Leicester Riders have brought in Geno Crandall as a late replacement.

The American guard replaces compatriot Jonah Mathews who, according to the club, has returned to the USA to prepare for the NBA Draft.

Crandall spent last season in the Czech Republic with Turi Svitavy, averaging 13.9 points per game and 3.7 assists. He played for both North Dakota and Gonzaga at NCAA level.

“He is a very talented player with pro experience who can play either guard position. Geno is a guy that has shown that he can fit into any team or situation thrown his way.

“After a great career at North Dakota it was very impressive to see how he fitted in with Gonzaga, one of the best teams in college basketball,” said Riders coach Rob Paternostro.

“It’s never easy to go to a new team with a different style of play but Geno was able to adapt very quickly.

“He has good size, is very athletic, and has great quickness. He has a high basketball IQ and good feel for the game which is evident when you watch him play.

“He can score. We have seen that at the collegiate level and the pro level but he also impacts the game in many other ways which makes him a very well-rounded player.”

The new-look Riders are already back in practice ahead of the anticipated start of their BBL Cup campaign, with first round fixtures due to be released next week.

“It’s been awesome  to be back on the floor working with the group,” Paternostro added. “I really missed it, it sure has felt like we were away for a long time. 

“We have had a good start to practice, I have enjoyed working with this new group, with all the time off they really needed get their conditioning back, and get comfortable to playing to playing hoops again.”

Elsewhere, Bristol Flyers have announced that five players from the SGS Basketball Academy programme have been given a BBL first team opportunity, as Marvin Dinnall, Louis Weaver, Thomas Browne, Nassim Ladjimi and Finley Woodward will train as part of the wider squad ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.

Main photo: Riders

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