Dominican Univ. of California

Eugene Giordano
Eugene Giordano - SF

Team: Dominican Univ. of California Penguins [ID #564] Bookmark Dominican Univ. of California Penguins

Location: San Rafael, CA (West)

Conference: IV.2 [Division 1]

President: gards710 send message
          [since May 17th 2020 | last seen April 22nd 2021]

Coach: Rahsaan McCartney

Arena: Conlan Center

Rank: #22

Rating: 159.25 - Overall Position: #145

Fan Mood: 155.92

Alumni Mood: 116.10

Prestige: 84

Team Notes:

• Aug 30 2018: Promoted to conference IV.2.
• Apr 02 2018: Won the division 2 tournament.
• Mar 11 2018: Made the division 2 tournament field.
• Mar 03 2018: Won the V.3 conference.
• Nov 18 2017: 3-star prospect Alan Fontana committed.
• Nov 04 2017: 3-star prospect Jay Gillespie committed.
• Oct 05 2017: Dustin Schuster was hired as the new assistant coach.
• Oct 05 2017: Assistant coach Ned Upton was let go.
• Mar 12 2017: Made the division 2 tournament field.
• Jan 14 2017: 2-star prospect Angel Reyes committed.


Wins: 8 Losses: 0 Pct: 1.000     Conf Wins: 0 Conf Losses: 0 Conf Pct: .000 Conf Rank: 1     Last10: 8-0 Streak: W8

Pts Ave: 92.1 - 59.3     Pts Diff: +32.9     Team Power Index: 152.2

Press Releases:

Oct 04 2018: Dominican (CA) Penguins Dressed to Impress in D1 - by gards710 on April 9th, 2021

National Champions. Two words that now describe the Dominican (CA) Penguins. “I’m so proud of what has been accomplished here at Dominican. It took us a while to get to this point, but we’re D1 again and...we have a banner to hang,” said President gards710. Since gards710 took over in 2013, the Penguins have steadily improved, starting in Division 3 and barely missing out on promotion back in 2013 to now returning to Division 1 for the first time since 2008. The Penguins are coming off a monster 42-win season including winning the Division 2 national championship, playing to the best regular season record in V.3, and the best season in program history. The question is, will the Penguins be able to stay afloat as they hit the tip of the D1 iceberg?

"Last year was incredible," said senior shooting guard Otis Newton. "But this is a new year. It's time to get down to business."

The team might be its best ever as it enters IV.2, with small forward Will Clevenger being a highly regarded pro prospect and being looked upon to lead the Penguins attack for the fourth season in a row. While Clevenger sits just 235 points behind Dominican's all-time leading scorer Patrick Stephens, Clevenger insists that's the farthest thing from his mind. "I've never been about individual stuff," said Clevenger, who was left out of the All-Conference selections last season despite the team's success. "It's all about the team's success. I know the team trusts me when the game is on the line. And more importantly, I trust my teammates."

And Clevenger will not be without help. Bruce Spann returns to the starting lineup after redshirting his second year, replacing center Charlie Rowell. “Charlie was huge for us last season, as the lone senior and muscle in the paint. If anyone can fill Charlie’s shoes though, it’s Bruce,” said assistant coach Victor Adamson. Spann returns with a lot of hype and he will be looked upon as a major threat on both sides of the ball. Spann chimed in with a smile with his arms spread to their full 7’5”, “It’s about time I show what I can do. I redshirted last year to prepare for D1 and look at what we did. Just wait and see what we can do with me back.”

Cliff Stuckey and Otis Newton form the backcourt and the pair of redshirt seniors will be key factors. Newton scored the second-most points last season and was a legit threat from deep, but it’s his stellar perimeter defense that has proven invaluable to Dominican’s identity as a defense-first team. Stuckey has shown a proclivity for distributing the ball around and has been a solid defender, but he’s been slow to fully adjust in running the offense smoothly. Now, both have to prove it at this new, more competitive level. Power forward Philip Boone continues his work inside, returning as the third leading scorer and main post threat. With Spann back in the fold though, Boone has been working on expanding his offensive game and extending his range.

