Nov. 15, 2007
DeKalb, Ill. - Northern Illinois head men's basketball coach Ricardo Patton announced on Thursday, that Mike Dinunno (Chicago, Ill. / Von Steuben), Bryan Hall (Chicago, Ill. / Whitney Young) and Tyler Storm (Geneseo, Ill. / Geneseo) have each signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Huskies beginning in 2008.
"We certainly wanted to improve our guard play, find guys that understood the game and were able to put the ball in the basket," Patton said. "I think we've done that."
Upon his arrival in DeKalb, Patton and his staff have made a concerted effort to recruit in Chicago, most notably, the Chicago Public League. The Huskies succeeded, securing commitments from both Dinunno and Hall.
"Getting to know some of the [Chicago] high school coaches in our summer camp was huge," Patton said. "Of course having someone like (Whitney Young alum and Huskie assistant coach) Dennis Gates on the staff who is well-respected in the city and knows everyone, has paid dividends."
Dinunno, a deadly three-point shooter, is a 5-11 point guard who can play the off-guard position as well. As a junior for Von Steuben, Dinunno averaged 18 points, five assists and four rebounds per game.
"Mike Dinunno is a really good basketball player with a tremendous future in our conference," Patton said. "He's a guy that can really shoot the basketball and score in bunches."
Patton's other Chicago signee, Hall, is a key component to the success of Whitney Young, as the Dolphins are currently ranked No. 12 in the nation according to Rivals.com. Last season, Hall, a point guard, averaged 15 points, while dishing out five assists and grabbing five rebounds per game.
"Bryan Hall is long and very athletic," Patton said. "He has a great wingspan. He comes from a Whitney Young program that is steeped in tradition and one of the best programs in the city."
Storm, a 6-7 swingman, averaged 17.1 points and 7.6 boards-per-game for Geneseo as a junior. Storm was named the Moline Dispatch Player of the Year following the 2006-07 campaign, and earned honorable mention All-State recognition from the Associated Press.
"Like Dinunno, Tyler Storm can really shoot the basketball," Patton said. "He's a guy that I think will cause match-up problems because of his size.
"He could be a `3' or a `4' man because of his skills."
NIU returns to action on Saturday, November 17, as the Huskies travel to Carbondale, to square off with #24 Southern Illinois for a 7:05 p.m. (CST) tip-off at SIU Arena.