Men's Basketball Welcomes Six First-Years in Incoming Class
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars
NEW YORK - The Columbia men's basketball will have six incoming first-years on its roster for the upcoming 2011-12 season, head coach Kyle Smith announced recently. Cory Osetkowski, Samer Ozeir, Alex Rosenberg, Skylar Scrivano, Noah Springwater and Darius Stevens will join a Columbia team that will look to build upon its 15-13 record last season.

"We purposefully tried to increase the skill and size of our team after the graduation of four frontcourt players," Smith explained.  "We believe that we've done that based on the length, skills and size of this group."

Osetkowski is a 6-10 center who was named the San Diego Union-Tribune Player of the Year in the Valley League.  Playing for Canyon Crest High School, Osetkowski averaged 19.5 points, 15.6 rebounds and 6.4 blocks per a game for a team that posted a 19-9 record. Osetkowski is also a two-sport athlete as he will pitch for Columbia's baseball team next season.  "Cory is a skilled center who has a big and wide body," Smith said. "He will help offset the loss of Max Craig and Zack Crimmins inside and should compete for time off the bench."

A 6-8 forward, Ozeir comes to Morningside Heights after playing his high school ball in Novi, Mich.  Ozeir led his Novi team to an 18-4 record last season and averaged 19 points and 12.6 rebounds per game after averaging 15.5 points and nine rebounds per game during his junior season.  Ozeir was named to the Class A all-state team after his senior year. "Samer is an effective scorer and rebounder," Smith stated.  "He also brings international experience as he played on the Lebanese national team."

Rosenberg, who teamed with Scrivano at the Peddie School in New Jersey for a postgraduate year, averaged 19.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game as a senior at Millburn (N.J.) High School. At Peddie, where current Lions Noruwa Agho and Steve Frankoski spent a postgrad year, Rosenberg was a first-team All-Prep League honoree.  "Alex is a hybrid point forward who can play multiple positions," Smith said. "He has the ability to handle the ball and score."

Scrivano also prepped at Peddie after his high school career at Central Bucks East in Pennsylvania.  Standing 6-9, Scrivano was a McDonald's All-American nominee at Bucks East who was a first team all-area selection during his high school career.  "Skylar is another big body who can play power forward or center," Smith explained. "He is an excellent rebounder and shot blocker."

A 6-3 guard, Springwater comes to Columbia following a decorated career at University High School in San Francisco. Springwater was named first team all-city twice and averaged 18 points, eight assists, five rebounds and five steals per game. Springwater was named his league's Player of the Year after leading his squad to a 28-7 record last season. "Noah is a combo guard who has an excellent feel for the game on both ends of the floor," Smith said. "He is an excellent decision maker and passer."

Stevens is a 6-6 forward from La Lumiere High School in La Porte, Ind. who averaged 15.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game during his senior season. His father, the late Barry Stevens, played college basketball at Iowa State and is the second-leading scorer in Cyclones' history. "Darius comes from excellent bloodlines," Smith stated. "He is a lanky, perimeter athlete who can defend multiple positions."

Returning four starters and 12 letterwinners from last season's team, Columbia will begin the 2011-12 campaign in November.