|COURTESY FAMU ATHLETICS|
TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- FAMU Men’s Head Basketball coach Byron Samuels announced Wednesday the signing of a pair of Tennessee junior college front line players to National Letters of Intent for the 2016-17 season.
Joining the resurgent Rattler Basketball Program will be Derrick Dandridge, a 6-8, 230-pound forward from Memphis, Tenn., and Andrew Smith, a 6-10, 260-pound center/forward from Johnson City, Tenn.
Derrick Dandridge, who graduated from White Station High in Memphis, a National Top 25 prep program, and played for East Central Mississippi State Community College last season, where he averaged nearly a double-double every game. He displayed great versatility, showing the capacity to play on the wing, or driving to the basket.
SAMUELS ON DANDRIDGE:
“I am so excited to announce that we have signed Derrick Dandridge. “Derrick brings a maturity to our basketball program that will be invaluable as we continue building towards the standard of excellence we want. Derrick is an excellent student, and was a full qualifier out of high school.
“It is a blessing to welcome him and his family to FAMU. He comes from the basketball rich city of Memphis, and he was a member of a National top 25 high school team at White Station. Derrick’s versatility caught my eye right away. He has the ability to score in and around the basket and the ability to play on the perimeter.
“This inside-outside combination is perfect for how we like to play. He is an excellent rebounder, and he is pretty crafty as a ball handler. Derrick averaged close to a double-double for a 13-10 East Central Mississippi State team this season. “
JUCO COACH: Coach Robert Thompson
Andrew Smith comes to FAMU with three years of eligibility remaining, after averaging 9.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game for Columbia State College, where he shot 80-plus percent from the foul line last season. He is a product of Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tenn.
SAMUELS ON SMITH:
“Andrew Smith is a fantastic basketball player and even better student and young man. He was a full high school qualifier and will have three years of eligibility at Florida A&M.
” It is with great enthusiasm that we welcome Andrew and his family to FAMU. Andrew is a very skilled big man who can score in a variety of ways. When I saw him play, right away I knew he could be a difference maker, a franchise type of player for us. Andrew has the ability to use his right and left hand to score inside.
“He shot over 80% from the free throw line, and he has the ability to stretch defenses with his shooting outside. Andrew is an aggressive and smart defender, and is a really an effective rebounder. Andrew averaged 9 points, 8 rebounds and two block shots this season for a 21-8 Columbia State team.
JUCO COACH: Coach Winston Neal.
FAMU Head Men’s Basketball Coach Byron Samuels announced Thursday the signing of Marcus Barham, a 6-4, 185 guard out of Wallace State (Ala.) Community College to a National Letter of Intent.
Barham, who is a Florida native from Melbourne, where he attended Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy, comes to FAMU after averaging 12.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game for Wallace State.
He also shot nearly 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range, and over 80 percent from the free throw line.
SAMUELS ON BARHAM:
“Marcus is an exceptional young man and student. He brings a work ethic and maturity to our program that will help us take another step in building FAMU Basketball.
“Talent wise, Marcus can score. He is a first team All-Conference selection and second team All-Region 22 this season at Wallace State Community College where he averaged 12 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists per game.
“Marcus’s shooting ability made him attractive to us right away…. He is not however just a shooter. Marcus is athletic, handles the ball well and will be a valuable defender for our team next season.
“As a high schooler, Marcus graduated from Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy in Melbourne, Fl. His HS team was eliminated in the state playoffs by North Carolina’s Joel Berry’s Lake Highland Prep team in 2014.”
JUCO COACH: Barham was coached by John Meeks at Wallace State CC
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