SAINT LEO, Fla. – Some of the state of Florida's top talent has taken note of the recent successes of Saint Leo Men's Basketball as recent recruits Jaylon Bell, Trey Griseck and Stephane Beneche were named as three of Florida Hoops' Top-100, as announced by the organization earlier this week. The list, loaded with numerous Division I signees, sees the Saint Leo group listed alongside players heading to North Carolina, Florida and Butler.
Saint Leo is the only Sunshine State Conference team and NCAA Division II institution represented on the entire list.
Bell, No. 69 on the list, comes to Saint Leo from West Orange High School in Winter Garden, Fla. where he averaged 17 points and eight assists per game in leading the Warriors to a 23-8 overall record and an 8A District Championship. Named as a member of the Fourth-Team All Central Florida Boys Basketball Team, he was also a First-Team All-Conference Selection on an All-Conference team littered with Division I signees. Coming into Saint Leo as a performer in the classroom with a 3.6 GPA, Bell was also a Florida Association of Basketball Coaches All-Star selection and an All-State selection on the Florida Athletic Coaches Association Boys Basketball Team.
Picked 81st and the first signee of the 2012-13 season back in November, Griseck helped Olympia High School to a 22-9 record his senior season as he shot over 40 percent from behind the 3-point arc and posted close to a 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio on the nationally-ranked squad. The 6'4" guard also considered Rollins and Eckerd of the Sunshine State Conference, along with multiple Division I offers, including those from Kennesaw State, Liberty and Campbell.
Ranked 83rd and averaging 15 points and nine rebounds per game, the 6'10" presence of Beneche allowed him to lead Palm Beach County in blocks as he averaged five rejections per contest. The Palm Beach County All-Star selection and the game's MVP posted 10 games where he had at least six blocks and notched 10 or more rebounds in at least 15 games this season. A Second-Team All-Area selection, Beneche was also extremely accurate with the ball, making 61 percent of his shots, a stat which helped the all-around player earn a spot in the Florida All-Star Basketball Classic. He made a memorable impression on many his senior season with a triple-double performance against archrival Palm Beach Central, posting 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks in a 53-39 win.
It was a year of resurgence in the Lions' men's basketball program led by Head Coach Lance Randall. He inherited a team that was picked last in the SSC preseason poll and led it to a third-place finish in the regular-season standings with a 10-6 conference mark. With an 18-12 overall record, the Lions won nine consecutive games at one point, breaking a program record that dates back to at least 1987.
The success from 2011-12 sheds a new light on the men's basketball program and has the growing fan-base excited to see the trio of new additions team up with all-conference players Marcus Ruh and Trent Thomas along with Shaun Adams, Tom Neary, Dominick Robinson and redshirt Jerrel Harris in the upcoming season.