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Men's Basketball Announces 2017-18 Recruiting Class

Men's Basketball Announces 2017-18 Recruiting Class
TERRE HAUTE, Ind – Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology head men's basketball coach Rusty Loyd has announced the incoming recruiting class for the 2017-18 basketball season. The seven-player class represents five different states, five different majors, five different positions and has one player who competed in his state's championship game.  

The incoming class joins a team that finished 14-12 last season reaching the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament for the 8th consecutive year. The 2017-18 edition of the Fightin' Engineer squad returns all-HCAC honoree Charlie Aimone (16.2ppg, 6.2rpg), conference three-point percentage leader Stephen Schueth (52.6%), forward John Czarnecki (8.3ppg, 4.3rpg in 25 starts) and five other underclassman who saw significant playing time. 

When asked about the incoming group Coach Loyd said, "We are extremely excited about this class and how they can impact our program both immediately and over the course of their four-year careers.  We always target players who we believe can improve our program on and off the court, but this year we also emphasized size as something we needed to add to the program.  This class includes four players 6-6 or bigger which will help solidify our inside play for the next four years and, in conjunction with the skilled perimeter players we brought in, help our program get back to winning conference championships and making NCAA tournaments." 

The individuals (listed alphabetically) are: 

Jacob Back
6-7 Forward, Harrison, Ohio
Stats: 10.6ppg, 6.6rpg, 1.4bpg and 1.1apg

Jacob Back is an athletic 6-7 forward who comes to Rose-Hulman from William Henry Harrison High School outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. He is a multisport athlete in basketball, football, and track and for three straight years has garnered academic all-conference in each of those sports. Jacob was named first team all-conference in 2017 in the Southwest Ohio Conference. He has been a three year varsity starter and two year captain. He received honorable mention all-city honors as well as being voted a participant in the Cincinnati East-West all-star game. Outside of the sports arena, Jacob is a national honors society member and has won awards for his work in math, physics, biology, engineering design and marketing. He is the son of Mark and Miranda Meibers and plans to major in electrical engineering. 

Coach Loyd on Jacob: "Jacob is an extremely skilled post player who brings great passing, shooting, and footwork with him to campus.  His high school team ran the Princeton offense which allowed him to spend time on the perimeter and develop skills that you don't often see from a post player.  I know those skills, his strong work ethic, and a toughness that he developed playing football will translate well to the college level." 

Zach Callahan
6-3 Wing, Danville, Ind.
Stats: 13.5ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.5apg, 0.9spg, 0.9bpg and 80% FT%

Zach, a wing hailing from Danville Community High School in Indiana, was an Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Academic All-State selection in 2017 after guiding his squad to a 19-9 record and a 3A sectional championship. Additionally, he was named to the Hendricks County first team, as well as receiving tournament MVP honors at the Ted Throckmortern Holiday Tournament in Jeffersonville.  A member of the National Honor Society and class Valedictorian, he plans on majoring in mechanical engineering.  Zach is no stranger to Rose-Hulman, he is the son of Craig and Amy Callahan, and his brother Luke will be a junior next season for the Fightin' Engineers basketball team. 

Coach Loyd on Zach: "As opposed to his brother who is a post player, Zach plays on the wing and brings athleticism to the table as well as a strong background in individual and team defense.  I expect him to guard and finish around the basket at a high level early in his career while he develops other impactful skills.  His high school team saw a great deal of success in his four years and we hope he can bring that winning mentality with him." 

Tim Harris
6-7 Forward, (Gary) Westside High School, Ind.
Stats: 7.4ppg, 47% FG%, 5.5rpg, 1.1bpg

Tim comes to Rose-Hulman from Westside High School in Gary, Indiana. He was selected as an Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Sportsman of the year, as well as being selected to the "Circle of Men Athletics" all-star game.  A member of the National Honors Society and a member of student government, Tim has won several academic awards (including winning a 2017 Lugar scholarship) in addition to finishing third in his graduating class. He is the son of Timothy Harris and Denise Durham, and plans to major in biochemistry at Rose-Hulman. 

