Sunday, July 2, 2017

NCCU Men's Basketball Announces 2017-18 Recruiting Class

DURHAM, North Carolina -- The North Carolina Central University men's basketball program has announced a recruiting class of eight student-athletes that will join the team for the 2017-18 season.

Those coming to NCCU are: Jibri Blount (Cleveland State), Zacarry Douglas (Cal State-Northridge), Reggie Gardner (Loomis Chaffee), Brandon Goldsmith (Walters State), Alston Jones (Daytona State), Larry McKnight (Palm Beach State), Jordan Perkins (Greensboro Day), and Dominique Reid (Polk State). Perkins and Gardner will join the program as freshmen, while Blount will have to sit a year due to NCAA transfer rules.

"We are excited about our 2017-18 recruiting class," head coach LeVelle Moton said. "We feel as if we've filled our vacancies with a great group of student-athletes that can hopefully contribute from day one. Not only are they great basketball players, but better people. We feel like this recruiting class will continue to add value to our program as we attempt to sustain the standards that were established by the great student-athletes before them."

Douglas joins the Eagles after beginning his career at Cal State-Northridge where he played two seasons. The 6-8 forward played 24 games with one start in his sophomore season, averaging 5.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. During that season he put up a career-high 15 points against Loyola Marymount and collected 11 rebounds during the same game for a double-double in one of his four times leading the Matadors in boards.

"Zacarry's Division-I experience will be beneficial to a team that will rely on his leadership," said Moton. "He's an athlete who's able to knock down mid-range jumpers as well as rebound at a high level."

Gardner played his high school ball at DeMatha alongside current NBA first overall draft pick Markelle Fultz before playing a year at Loomis Chaffee prep school in Connecticut. During his senior year at DeMatha the 6-3 guard helped his squad to an Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament championship with 23 points in the title game. He was also named Class A Second Team All-New England by the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council after his time at Loomis Chaffee.

"Reggie is a natural scorer from the legendary DeMatha High School," Moton said. "He will provide great perimeter play and be the knockdown shooter that's needed to stretch the defense on this level."

Goldsmith is a local product from Millbrook High School, and he comes to NCCU after playing two seasons at Walters State. With the Senators, he averaged 14 points, five rebounds and three assists per game at the guard position at a height of 6-4. In his sophomore season, he helped push his team to the District VII Championship, where the Senators finished as runners-up. He was named to the All-Tournament team as well as First Team All-Conference. While at Millbrook he was a two-time All-Cap-8 selection and averaged 15 points and six rebounds per game.

"Brandon is a Raleigh kid that shoots it well and slashes to the bucket," said Moton. "He has won at a high level in high school and his length and ability to score will fill a much needed void from last year's perimeter play."

Jones competed for two years at Daytona State College where he played 59 total games and started 44 under current Bethune-Cookman head coach Ryan Ridder. He had his best season this past campaign as he averaged 14.1 points per game and shot 49.1 percent from the floor as a guard. At a height of 6-0, Jones put in a team-high 19 points in a Mid-Florida Conference championship-clinching game in the regular season, and chipped in 16 points in an opening round win in the District VIII tournament.

"Alston is a dynamite leader, and a fearless competitor, and that will bring a necessary toughness that's needed to compete on the Division-I level," Moton said. "He's able to get anywhere on the court and I look forward to seeing him flourish in our system."

McKnight joins the Eagles from Palm Beach State after starting his collegiate career at Wofford. Last season with the Panthers, McKnight played 30 games and started 21, averaging 13.3 points with 3.9 rebounds per game. The 6-3 guard had his strongest game of the season with a season-high 29-point outburst in the season opener against Baltimore City, along with a season-high five assists and four steals.

"Larry is a super-athletic scoring guard that is capable of scoring on all three levels," said Moton.

Perkins is coming off of a championship season of his own, after winning the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A State Championship with Greensboro Day School. The Bengals went on to compete at the DICK's National Tournament, where the 6-2 guard put in 14 points while going 3-for-5 from the perimeter in a quarterfinal upset over IMG Academy on the national stage.

"Jordan is a natural-born winner," Moton said. "He's won at a high level and his Greensboro Day School team made history behind his leadership at the point guard position. We are excited to have him lead us in the future."

Reid comes to Durham after playing a year at Polk State, and he began his career at Niagara. At Polk State, Reid played 25 games and started 19, averaging 14.4 points and 8.2 rebounds per outing. During his last season, he pulled down nine double-doubles with highs of 23 points and 17 rebounds. In his redshirt-freshman season at Niagara, the 6-8 forward was third on the team in scoring with 9.8 points per game, and second in rebounding with 5.9 per contest over 30 appearances and 13 starts.

"Dominique is an experienced post player that not only competed at a high level, but was really successful while at Niagara," said Moton. "He provides length and depth to our frontline."

Blount played his first two years of college ball at Cleveland State, where he totaled 59 games with 14 starts. Over two seasons, the 6-7 forward averaged 4.7 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. During his freshman year, he made career marks of 15 points at UIC, and 11 rebounds at Northern Kentucky.

"The family name says it all for him," Moton said. "His ability to stretch the defense and create off the dribble from the forward position will provide us with a triple threat."


No comments: