Ten sign with ECU men's basketball programMay 18, 2012
ADA – East Central University men’s head basketball coach Mac McConnell has announced the signing of 10 players – three freshmen, six junior college transfers and a returning Tiger player – for the 2012-13 season.
McConnell, who served as ECU’s interim head coach after two games and throughout the season in 2011-12, now brings in his first recruiting class.
“We feel like we were able to add size, strength and athleticism,” McConnell said.
Walters, a 6-foot, 175-pounder, recently played a half season at Ardmore High School, averaging 14.5 points and 4.3 assists in earning first team all-conference accolades.
“We look for Marquis to be a scoring point guard, who can also play the two-guard. He’s a great student with likeable character. I can definitely see him getting playing time as a freshman,” said McConnell.
Walters plans to major in criminal justice and is the son of Ruby Williams.
Godfread, at 6-8 and 225, comes to ECU from Elkhart High School in Indiana, where he averaged 9.0 points and 7.0 rebounds.
“The good thing about Joe is that he likes to mix it up and he’s still growing. He’s a big strong kid who is skilled underneath the basket. He understands the high-low system. He can also shoot, pass and run,” McConnell said.
Godfread, who was recruited by Southern Indiana and Wright State, is the son of Rachelle Godfread. His father, Dan Godfread, played in the NBA with the Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves as well as some overseas teams. Joe will be a pre-med major.
Reeves, a 6-5, 190-pounder, was recruited by Montana State. He earned all-conference honors at North Crowley High School in the Fort Worth, Texas area. He led North Crowley in scoring with a 14.3 average.
“Braxton is a good shooter from deep or 3-point range. His skill level is there, he just needs to put on some strength and conditioning with it. We expect to be a sharpshooter who can grow into a slasher,” said McConnell.
He is the son of Carlanda and Walter Reeves. Braxton plans to major in business.
The six junior college signees include: point guard Chris Fisher, small forward Robert Stokes, center Abdi Nurr, power forward Henry ‘Hank’ Pwono, guard Shaquille Burrell and forward Greg Ardister.
Fisher is expected to make an immediate impact at point guard after playing at Ranger Junior College (Texas) which recently celebrated a Region 5 North Junior College Conference crown. He earned all-conference accolades after averaging 12.0 points and 6.0 assists.
He is originally from New Orleans, but finished his high school career at Houston Yates (Texas).
“I call Chris a baby Steve Nash. He can beat you with the dribble or beat you with the pass. He’s a floor leader or a coach on the floor. Chris can speed the game up and works the ball with screen action. He can put the ball in the hands of the guy with the hot hand. He can score, but he’ll be a pass first point guard,” said McConnell.
Fisher is the son of Dianna McGee. He will major in kinesiology.
Stokes will have three years of eligibility with the Tigers after transferring from Ranger Junior College (Texas). Stokes sat out last season after playing for McConnell at Ranger as a freshman in 2010-11.
“Robert is a super, super athlete. He can run, jump, dunk and block shots. He’s a guy that’s plays above the rim,” McConnell said.
Stokes averaged 10 points per game at Ranger, after playing at Phillis Wheatley High School in Houston. He is a kinesiology major and the son of Robert Stokes Sr.
Nurr is a 6-9, 230-pound junior from Somalia via Tyler Junior College (Texas), where he averaged 7.0 points and 4.0 rebounds. He has played just three years of organized basketball.
“Nurr gives us size and strength on the inside. He will come in and clog the middle, block shots and rebound. He can knock down the 15-footer as well,” said McConnell.
He will be a kinesiology major.
Pwono is a 6-7, 240-pound junior power forward from Pittsburgh, Pa. He transfers in from Southwestern Christian Community College in Terrell, Texas, where he averaged 12.0 points and 7.0 boards. His strength coach is Pete Strobl at the Scoring Factory Training Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.
“Hank is all-muscle and has God-given athletic ability. He’s big, strong, powerful, can run and jump. He can finish strong at the rim and has a nice 15-foot jump shot,” McConnell said.
Pwono’s mother is Meta Pwono. He will be a kinesiology major.
Burrell, a 6-2, 175-pound junior guard out of Houston, comes to ECU from Ranger Junior College (Texas) after averaging 8.0 points and 5.0 assists.
“Shaq is another quick player with a real high I.Q. for basketball,” said McConnell.
According to McConnell, Burrell’s brother played Division I basketball at Texas Southern. Shaquille is planning to major in pre-engineering. He is the son of Sheila Rose and David Burrell.
Ardister is a 6-foot, 7-inch, 250-pounder out of Rowlett, Texas and transfer from Brookhaven Community College in Dallas. He averaged 13.0 points and 6.0 rebounds at Brookhaven.
McConnell compares him to the recent departed ECU forward Darnell Davis, who averaged 11.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and shot 59 percent from the floor last season.
“Greg is a mirror image of Darnell. He can shoot the 15-footer and his game around the basket is solid. Greg has good hands. He’s an in-the-paint type guy who is a bruiser like Darnell,” McConnell said.
Ardister is a kinesiology major and he is the son of Lee Ardister.
Returning to the Tiger program after a year’s absence is Chris Lee, a 6-foot, 8-inch, 230-pounder out of DeSoto, Texas. Lee sat out last season after averaging 5.0 points and 4.2 rebounds for ECU in 2010-11. He led the Tigers in rebounding six times, including 10 boards twice. Lee’s career-best scoring games for ECU were 10 on two occasions. He will be a senior. Lee played at Allen County Community College (Kan.) before joining the Tiger program.
“We’re looking for two more scorers on the perimeter and one big, strong post guy,” said McConnell.