Coach Loyd on Tim: "Tim was someone that we did not know about until late in the process.  Upon seeing him play for the first time, we were extremely excited about his length on the defensive end and his ability to step out and shoot the ball from the perimeter on offense.  I think his best basketball is ahead of him as he continues to fill out physically and gets integrated into our strength and conditioning program."

Taylor Heil
6-6 Forward, Carterville, Ill.
Stats: 12.0ppg, 10.0rpg, 3.0bpg
Taylor is a bouncy 6-6 forward hailing from Carterville High School in Southern Illinois. He comes to Rose-Hulman after propelling his team to a 17-13 record and twice being named to the all-conference team of the River-to-River Conference. Heil, a three-sport athlete (Basketball, Baseball and Track and Field) is a member of the National Honor Society and has significant experience participating in mathematics, engineering and drafting competitions. An Illinois State Scholar, Taylor is the son of Tom and Nancy Heil and plans to major in mechanical engineering. 

Coach Loyd on Taylor: "Taylor was one of the better two way players in the southern half of Illinois last season.  At 6'6, his skill and athleticism let him finish around the basket, post up smaller players, and make perimeter jumpers offensively.  On defense, these same skills translate to guarding a variety of different positions and he is a great shot blocker around the rim.  He played on a successful Carterville team that won three sectionals and one regional which is a great winning background to come from." 

Charlie Klein
6-4 Wing, Milwaukee, Wis.

Charlie is a 6-4 wing hailing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is a two-year letter winner at Marquette University High School. In addition to his high school team, Charlie played for the Wisconsin Playground Elite AAU team for the last three years. A high honor roll student, Charlie is the son of Michael and Maureen Klein and plans to study mechanical engineering.

Coach Loyd on Charlie: "In basketball, one skill almost always translates from the high school level to the college level - shooting.  When looking at Charlie's ability to shoot, we see someone who can stretch the defense to score or create drives for himself and others.  He has played on high level high school and AAU teams which should expedite his transition to college.  He has great size for a perimeter shooter which should translate well also." 

Craig McGee Jr.
6-0 Point Guard, Loveland, Ohio
Stats: 12.9ppg, 4.4apg, 4.5rpg, 3.0spg 

Craig comes to Rose-Hulman from Roger Bacon High School (Cincinnati, Ohio), one of the top teams in the always tough Greater Catholic League. Having guided his team to a 25-8 record and the Division 3 OHSAA state championship game, McGee leaves Roger Bacon holding school records in assists, steals, and games played, as well as finishing ninth in school history in points. Craig was the 2017 GCL player of the year and all-conference three different times. He participated in Ohio's 2017 All Star game (representing the south team). In addition to his accomplishments on the basketball court, Craig is a member of the National Honor Society and a member of the Assis Scholar Program. He is the son of Craig and Felicia McGee and plans to major in computer engineering. 

Coach Loyd on Craig: "The point guard is often the leader of your team and Craig McGee is not only a great point guard, but a great leader.  When your team goes to the Final 4 three times in your career and you end your career first in assists and steals and ninth in scoring in school history, then you have left an indelible mark on the program.  I expect Craig to make similar imprints on our program in his career because of his ability to break down defenses, he creates havoc with his on ball and passing lane defense, and rebounds extremely well from the point guard position." 

Trey Wurtz
6-7 Forward, Cold Spring, Ky.
Stats: 8.1ppg, 5.4rpg, 64.6% FG%

Trey is a successful post player from Newport Central Catholic High School, in Newport, Kentucky.  Trey led his team to a 21-13 record, leading the team in rebounds and field goal percentage. He was also named to the ninth region all-tournament team. The son of JJ and Pam Wurtz, Trey is a two sport athlete (basketball and track and field), an honors student, and plans to major in civil or mechanical engineering at Rose. 

Coach Loyd on Trey: "Two great attributes of a post player are size and skill.  I feel Trey brings both of those to the table which should allow him to be an offensive force early and often in his career.  Around the basket, he will carve out great position and finish over either shoulder.  His skill will allow him to find cutting teammates from the post or knock down jump shots when he finds himself on the perimeter.  Defensively, he will create an anchor to build the team around and rebound the ball at a high rate to limit second chance opportunities."