ORONO, Me. — The Maine Black Bears continued to add talent to their roster on Wednesday, as they landed a pair of commitments from players with Division I experience.
Just last week, the Black Bears signed guard Terion Moss after a standout career at Portland High School. He was named Maine’s 2018 Mr. Basketball, and he is a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year for the state. Keeping a player of his caliber in the state of Maine was a huge pickup for the Black Bears.
Now, Maine has added a pair of transfers with experience at the Division I level. One is eligible right away after spending half of last season at the JUCO level, while the other has to sit out the 2018-19 season, but will have two years of eligibility remaining.
Nedeljko Prijovic and Sergio El Darwich have committed to the Black Bears, adding size and depth to the rotation for the Black Bears.
El Darwich and Prijovic were teammates at Lee Academy, where they played for Igor Vrzina, who is now an assistant coach with the Black Bears. There are now six former players from Lee Academy on Maine’s roster for 2018-19: El Darwich, Prijovic, Dusan Majstorovic, Miks Antoms, Lewis Wang, and Ilija Stojilijkovic.
Last season, El Darwich played for the Western Texas College Westerners. The 6’4” guard averaged 7.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game over 17 games in 2017-18. El Darwich shot 51% from the field and 42% from three point range.
Before joining the Westerners, El Darwich was a part of the 2016-17 roster for the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. He made eight starts and saw action in 12 games that season, averaging 2.6 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.
El Darwich will be immediately eligible in 2018-19 for the Black Bears as a junior.
Up front, the addition of Prijovic will add more size and depth to the front court rotation for the Black Bears. He will have to sit out the 2018-19 season due to the NCAA’s transfer regulations, but will have two years of eligibility left starting in 2019-20.
Prijovic played his first two seasons of collegiate basketball with the Texas State Bobcats. This past season, the Bobcats went 15-18 overall and 7-11 in Sun Belt play. The 6’7” forward made six starts and appeared in 29 of the team’s 33 games overall.
He averaged 4.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 0.8 assists per game. As a freshman in 2016-17, Prijovic averaged 4.2 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.
At Lee Academy under Vrzina, Prijovic put up big numbers as a senior. He averaged 15.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game. Fans of the Black Bears are hoping that Prijovic can put up similar numbers over his two seasons in the America East.
– T. Bennett