Rio announces 2021-22 men’s basketball recruiting class

By Randy Payton - For Ohio Valley Publishing

RIO GRANDE, Ohio — University of Rio Grande men’s basketball head coach Ryan Arrowood has announced his recruiting class for the upcoming 2021-22 season.

The RedStorm have added guards Cody Lantz (Shelby, OH) and Luis Herrera (Puerto Plata, D.R.), in addition to wingman Khamani Smith (Fort Wayne, IN) and post player Exauce “Manny” Manissa (Pointe-Noire, Republic of the Congo).

A late addition to the list included guard Eythan House (Melbourne, Australia).

“We’re really excited about the class as a whole,” said Arrowood, who’s preparing for his second season as the program’s head coach. “Immediately, we’ve added depth that we didn’t have last year. I thought our biggest weaknesses last season were length, strength and size and we feel like we’ve addressed all three of those issues.”

The 6-foot-3 Lantz, who played at Shelby High School, averaged 15.5 points per game during his senior campaign, while Herrera — who also stands 6’3 — comes to Rio Grande from Monroe (NY) College by way of Teays Valley Christian School in Scott Depot, W.Va., where Arrowood coached before coming back to his alma mater. He averaged 6.1 points and shot 42 percent from the field during the 2019-20 season.

“Cody is very athletic and was one of the top 15 shooters in the state last season,” Arrowood said. “Luis is a really talented kid who played for me at Teays Valley. He had five D1 offers, but elected to go the JUCO route because of his ACT score and then he didn’t get to play last year due to COVID. He knows what we’re all about and he’ll have three years of eligibility.”

Smith is a 6-foot-6 wing who played his high school basketball at Fort Wayne Northrop, where he earned First Team All-District honors after averaging 18 points, five rebounds and four assists per game as a senior.

Manissa is a 6-foot-9 power forward who played at First Love Christian Academy in Washington, Pa. after beginning his prep career at West Oaks Academy in Orlando, Fla. He had eight offers from NCAA Division I schools.

“Khamani is a kid who has a huge basketball I.Q. and who’s very passionate about the game. He’s a long, versatile kid,” said Arrowood. “After everything that went on with COVID last year, the D1’s who were looking at Manny wanted him to play post-grad this year, but he chose to come to Rio over playing post-grad or going the JUCO route. He’s a big-bodied kid who has some skills. He might be a bit of a project but, with all of the attention he was getting, I think that says something.”

House is a 6-foot-3 guard who played most recently for Melbourne’s Kilsyth Cobras 18-under team.

“Eythan is a big, strong guard. We’re excited to see exactly what he could be,” Arrowood said.

Arrowood also announced that Cal Cistaro has been elevated to the position of Associate Head Coach, while Cody Buchanan becomes a varsity assistant coach and Ben Roberts joins the staff as an assistant coach and junior varsity head coach.

By Randy Payton

For Ohio Valley Publishing

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.

Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.