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Men's basketball: Here's more on Rick Pitino's newest recruiting class at Iona College

Josh Thomson
Rockland/Westchester Journal News

He needed just a month after being hired to sign an eight-man recruiting class. That was just seven months ago, but Rick Pitino's roster transformation at Iona College continued this week.

The Gaels have signed two new recruits and expect to sign two others in the coming days to form a four-man class in 2021.

The biggest name in the bunch might be Trey James, a 6-foot-10, 220-pound big man from Marlin County High School in Kentucky. James, who signed his Letter of Intent on Wednesday, is three-star recruit who picked Iona despite receiving high-major offers from Wake Forest and Iowa.

James became Kentucky's all-time leader in blocks back in February, surpassing the previous mark of 716 career blocks by Isaiah Cozart.

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As a junior, James reportedly averaged 14.6 points and 11.1 rebounds per game and broke the state record for blocks. He guided Marlin County to its first regional title since 1983.

On Wednesday, the Gaels also added forward Jordan Wildy, a 6-foot-9, 180-pound senior who signed at Winston Salem (N.C.) Christian School. Wildy, who held 11 other mid-major offers, has led his team to two wins already this season. He has a long, lean frame, and is considered skilled and athletic for his size.

Iona is also expected to sign two other recruits in the coming days.

One is Joshua Duach, a 6-foot-6, 185-pound swingman who is a high school senior at Billanook College in Melbourne, Australia. Duach, a gifted outside shooter with athleticism, has played internationally for Australia at the junior level. He received widespread interest in the U.S., including a high-major offer from Maryland.

Bartow's Walter Clayton (0) drives up the court as Dillard's Darryl Burrows (12) tries to defend during the second half of their FHSAA Boys 6A championship game at The RP Funding Center in Lakeland Saturday. March 7, 2020.

Duach should be joined in the coming days by 6-foot-2 point guard Walter Clayton Jr., a senior at Bartow Senior High School in Wales, Fla. Clayton, who once held offers from Notre Dame and Florida, chose Iona over several mid and high-major programs in his home state, including South Florida and Stetson. He is expected to sign early next week.

The Gaels will have at least four scholarships open after the 2020-21 season with the departures of seniors Isaiah Ross, Asante Gist, Dylan van Eyck and Colton Cashaw.

They were slated to open the season on Nov. 25 at Fordham, but the first four games have been either canceled or postponed after a person involved in the program tested positive for COVID-19. Pitino told The Journal News Thursday the positive case was not a player or a coach, but that the Gaels won't be able to hold any team activities for at least 14 days, per NCAA rules.

Josh Thomson is the Local Sports Editor for The Journal News and Poughkeepsie Journal. He can be reached by e-mail at jthomson@lohud.com, on Twitter at @lohudinsider, and on Instagram at @lohudinsider.