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Temple signs two local players and a graduate transfer for 2021 basketball recruiting class

Head coach Aaron McKie dug into his local roots to keep two of the top area players playing close to home.

Aaron Mckie signed two top-300 players during basketball's early signing day period.
Aaron Mckie signed two top-300 players during basketball's early signing day period.Read moreHEATHER KHALIFA / Staff Photographer

Temple didn’t go far to sign its first two recruits of the 2021 class, and the third player could help improve one of the team’s biggest weaknesses.

The Owls signed Zach Hicks from Camden, Hysier Miller from Neumann Goretti in Philadelphia, and added Brendan Barry as a graduate transfer from Dartmouth. Hicks is a 6-foot-7 forward who attended Camden Catholic High School and showcased positional versatility, three-point shooting range and rebounding skills. Miller, a 6-1 guard, led Neumann Goretti to the Catholic League Championship. They were in the PIAA Class 3A quarterfinals when the pandemic canceled the rest of the season.

“We are pleased to welcome Zach and Hysier to the Temple Basketball Family,” said Aaron McKie in an emailed statement. “Both are dynamic, athletic players and more importantly quality young men that fit into the culture of our program.”

Hicks is listed at 185 pounds, but could play small and power forward. He was ranked as the 271st player in the country by 247Sports composite and the No. 8 player in New Jersey. Hicks averaged 20 points and 7.6 rebounds last season. He had offers from Drexel, La Salle, Missouri and Richmond before committing to Temple in September.

Miller is ranked 288th nationally and 10th in Pennsylvania. He averaged 14.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists last season. He committed to Temple on August 7 and is now McKie’s first signed player from Philly.

Barry is a 6-2 guard known for his shooting ability. He was one of the nation’s top shooters in 2018-19 when he made 81 threes at a 44.5% clip. He averaged 13.2 points per game in his junior season. Barry initially said he was staying at Dartmouth, but with the Ivy League’s decision to cancel winter sports, Barry became one of the top players from the conference available.

A Fair Haven, N.J. native, Barry also won’t be playing too far from home. He missed the entire 2019-20 season due to injury, but his career 44.5% from three is fourth among active players, and he also finished second in the Ivy League as a sophomore with 3.9 assists per game.

“We are excited to welcome Brendan to the Temple family," McKie said in a statement. “He is a veteran player, who has terrific perimeter range that will help stretch opposing teams' defenses. He is also a fine young man who will easily fit into our team culture.”