulin Mpawe as the only forwards returning who received playing time last season, the competition appears to be wide open.

Replacing Madison’s production will be a tall task in itself. He led the Vandals in virtually every statistical category, notably minutes, points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. All while playing numerous roles and positions, whether it was on the wing shooting threes and driving to the basket or in the post with his back to the basket and cleaning up on the boards.

“I don’t know if you can replace a player the caliber of Stephen Madison, but hopefully Nahshon can step into that role and help,” Jose said. “If he really works on his ball handling and gets his jump shot more consistent, he can play some three. As of today, though, he’s probably a stretch-four and can play with his back to the basketball as well.”

While Idaho hasn’t officially announced the addition of George, Jose confirmed his former player is in Moscow and participating in summer classes and workouts.

“I have no idea why they haven’t announced it yet,” Jose said. “He’s out there right now. I just assume they just wanted him to do summer school and then they will announce it.”

-Photos courtesy of Shoreline CC

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