SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Third-year head coach Joe Callero and the Mustang Athletics Department increased the Cal Poly men's basketball team's collective height and strengthened the program's collective depth on Wednesday afternoon with the joint announcement that 6-7 Zachary Allmon (San Luis Obispo, Calif. / Mission College Prep), 6-9 Brian Bennett (Romeoville, Ill. / Plainfield East HS) and 6-8 Josh Hall (Brush Prarie, Wash. / St. John's Northwestern Military Academy) have each signed a National Letter of Intent in anticipation of joining the Mustangs for the 2012-13 campaign.
As a junior during the 2010-11 campaign, Allmon averaged 12.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game for a Mission Prep side that reached the California Interscholastic Federation Division 5-AA semifinals. An All-San Luis Obispo County first team selection last season, Allmon also served as a captain for the Royals.
"Zach has the size and skill to be the next David Hanson," said Callero, in regards to Cal Poly's leading returning scorer and 2010-11 All-Big West selection. "He has a good motor and great passion for the game. I watched Zach improve last season and expect him to make steady progress at Cal Poly. I like his versatility from both the post and perimeter. Players such as Zach are hard to guard and can play well within our defensive philosophy."
Bennett helped lead Plainfield East HS to the program's first victory in the Illinois State Tournament this past year. Ranked among the Southwest Prairie Conference's leaders in both field goal and free throw percentage, Bennett has been named to the honor roll during each of his semesters at Plainfield East HS.
"Brian is a big, strong and skilled post player," said Callero, who will gradate four players from his current roster that reach 6-5 or taller. "I expect him to contribute as a freshman because he has played against and with the top players in Chicago and has the mental toughness to play early in his career. Brian has a very good basketball and classroom I.Q. and will excel as a student-athlete at Cal Poly."
Hall is attending St. John's Northwestern Military Academy (Delafield, Wisc.) following a standout career at Hockinson HS. Hall earned All-Washington first team praise and was named Most Valuable Player of the Greater St. Helens League as a senior during the 2010-11 campaign after averaging more than 20 points per game and leading the Hawks to a conference championship. A four-year All-Greater St. Helens League first team honoree, Hall owns half of Hockinson's school scoring records, including career points (1,571).
"Josh is a smooth scoring wing who has a good feel for the game," Callero said. "He's an excellent scorer when facing the hoop and he plays and moves well without the ball. Additionally, he can score as a post player and that versatility will be a perfect fit for our offense. Similar to his future teammates, he has great character and a great work ethic."
Cal Poly, which returns four starters and nine letterwinners from a 2010-11 side that matched single-season school records for highest showing in the Big West standings (second), highest seeding for the conference tournament (second) and total Big West victories (10-6), opens the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. versus San Jose State.