Watch for some new faces in basketball.
The Pioneers have signed 13 new players for the upcoming season; five from the high school ranks, five from junior colleges and three collegiate transfers.
Teddy Chambers, a 6’5 forward, averaged six points and four rebounds a game as a freshman last season at Odessa College. A graduate of Midland High School where he was a first team All-Permian Basin selection, Chambers put in over 21 points and hauled down almost 11 rebounds a contest during his senior year at MHS.
“Teddy will give us the dimension of having a forward that can stretch the defense, as well as rebound and score in the post,” Pioneer assistant coach Quinn Wooldridge said.
A 6’7 forward from Merkel High School, Brandon Mounts was named to the 2007 1st Team All-District 5-2A team after averaging 19 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks a game as a senior.
“Brandon has a big body to put on people and a good touch around the hoop,” Wooldridge said. “His best basketball will be ahead of him.”
Eastern Oklahoma State College guards Jon Hurt and Ognjen Vlaskalin, along with center B.J. Latham, will also join the Pioneers for the 2007-08 campaign. Wooldridge coached all three athletes as an assistant at EOSC in 2005-06.
Hurt, a 6’4 native of Mason, Okla., was an All-State honoree at Mason High School. He spent one year at EOSC, averaging 10 points, three rebounds and two assists. Last season, he played 21 games at East Central University.
“Jon is a good shooter and a competitor that knows what it takes to win,” Wooldridge said.
The 6’10 Latham averaged eight points, five points and one block for Missouri Baptist University during the 2006-07 season. A graduate of Broken Bow (Okla.) High School, he played two seasons at EOSC before transferring to Missouri Baptist.
According to Wooldridge, Latham provides the Pioneers with another big body inside to go along with returnees Danny Storey and Michal Polanowski.
“B.J. will bring overwhelming size and a willingness to put a body on people inside,” he said.
Vlaskalin, a 6’5 guard from Zrenjanin, Serbia, was a sophomore at Eastern Oklahoma last season.
Cochise College point guard Tyrone Crawford has also signed a letter of intent to play. Crawford, a 6’0 graduate of Albuqerque’s El Dorado High School, averaged five assists and one steal and hit 35 percent of his three-point field goal attempts in his two years of junior college.
“Tyrone is a pure point guard that can really run a team,” Cochise head coach Jerry Carillo said. “He is a proven winner, as he has helped us win 48 games in two years and a conference championship.”
Located in Sierra Vista, Ariz., Cochise College has provided the Pioneers with several outstanding basketball players over the past several years, including two-time NAIA All-American Scholar Athlete Duane Youngberg, 2002 Honorable Mention All-Conference selection Jeff Caha, who is currently working under Carillo as an assistant coach, and most recently, 2006 Third Team All-Conference honoree Clifton Clarida.
Among other players signed on for this season are Jason Griffin, a transfer from Clarendon College, and Desmond Dickson, a senior at Lubbock’s Estacado High School.
Griffin, a 6-2 guard from Friendswood High School in Friendswood, Tex., played one season at Clarendon. He was sixth in three-point shooting in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference, hitting 42.6 percent of his shots from behind the arch. He was a first team All-District 23-4A selection in 2005 at Friendswood High and was a Greater Houston Area Basketball Coaches Association All-Star.
“Jason is a terrific shooter who will be a big asset to our team,” Pioneer head coach Robert Davenport said. “He is very athletic and can get to the basket, creating a two-way punch. Jason is also a tremendous person who will fit into the Wayland community very well. I am excited to have him be a part of our program.”
A 6-5, 200 pound forward, Dickson is a two-time All-District 4-4A first team selection, and a three-time selection as the Matador’s Defensive Player of the Year. He averaged ten points a game as a senior for Estacado, which finished the 2006-07 season with a 33-2 record and advanced to the Region I Championship game.
“We’re very excited to have Desmond join our program,” Davenport said. “He has a bright future ahead of him. He played for two former Pioneers in high school (Tim Thomas and Tony Wagner) and was well coached. He understands the game and is a good fit in our system. I’m looking forward to four good years from Desmond.”
Other new players include Matt Quinn, a 6’1 guard who averaged 16.5 points per game at Frenship High School and was named District 4-4A’s Outstanding Offensive Player and Zac Dayton, a 6’7 forward from Monterey High School.
Former Hill College teammates Josh Love and Tony Jones, and Fort Bend Baptist Academy graduate Joe Brown are the final members of the 2007 recruiting class of Coach Davenport and the coaching staff.
Love, a 6’7 forward, comes to WBU as a two-time All-Conference performer in the North Center Junior College Conference. He had a career average of 20 points and 10 rebounds at Hill and was chosen as MVP of the NJCAA All-Star Classic following his sophomore season.
A graduate of Seattle’s Rainier Beach High School who now calls Dallas home, Love began his collegiate career at Eastern Washington University where he spent the 2003-04 season as a redshirt. He comes to the Pioneers with two seasons of eligiblity remaining.
A 6’7 guard/forward, Jones attended Taft High School in San Antonio. He spent the 2004-05 season at Hill where he averaged eight points, six rebounds and four assists playing every position but center. Jones played 13 games during the 2005-06 season at Idaho State University and has one season of eligibility left.
Brown is a 6’3 guard from Sugarland. He was a three-time 1st team TAPPS All-District 4-5A selection and a two-time 1st team TAPPS All-State Class 5A honoree who averaged 20 points during his final two seasons at Ft. Bend Baptist.
Six Pioneers, Kris Hatley, Danny Storey, Tyler Roye, Lee Berend, Michal Polanowski and Zach TeGrotenhuis, will be returning for the 2007-08 season. With all the new recruits, according to Davenport, the Pioneers and JV team combined will have over 40 players.