SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Fresh off a 20-win season, the San Diego Toreros are looking to build off their success in the 2018-19 season.
Despite some off-court issues surrounding former head coach Lamont Smith, San Diego finished in a tie for fourth place in the West Coast Conference with a record of 9-9 in WCC play. Their strong regular season earned them a spot in the field for the 2018 CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
Wins over the Hartford Hawks and Portland State Vikings advanced the Toreros into the quarter-finals, where they fell to the Northern Colorado Bears at home to end their season.
In 2018-19, San Diego should be a top-half team in the WCC once more. They have a plethora of talent returning, a core group that includes the likes of Olin Carter III, Isaiah Pineiro, and Isaiah Wright, among others. With all three players being seniors next season, the coaching staff for the Toreros are looking to add pieces for the 2019-20 season on the transfer market.
On Sunday, San Diego landed an impact transfer that will be able to step in and help lead the offense after the aforementioned three players graduate. Sophomore guard Braun Hartfield committed to coach Sam Scholl and the Toreros on Sunday, who transferred from the Youngstown State Penguins after two seasons in the Horizon League.
Hartfield comes to the Toreros after putting together an impressive sophomore season for the Penguins. The 6’6” guard averaged 13.6 points per game, which was good for the second-best mark on the team, trailing just Cameron Morse for the team lead (15.4). He also averaged 4.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per contest, while shooting 42.7% from the floor.
The season for Hartfield was a bright spot for a Youngstown State team that went just 8-24 over the course of the year.
In Hartfield, the Toreros add a guard who brings versatility to the lineup with his height. Hartfield is effective from the floor, having shot above 42% from the floor and 30% from three point range in both seasons as a Penguin. He also knows how to put the ball in the basket, evident by his 22 double-digit performances from a season ago.
With the turnover for San Diego that will follow the upcoming 2018-19 season, the addition of Hartfield to the mix is a nice pickup for coach Scholl and company. He will sit out the 2018-19 season, and have two years of eligibility remaining, beginning with the 2019-20 campaign.
Look for San Diego to continue pursuing talent on the transfer market to build the roster for 2019-20, and beyond.
– T. Bennett