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Hoops Recruiting Report
Friday, April 26, 2002

By Thad Mumau
Special Correspondent

Juco wings top off dazzling recruiting class


ECU staff backs off on several
prospects down the stretch

East Carolina has completed an outstanding basketball recruiting class with the addition of two junior college perimeter players this week.

Shooting guard Luke Mackay and small forward/wing guard Derek Wiley join Belton Rivers to give the Pirates three spring signees and four overall, with Corey Rouse having signed back in November.

Mackay, who is 6-4, was averaging about 15 points per game for Lon Morris College when he broke his right (shooting) wrist and had to undergo surgery. He returned late in the season and came off the bench. An outstanding three-point shooter, he is a native of Perth, Australia.

Wiley, also 6-4, scored 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds per game at Moberly (MO) Community College. He led his region in steals, getting 3.2 a contest.

Rouse is a 6-7 1/2 small forward from Kinston (NC) High School. Rivers, 6-3, is a high-scoring combination guard from Atlanta (GA) Frederick Douglass.

Several other names had surfaced in connection with the Pirates and were scratched from the ECU list in recent weeks.

Jason Carter, a 5-8 point guard from Great Bend (KS) Barton County Community College, has narrowed his choices to Hawaii, South Carolina, Arkansas and Wichita State. He has visited South Carolina, Hawaii and Wichita State.

"East Carolina talked to Jason, but didnít call back," Barton County coach Ryan Wolf said. "I really like those guys, though. They have an outstanding staff thatís doing a good job."

Carter averaged about 18 points and four assists this past season, while hitting about 38 percent of his three-point attempts. A spectacular jumper who possesses a 46-inch vertical leap, he had nearly 50 dunks during the season.

And, yes, he is only 5-8!

Marcus Johnson is considering Kansas State and South Carolina. The 6-3 1/2 shooting guard from Tallahassee (FL) Community College is another juco who received early attention from East Carolina, but none recently.

Johnson, who played his high school hoops in Baltimore, scored a team-leading 15 points per game to go with five rebounds and three assists this past season.

The Pirates showed interest in four members of the Coffeyville (KS) Community College team, including Wilfred Antoine, Marvin Black and the Smith brothers, Devin and Steve.

Devin Smith is the most prominent of the quartet on the recruiting scene as he signed with Virginia after visiting Charlottesville the weekend of April 19-21. The Cavaliers are looking to expand their 2002 class following the decision of Roger Mason Jr. to pass up his senior season to enter the NBA draft.

A 6-5 two guard, Smith sizzled from three-point range in averaging a team-high 19.5 points per game. He hit 47 percent of his trey tries. He has also visited Kansas and Iowa.

Devin has three years of eligibility remaining, entering Virginia as a sophomore after qualifying academically in high school. Those who do not meet requirements for freshman eligibility and choose to attend a junior college must complete the two years necessary to graduate from junior college.

His brother, Steve, is a 6-5 sophomore combination forward. He has visited Illinois State and Iona, while Fresno State continues to make a pitch.

Antoine, a 5-10 point guard, signed with Indiana State after averaging 6.5 points and 5.5 assists. Black, a 6-7, 220-pound power forward, is looking at Marshall, Oregon and Fresno State.

"I donít know why East Carolina stopped recruiting Marvin," Coffeyville coach Jay Herkelman said. "They were real interested. Then, we just didnít hear from them any more."

The Pirates planned an in-home visit with Oliver Holmes, a 6-6 wing guard/small forward from Wilmington (NC) Hoggard High School. But they called it off, and Holmes signed with UNC-Asheville.

Holmes, who has a 4.2 grade-point average and 1,270 SAT score, averaged 17 points and seven rebounds as a senior.

Conference USA notes

Cincinnati closed out its recruiting year by signing 6-8 Kareem Johnson of Chipola Junior College in Florida. The rugged 250-pounder got 12.2 points and 10.6 rebounds this past season.

The Bearcats also signed 6-3 juco wing guard Tony Bobbit during the spring period. He is at College of Southern Idaho after signing with Florida State out of high school only to come up short academically.

Southern Miss has signed a pair of guards this spring. They are 6-3 combination guard Jarekus Singleton from Clinton (MS) High School and 6-5 wing guard Jason Forte of Bay Springs (MS) High.

Forte averaged 28 points, 9.6 rebounds and six assists per game, while Singleton got 20 points, 7.5 boards and six assists a contest.

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02/23/2007 02:39:26 PM

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