In his two seasons of leading the Indiana Tech men's basketball program, Warrior coach Al Grushkin has built one of the better NAIA Division II programs on two staples: defensive intensity and giving maximum effort on and off of the court.
The philosophy has worked, as Indiana Tech has won 45 games under Grushkin and this past season qualified for the NAIA National Tournament. The veteran coach is hoping that positive momentum will continue with the addition of three new players in the program.
Grushkin announced the signing of three transfers recently in Antonio Landers, Dol Kutey and Kody Chandler.
Landers spent last season at John Wood Community College, while Kutey played for NCAA Division II Cameron University, and Chandler at Goshen College in the Mid-Central College Conference.
In the case of Landers, Grushkin is most excited about his ability to strengthen the Warriors defensively.
“Antonio is an outstanding all-around performer and has a knack for making others better,” Grushkin said in a release. “He does the little things and is a very versatile player. He could be our best defender, he screens, he rebounds, and he can score the ball as well.”
The 6-foot-3 wing averaged over 13 points, five rebounds and three assists in leading his squad to 22 victories this season. Defensively he made 51 steals and blocked eight shots.
At Ouachita Parish High School in Louisiana, Landers was a Class 5A First Team All-State selection and was rated as the No. 27 player in the state. During his junior season, Landers guided the team to a 39-4 overall record and a 5A State Championship. In his high school career, Landers averaged 22 points 11.5 rebounds per game.
One area that Indiana Tech struggled with this season was perimeter shooting and Grushkin has addressed that deficiency with the addition of Landers and Chandler.
Landers was John Wood's top three-point shooter (48 percent), while Chandler drained 64 three-point shots for the Maple Leafs.
“Kody's signing brings us an established, productive player at this level,” Grushkin said. “He has already proven he can put up numbers in the MCC and he'll be with us three years. He can stretch defenses and give us that big time shooter we lacked a year ago.”
The 6-foot-2 guard played in 30 games last year as a freshman at Goshen, and was named to the MCC Third Team All-Conference. He earned an All-Newcomer Team selection after leading the Maple Leafs in scoring with 13.5 points per game.
While Chandler and Landers will bolster the perimeter attack, Kutey will bring a physical presence to the Warrior post game.
“Dol is extremely athletic, plays hard and is a very good person,” Grushkin said. “He can be a fine post defender with his quickness, leaping ability and long wing span. Dol should be a tremendous help and recover guy for us on the baseline defensively and has the potential to be an outstanding rebounder in our league. He does possess scoring skill around the bucket with a jump hook and can step out to shoot the high post jump shot, as well.”
The 6-foot-7, 210-pound forward averaged five points and six rebounds per game for Cameron as a sophomore.
As a senior at Lincoln (Neb.) Northeast High School, Kutey averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds a game. He was named First Team All-State in Nebraska's largest class (Class A) and was rated as the No. 19 prospect in the state prior to his senior year in high school.