The bench will be six deep, with redshirt freshmen Glen Palmer and Angel Reyes joining the bench quartet from last year: Eugene Giordano, Tom Mitchell, Kenny Webb, and Eric Carman. Giordano showed off some nifty passing in his first year as a point guard at the college level. Mitchell probably could be a starter on a lot of teams, but brings shooting and speed off the bench for the Penguins as a microwave scorer. By way of his scouting report and his limited gametime, Palmer appears to be a sharpshooter and explosive scorer, especially in the fast paced offense Dominican plans to run. Webb played heavy minutes as a combo forward last season and was the main bench threat showing off a solid all-around game. While he’ll cede his minutes at small forward to Palmer, Webb will be able to put his strengths as a rebounder and interior scorer to better use. Carman will clean up any leftover minutes at several spots, but his length and versatility proves helpful in a pinch, such as scoring 15 points in 13 minutes in the win in double OT against Minnesota State in the Final Four. Defensively, this group won’t cause Dominican to lose much ground either, with each player showing pretty well with a mix of size, speed, and skill. Finally, the physically imposing Angel Reyes spent his redshirt season sculpting his 7-foot, 310-lb frame to go along with a near 7’8” wingspan and 39.5” vertical while adapting to the Dominican culture, aiming to have a big impact from here on. All together, the bench unit looks as deep and talented as ever.

Two three-star recruits, Jay Gillespie and Alan Fontana, signed with Dominican (CA) early on in the season. Both popped up relatively late in their high school careers, but made strong impressions on the Dominican (CA) coaching staff leading to their offers.

Gillespie (#18 in CA, #178 overall) arrives from Williams, CA, perhaps as the point guard of the future. Despite playing in the front court for much of high school, the coaches think Gillespie showed the raw skills to be the lead guard once Stuckey graduates. Fontana (#30 in CA, #320 overall) comes from Huntington Park, CA and at 6’7” with a 7’3” wingspan should be a mainstay in the front court. But Fontana logged minutes at PG during his senior season in high school. Fontana flashed a good eye for finding his teammates, but really excelled at creating his own shot thanks to his speed and size. Both Gillespie and Fontana are looking forward to getting to campus and working hard.

“Both these guys are legit blue-chippers,” said head coach Rahsaan McCartney. “They could have played minutes as first years for a lot of teams out there. They could here too to be honest. But they believe in the culture we have built here and so they’ll redshirt their first years.”

While the people within the Penguins program are feeling good about this season and beyond, being in D1 is a whole new ballgame for everyone. It’ll be a tough challenge, but the Pingu Crew will be ready.

Apr 02 2018: Dominican (CA) Takes D2 Title! - by gards710 on April 8th, 2021

PINGUS WIN! PINGUS WIN!The Dominican (CA) Penguins won the Division 2 national championship with a 74-66 win over Cinderella Old Dominion. Coming off an absolutely draining double OT win over Minnesota State in the Final Four, there were many questions as to whether the #1-seeded Penguins could get up for their next test against the #8-seed Monarchs. Luckily, redshirt junior Will Clevenger had a game high 33 points to nab his third Player of the Game distinction of the national tournament, leading Dominican to victory, despite no one else scoring in double digits and Philip Boone fouling out in 13 minutes. After the game, the Penguins managed to sneak their way to being ranked #23 across all divisions of Hardwood, the first time being ranked in at least 12 years.

"We did something big today," said head coach Rahsaan McCartney outside of the locker room, which was loud with celebration. "I'm so proud of these guys. They've worked so hard, not just this season, but for years. It all just culminated in today's result, and these guys deserve it."

Nov 18 2017: Newton's Force Accelerates Pingus Hot Start; Fontana Commits! - by gards710 on February 27th, 2021

The Dominican (CA) Penguins wrapped up the non-conference portion of their schedule with a 77-65 win over rival James Madison, who has shown marked improvement over the seasons. “That team is a lot better and tougher than their 1-9 record. They’re going to make some noise in VI.20,” said assistant coach Dwight Keith. At 8-2, the Penguins have gotten off to their best start since President Gards710 was hired back in 2013 and rank in the top 5 in RPI in Division 2 highlighted by home victories over Clayton State and Wichita State and the only losses on the road to strong teams in Southern Illinois and DePaul. “I’m pretty happy with the overall results so far,” said head coach Rahsaan McCartney. “The whole team is playing well and things are clicking. We’re playing outstanding defense for the most part and that’s attributed to the hard work of the players and the assistants. We all know I’m no great shakes at that stuff, but [assistant coaches] Dwight [Keith] and Dustin [Schuster] have put together good game plans. We’ve gotten contributions from everyone. Our bigs have been key. Our bench has been solid. Will [Clevenger] is expectedly playing well, but Otis Newton is having one heck of a season.”

