Head coach Linc Darner and the Green Bay Phoenix coaching staff continue to search the junior college ranks hoping to find more pieces to join next year’s team.
The most recent to receive a scholarship offer from the Phoenix was 6’8” forward Eli Abaev from Eastern Florida State College.
The sophomore big man is a top 50 JUCO prospect according to the website JUCORecruiting.com, ranking #46 in the Top 100 for the 2018 class.
A native of Deerfield Beach, Florida, Abaev would add more size to the Green Bay roster – something the Phoenix desperately need.
He would provide another rim protector to go along with freshman Manny Patterson and is a consistent rebounder, leading his team in rebounding at 9.9 per game despite the presence of 6’9” Rutgers recruit Shaq Carter.
Offensively, Abaev is an efficient scorer that seems to do most of his damage around the rim. He’s averaging 8.9 points per game in 28.5 minutes of action but he’s shooting nearly 58% from the floor. He does not attempt a lot of threes – he’s just 2 for 6 total in 20 games so far this season – but he is a solid free throw shooter, knocking down 70% from the charity stripe this season.
According to JUCORecruiting.com, Abaev has scholarship offers from Washington State, Canisius, Stony Brook, Nicholls State, and Texas-Rio Grande Valley in addition to his recent offer from Green Bay. He visited Washington State this past September but told the website that he plans to “let the season play out and see what my options are and move on from there.”
Abaev would be a junior next season and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Eastern Florida State is currently 18-2 this season and are ranked #7 in the latest NCJAA Division I poll. They finished 31-6 last season, losing in the national championship game to Hutchinson College.
Green Bay entered the 2018 recruiting cycle with three open scholarships to replace the departed Avery Brown as well as outgoing seniors Khalil Small and David Jesperson. The Phoenix still have two scholarships available after recently receiving a commitment from 6’2” guard Jay’Quan McCloud, another top 100 JUCO recruit.
Scholarship offers have also been extended to 6’5” wing JC Butler from the Prairie School in Racine as well as JUCO guard Antonio Williams. Abaev is the third JUCO prospect Green Bay has offered a scholarship to this month joining 6’6” guard Rashawn Fredericks and 6’6” forward Wali Parks.