Dion Nesmith, who anchored Monmouth's backcourt for two years, becomes Joe Mihalich's newest addition to a Hofstra lineup that should be much better this season. (Photo courtesy of Monmouth University)
When we spoke to him a week ago, Hofstra coach Joe Mihalich told us there was a "long way to go" to prepare for the upcoming season, his first at the helm of the Pride after replacing Mo Cassara in April, and that his flurry of activity since arriving in Hempstead was "just a start."
Six days after our conversation, Mihalich has added two guards that will be available to play right away after graduating from their previous institutions, and each will be able to contribute in a unique fashion.
Zeke Upshaw, a 6-6 swingman, comes to Hofstra from Illinois State, where the Chicago native played sparingly for Tim Jankovich and Dan Muller during three seasons with the Redbirds. He will serve primarily as a backup for Jordan Allen, and will provide a stopgap on the wing for his one remaining year until Niagara transfer Ameen Tanksley becomes eligible. However, it is the second of Mihalich's newcomers who shows the most promise, and will provide the greatest impact.
Dion Nesmith, a 6-0 combo guard from New Jersey, comes to Hofstra after two years at Monmouth, where he; along with Jesse Steele, served as the core of the Hawks' backcourt as head coach King Rice developed his team into a sleeper in the Northeast Conference prior to moving into the MAAC during the offseason. Nesmith is a former two-sport star, playing quarterback at Northeastern before transferring to Monmouth when the Huskies dropped their football program, something Hofstra ironically did as well back in 2009.
"Zeke and Dion will be very important pieces on our team, and will have a chance to make significant contributions to the squad," Mihalich said in a release issued this morning. "Both are quality student-athletes who will be great representatives of Hofstra University and our basketball program, and I look forward to coaching both of them and watching them develop both on and off the court."
A Daly Dose Of Hoops will continue to have updates on Hofstra during the offseason as Joe Mihalich prepares for his first season at the controls in Hempstead.