Newton, for his part, looks like a different player. Newton had gotten off to a bit of a slow start in San Rafael, after poor conditioning and a talented upperclassman in Marc McLaughlin limited his minutes until this season. “Partly my fault because I just wasn't ready and the coaches saw that, but I wasn’t a fan of that. It was hard for me to get into a consistent rhythm. All due respect to Marc, he taught me a lot, but it just wasn’t great for me. Mentally, it was tough. I talked to the coaches, they know all this. They told me it was mine to lose this season and I use that as fuel. I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder, even before college. No team wanted me until Dominican called. And they were still the only team to ever really show interest. Now that it’s my time, I’m here and showing what I can do.” Playing the most minutes he ever has, Newton’s numbers has naturally gone up. But his efficiency has not only not declined, it’s skyrocketed, with massive improvements in his shooting percentages, his points per possession, and his defense.

With the Penguins starting a swing through the south to start their conference season, with games at Troy and Jackson State, Coach McCartney and staff received some excellent news with the commitment of 3-star forward Alan Fontana! Fontana comes from Huntington Park, CA and stands 6’7”, 225 lbs, and a 7’2.75” wingspan. Fontana, the 37th-ranked prospect in CA and top 400 (#390 as of this writing) in the class, joins Jay Gillespie to form a small, but talented recruiting class for the Penguins.

“We’re really excited to land Alan and pair him with Jay,” said assistant coach Victor Adamson. “Alan has shown quite a knack for scoring and has the speed and size to handle our style of play. He can play at a lot of positions, but we think he'll be a key member of our rotation at the forward spots, and maybe even at center.”

Fontana said he “was impressed with the effort” that the coaches put in his recruitment, given he wasn’t on anyone’s radar until this season. “I really liked the pitch they gave me, and then I see how well they’re playing and Jay’s commitment earlier. I think it goes to show the direction of the program. I know I can be a big part of that with what I can do and how I play.”

The Penguins are out of scholarships to offer out, so they will move on to recruiting more underclassmen, which is quite a luxury. As noted earlier, next year’s class is likely to be important in building the program further, as it is replacing the current core of Clevenger, the season’s leading scorer Otis Newton, and starting PG Cliff Stuckey. Newton knows that the team "just has to keep the momentum going."

Nov 04 2017: 3* Recruit Jay Gillespie First to Join the Penguin Huddle in 2017-2018 - by gards710 on February 23rd, 2021

On the return home from suffering their first loss of the season to Southern Illinois, the Penguins received a surprising commitment from 3-star prospect Jay Gillespie, out of nearby Williams, CA. Gillespie is currently the #20 high school senior in CA and just outside of the top 200 nationally. That puts Gillespie as the second highest rated player, behind Bruce Spann, that Dominican has signed since President gards710 was hired, as well as for head coach Rahsaan McCartney and his staff. “We’re ecstatic that Jay sees himself having a bright future with us. We see the same. We were confident we could convince him, but I thought it would take a bit more to be honest, so it’s definitely a good surprise that it happened this early,” said McCartney.

“It’s quite a relief, to make my decision now, because I haven’t had the best season, but Coach McCartney kept his faith in me,” said a beaming Gillespie when putting pen to paper. “I feel like Dominican is a great fit for me. I want to play fast and these Penguins can fly. I was really impressed with the job Coach McCartney and staff have done recently. They’ve really changed things around and I see myself being a big part of continuing that improvement.”

While he has mainly played in the front court to fill a need for his sparsely populated high school and club teams, he’s been getting more and more playing time at point guard, where the coaching staff at Dominican feels he will play best at long-term. Gillespie “shows a great combination of the point guard skills that we look for” according to assistant coach Victor Adamson.

With the early signing, attention can shift to 3-star forward Alan Fontana out of Huntington Park, CA and perhaps the junior class, which Coach McCartney anticipates will be key for the program’s next step, as it is the class that will arrive on campus once Will Clevenger, Otis Newton, and Cliff Stuckey graduate.

