MIAMI SHORES, Fla. – Barry University men’s basketball team announced the signing of five players under first-year head coach Butch Estes.
The Buccaneers added three local players and former Hialeah Gardens High School teammates who won the Florida Class 8A state championship in 2012, along with a pair of junior college transfers.
“This is the second wave of our recruiting class,” Estes said. “We do anticipate signing a couple more down the stretch.”
Barry signed 6-foot-5 sophomore forward Yunio Barrueta, a Hialeah Gardens product who spent last year at East Tennessee State. The Bucs also signed two of his high school teammates, 6-5 forward Adrian Gonzalez and 6-6 power forward/center Alvaro Simoza, both incoming freshmen. The Bucs also signed 6-10 sophomore power forward/center Matt Gamberoni and 6-2 junior forward Savad Garner.
Barrueta averaged 2.4 points and 2.3 rebounds at ETSU last year. He had 10 points and five rebounds at North Florida. As a senior at Hialeah Gardens, he averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds to earn First-Team All-Dade County honors. Gonzalez averaged 24.6 points and nine rebounds in collecting First-Team All-Dade County honors last season. Simoza was also a First-Team All-Dade selection after scoring 19.6 points and pulling down 11 rebounds per game.
“It’s a very unique opportunity to be able to have three young men with ability from the same high school program that are willing to commit to one school,” Estes said. “It’s very unusual to have that happen. We are delighted to have the benefit of these guys seeing the opportunity for early playing time, as well as the chance to play in their hometown in front of their family and friends.”
Gamberoni, who hails from Mulhouse, France, spent last year at Kilgore College in Texas. He averaged five points and 3.3 rebounds while shooting 47.4 percent from the floor. He went 6 for 10, scoring 12 points and grabbing six boards in an 82-80 win over Blinn College. Gamberoni had 10 points and five rebounds in a 93-52 win over Houston Community College-Southwest. He had four assists in wins at Weatherford College and Bossier Parish Community College.
Garner, a Fountain Inn, S.C., native, averaged 17 points and 7.9 rebounds as a sophomore at State College of Florida-Manatee last year. Garner scored in double figures in 27 of the 28 games he played. He had a season-high 26 points on 13 of 24 shooting and matched a season-best 13 rebounds at Polk State College. He scored 22 points in four other games. Garner spent his freshman season at Newberry College, where he averaged 13.8 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 53.3 percent from the field. He scored 32 points and had eight rebounds in a 122-102 win at Mars Hill. Garner had 23 points and 11 boards in the season-opening 107-87 win over Salem International.
“One of the things we saw as we began our recruiting is balance in the classes,” Estes said. “With the commitment of these two coming out of highly successful junior college programs, we were able to achieve our goal of balance. Both of them give us an effective inside presence, particularly in the rebounding area.”
Arie Williams, a 5-9 guard from Elgin, Ill., also will play for the Bucs. Williams, The Courier-News Player of the Year last season at Elgin High, averaged 22.1 points and buried 102 three-pointers to lead the Southwest Chicago area.
“Arie is an outstanding kid, an outstanding student,” Estes said. “He’s a very versatile guard who will strengthen our backcourt.”