Iona MBB Adds Four For 2019-20
NEW ROCHELLE, NY – Iona College men's basketball head coach Tim Cluess announced the addition of four players for the 2019-20 campaign. Colton Cashaw (Charlotte, NC), A.J. McNeil (Stone Mountain, GA), Mohamed Thiam (Dakar, Senegal) and Isaiah Washington (New York, NY) have signed to play for the four-time defending MAAC Champion Gaels for the upcoming season. "The entire coaching staff is excited to have four new talented student-athletes join our program," said Cluess. "We are confident that these young men will fit into our style of play and culture, both on and off the court. All four will help us continue the fortunate success we've had at Iona." Colton Cashaw Colton Cashaw, a 6-3 guard, from North Carolina played the last two seasons at Spartanburg Methodist College in Spartanburg, SC. Cashaw averaged 9.1 points, 4.8 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game as a sophomore, connecting on 52.7% from the field and 48.3% from beyond the arc. He boasted 13 games with 10 or more points including two with 20 or more and a season-best 24 points vs. USC Salkehatchie on January 26. Cashaw had eight games with seven or more assists with a season-high of 13 against Richard Bland College. He averaged 6.6 points as a freshman with 2.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Scholastically, Cashaw was a two-year starter for Northside Christian in Charlotte and won a state title under head coach Byron Dinkins as a senior. He earned team MVP award and coaches' award that season. His cousin, Connor Cashaw, played three years at Rice University before grad transferring to Creighton in 2018-19 for his final season of eligibility. AJ McNeil AJ McNeil, a 6-2 guard, comes to Iona after two seasons with Redlands CC in Oklahoma. McNeil was named NJCAA All-American for his efforts during his sophomore season. He averaged 23.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. McNeil shot 51.7% from the floor, 39.3% from beyond the arc and 78.0% from the free throw line. He scored 20+ points in all but five games. In late February against Eastern Oklahoma, McNeil scored 41 points on 10-for-22 shooting while converting 16-of-17 from the free throw line. As a freshman, McNeil averaged 17.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. He shot 44.4% from the floor and 29.2% from beyond the arc. He registered eight games with 20+ points, including a season-best 33 against Murray State College. McNeil played scholastically for Clarkston High School in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. As a senior, he averaged 17 points, four rebounds and two assists and recorded similar numbers as a junior. He averaged nearly two three-point field goals made in his final two seasons at Clarkston. McNeil also competed on the track team for the Angoras. Mohamed Thiam A 6-9 forward, Mohamed Thiam comes to Iona after spending one season at New Mexico State. He spent his first two seasons at Marshalltown CC in Iowa. The rising senior and Senegal native saw action in 25 games off the bench with the Aggies, averaging 4.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 11.6 minutes per game. Early in the season, Thiam posted nine points and nine boards in a win over rival New Mexico. He scored a season-high 14 points and had seven rebounds in a late-season matchup against Chicago State. He also grabbed double-digit rebounds in the first matchup vs. WAC rival Chicago State and a late-season non-conference tilt against Texas A&M International. Thiam connected on 19 three pointers in his one season in Las Cruces. At Marshalltown, Thiam was a NJCAA All-America Third Team honoree as sophomore. He finished the season as the No. 1 junior college forward prospect and No. 6 overall. In his breakout campaign, Thiam averaged 19.7 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. He led Marshalltown to an NJCAA tournament appearance. As a freshman, Thiam averaged 14.2 points and 10.1 rebounds. Thiam comes from a basketball family. His father Assane played for the Senegal national team in the 1972 Munich Olympics. His younger brother, Issa, played basketball at Rutgers and older brother, Abdoulaye, participated in the 2008 Beijing Olympics as part of the Senegal fencing team. Thiam will sit out the upcoming 2019-20 season per NCAA transfer regulations and will be eligible to play one season for the Gaels in 2020-21. Isaiah Washington Isaiah Washington returns home to New York after spending two years at the University of Minnesota. The Harlem native starred at St. Raymond's High School in the Bronx as a scholastic athlete. In his sophomore season with the Gophers, Washington averaged 4.3 points and 2.8 assists in 16.2 minutes per game. As a rookie, Washington played in every game, including four starts. The 6-1 point guard averaged 8.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.3 rebounds per game. In 60 career games in Minneapolis, he held an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.9. On December 11, 2018, vs. North Florida, Washington posted 13 assists and zero turnovers, the second highest single-game assist total in Minnesota basketball history. He completed his first collegiate double-double with 14 points while adding three rebounds and a steal. Washington scored a season-best 15 points against Oklahoma State on November 30. As a freshman, he posted a career-best 26 points against eventual national runner-up Michigan on February 3, 2018, and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds in a win over Harvard on December 30, 2017. Prior to his time at Minnesota, Washington was named Mr. New York Basketball for his career at St. Raymond's High School. He was the number one rated point guard in the state of New York and as a consensus top-100 prospect in the country. Washington averaged 17.5 points and 6.8 assists per game playing for the New Heights AAU Program in 2016. The homecoming for Washington brings a large fan following. A co-founder of Jelly Fam, Washington is heavily followed on social media. The movement emphasizes the 'jelly,' a finger roll lay-up and has inspired youth basketball players across the metropolitan area. Washington will also sit out the upcoming 2019-20 season per NCAA transfer regulations and will be eligible to play two seasons for the Gaels. The Gaels have captured a league-record four straight MAAC tournament championships and hold NCAA Division I's longest current conference title streak. In nine seasons under Cluess, the Maroon & Gold has played in six NCAA tournaments along with two NIT appearances and a CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament championship game. Iona will play its 2019-20 home games in a revamped, new-look Hynes Athletics Center, due to reopen in October 2019.