Oct 05 2017: 2017-2018 State of The Program - by gards710 on February 14th, 2021

A lot has happened in the quiet Northern California city of San Rafael since signing Bruce Spann and the 2016 recruiting class. But things are about to get real rowdy on the Dominican (CA) campus.

To finish off a mediocre 7th-place 2015-2016 season, the Penguins surprisingly won the V.3 Conference Tournament thanks to a buzzer beater 3 from point guard Loren Leavitt (’16) against the top team in the conference, Alabama. With that win, the Penguins received a bid to the Division 2 National Tournament as a 16-seed and the opportunity to play Cornell, who went on to win the whole thing and become the Division 2 National Champions. Goodbyes were said to the seniors including 4-year starter J.T. Yancey. Will Clevenger led the team in scoring, averaging 12.5 points per game as a redshirt freshman and the rest of the lineup mixed and matched between different matchups.

“We were ecstatic to get the experience of a deep playoff run. The national tournament was certainly a learning experience for our guys too,” said head coach Rahsaan McCartney.

Entering the 2016-2017 season, it was clear it would be Clevenger’s team to run. Although with two freshmen big men, RS FR “Uncle” Phillip Boone and 4-star true FR Bruce Spann, and RS SO PG Cliff Stuckey newly entering the lineup, some growing pains were expected. Instead, the Penguins improved to 5th in V.3 and made the National Tournament as an at-large team. They received a #7 seed and won their first round matchup against Montclair State. Then the team faced off against one of the top teams in Division 2, 2-seed Bowling Green, who had only lost one game prior. The Penguins pulled off the massive upset! However, their run ended in the Sweet 16 at the hooves of the Lipscomb Bisons, who made a Final Four run.

“That win over Bowling Green was huge, perhaps the highlight of the season. But we had good performances all season. It was certainly encouraging to see the hard work really starting to pay off. That’s the type of culture we’ve tried to build here,” remarked assistant coach Victor Adamson.

On the season, Clevenger once again led the team in scoring with 15.6 points per game. Shooting guard Otis Newton and Boone at power forward provided some additional scoring punch. Only Marc McLaughlin and Jerrold Andrews, both of whom got spot starts throughout their careers and played solid minutes off the bench, graduate.

Now, Dominican (CA) enters the 2017-2018 season with high expectations. With the entire starting lineup returning, McCartney sees “continued improvement in both skill and performance.” Clevenger figures to be the main offensive focus, but the team should once again have a strong defense and several threats on offense, a couple even coming off the bench. However, rumors have been swirling that SO center Bruce Spann is going to redshirt and RS SR Charlie Rowell will step into the starting lineup. Rowell is certainly capable and a certifiable physical freak who has earned spot starts throughout his time in San Rafael. Forward Kenny Webb and guard Eugene Giordano come off of their redshirts and will fill in the bench along with RS SO guard Tom Mitchell and SO forward Eric Carman. The coaching staff also made a change, hiring offensive whiz Dustin Schuster over the offseason. Schuster was most recently a part of two 25+ win seasons at Fort Lewis.

“Being new here, I think I bring fresh eyes to the program. The first thing I took notice of was the immense talent developing here. I think Will [Clevenger] has a chance to be Conference Player Of The Year. And Phil down low has kept improving and I think will be a force down low again. But I think Otis and Cliff are going to determine where we go. They’re going to provide solid defense, but they’re going to have provide more help on offense for us to reach the heights we want to reach,” said Coach Schuster.

2017 Recruits
The 2017 recruiting class is another small one, with just two players arriving on campus.

“Both Palmer and Reyes are a bit raw, but have shown the work ethic to fit into the culture at DUCA and eventually the roles we foresee them playing here,” said Coach McCartney.

Three-star prospect Glen Palmer makes the trek up north from Long Beach, CA and projects as a high-scoring wing with his ability to shoot from deep and finish at the rim. With a wingspan of 6’10” and lightning-quick feet, he can make a big impact on defense too.

Angel Reyes is another physical specimen who steps onto campus to follow in Rowell’s footsteps. A two-star prospect from Agoura Hills, Reyes stands 7-feet tall at 290 lbs with a 7’7” wingspan, yet is athletic as hell with a 39” vertical and speed. Reyes might be responsible for a few earthquakes as he descends from the heavens.

“We’re hoping for big things this season,” said Clevenger. “I really think this team is on the rise and I am amped to get this season started!”