Northern Illinois University men’s basketball head coach Mark Montgomery announced the signings of Levi Bradley (Milwaukee, Wis./Pius XI), Jaylen Key (Mequon, Wis./Homestead), Austin Pauga (Naperville, Ill./IMG Academy) and Laytwan Porter (Rockford, Ill./Auburn) to National Letters of Intent to join the NIU basketball program.
“I’m very happy with our recruiting class,” Montgomery said. “We have two local student-athletes, one from Rockford and one from Naperville, along with two from nearby in the Milwaukee area. I’m excited about this class because they are going to start the next chapter in Huskie basketball.
“This class has versatility, they can play different positions and they are all pass, handle and shoot players. Each of the four comes from very good high school programs and we can’t wait for them to join us next year.”
Bradley, a 6-foot-7 forward, averaged 20 points, 8.5 rebounds and three blocks per game as a junior at Milwaukee Pius XI, helping the Popes win the Woodland West title. Bradley is the sixth-ranked player in the state of Wisconsin according to 24/7 Sports and has a three star ranking from Rivals.com
“Levi Bradley is a versatile forward,” Montgomery said. “He has unbelievable ball skills and feel for the game. Levi can score in a variety of ways and is a good rebounder. Levi is cut in the mold of Darrell Bowie.”
Key, a 6-foot-8 forward, averaged 14 points and eight rebounds per game last season at Homestead, earning second team all-league honors, as the Highlanders finished second in the North Shore Conference. Key is the ninth-ranked player in the state of Wisconsin according to 24/7 Sports and has a three star ranking from Rivals.com. Key is the son of former Marquette standout Damon Key (1990-94).
“Jaylen Key is a hard-nosed, rugged four-man that can play the five,” Montgomery said. “He was our first commitment and got the ball rolling on this class. He is a pick-and-pop guy that can also score with his back to the basket.”
Pauga, a 6-foot-6 guard who is originally from Naperville, Ill., is in a post-graduate year at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Last season, Pauga averaged 14 points, six assists and three rebounds per game as a senior at IMG Academy. Pauga attended Naperville Central before transferring to IMG Academy.
“Austin Pauga is a versatile two-guard that can also play the three,” Montgomery said. “He has good size and strength and has NBA-plus three-point shooting range.”
Porter, a 6-foot-1 guard, averaged 15.7 points, 6.1 assists and 3.3 steals per game last season at Rockford Auburn, helping to lead the Knights to the NIC-10 Conference and Class 4A sectional championships. A two-year starter heading into his senior season, Porter has scored 885 career points.
“Laytwan is a dynamic combo guard,” Montgomery said. “He can score the basketball as well as facilitate and get others shots. He is also a very hard-nosed, tough defender and comes from a great program in Rockford Auburn.”
Montgomery and the Huskies will open the 2014-15 regular season at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, as they host Aurora University at the NIU Convocation Center.
For more information on NIU men’s basketball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.