Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
South Jersey native Luke Piotrowski is transferring out of Richmond, he confirmed to CoBL on Wednesday afternoon. The Atlantic Christian alum played sparingly last season, and without more playing time on the horizon he decided it was in his best interests to look elsewhere.
“I’m going to miss Richmond a lot, I really did love it there, I had a great relationship with Coach Mooney and the rest of the staff and I really am grateful for everything they’ve done for me for the past two years,” he told CoBL by phone.
“I think it just kind of got to a point where I said to myself, ‘I want to be the best player that I can be and I need to go to a place that allows me to be.’ I met with coach [Chris] Mooney and we kind of decided that transferring might be the best option.”
A 6-foot-11 center, Piotrowski redshirted back in 2011-12 and then saw a total of just 25 minutes spread out over six appearances last season, scoring a total of two points and grabbing eight rebounds.
Though he hasn’t gotten much playing time, he’s certainly changed in his two years at Richmond. His weight, now at 240 pounds, is 20 pounds of muscle stronger than it was when he graduated high school.
“Even though I got limited minutes (at Richmond), you still in practice every day get adjusted to the pace,” he said. “My body, physically I definitely got a lot stronger and more athletic. The whole style of play in college and practicing hard every day definitely makes a difference.”
Now he’ll be following a similar path as his older brother Mat Piotrowski, who transferred from Boston University in 2012 following his coach Pat Chambers’ departure for Penn State. Mat settled at Eastern Illinois after playing a season at Southwestern Illinois College, a junior college, last season.
As of right now, Luke told CoBL that he doesn’t have any particular schools that he’s considering besides joining his brother at Eastern Illinois, though “I’m not 100 percent on that at all, I want to see what other schools come into play and just go from there.” Coming out of Atlantic Christian, Luke had offers from several high-major schools, but at this point it’s just about finding a place where he can get on the court and contribute.
“Coming from Richmond, they have a great academic reputation, so I am looking for that a little bit; it’s not the deciding factor,” he said. “Besides getting playing time, I just need to go somewhere where they utilize big guys.”
Staying local, he said, was “a little bit of a factor, but I’m not ruling any other schools out because of distance.”
Piotrowski is hoping that he won’t have to take a year at the junior college level; he would prefer to latch on with a Division I program though time is running out until fall classes begin at most schools.
“I do plan on being somewhere in the fall at a full-time, Division I program,” he said. “But I do know how late it is…I know a lot schools start in two weeks.”