The summer just got better for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock men's basketball program.
The Trojans announced Wednesday that Coach Darrell Walker will add two players with international playing experience to a UALR team expected to be one of the best in the Sun Belt Conference next season. Marko Andric, a 6-2 point guard, and Yacine Toumi, a 6-9 forward, are expected to join the team in the coming weeks.
There inclusions will give the defending league champions a total of six players with overseas ties on their 2020-21 roster.
"I'm very excited to bring these two players to Little Rock and add them to our team," Walker said in a news release. "We were fortunate with everything going on with the [coronavirus] epidemic that we only had two spots to fill, and we were able to fill needs that we had. I wanted another true point guard, and we got that.
"And I wanted an athletic player with some length, and we got that."
Walker and the Trojans also got deeper with the two additions. All but one player is forecast to return for the 2020-21 season for UALR, which went 21-10 last season, including 15-5 in the Sun Belt, to complete an 11-game turnaround from the 2018-19 campaign. The Trojans were picked to finish 11th in the conference's preseason poll but won 12 of their first 14 league games and never looked back. Four of their Sun Belt losses were by single digits.
Andric, who averaged 15 points, 5.6 assists and 4 rebounds last season for BC Mega Bemax (Serbia) in the Adriatic Basketball Association and played for the Serbian FIBA national team in each of the past four seasons, will provide added assistance in an already strong backcourt that includes all-league pick Markquis Nowell and Ben Coupet Jr., who was third on the team in scoring at 11.2 points per game.
Toumi, a Tunisia native who previously played on the country's national team during the FIBA Under-18 African Championships, supplies UALR with even more length in its frontcourt. With Toumi on board, the Trojans now have six forwards or centers at 6-7 or taller.
"There will be a learning curve for both of them as they are both freshmen," Walker explained in the release. "But with the talent level they both have, they'll fit right in with what we're building here."