Friday, April 29, 2016

Cleveland State Basketball Signs Hairston, Thomas & Wright To NLI's

Cleveland State officially announced the signings of Jamarcus Hairston (Danville, Va.), Kasheem Thomas (Chateauguay, Quebec, Canada) and Anthony Wright (Harrisburg, Pa.) to National Letters of Intent on Friday.

CSU released the following press release:

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Cleveland State head men's basketball coach Gary Waters has announced the signings of Jamarcus Hairston (Danville, Va.), Kasheem Thomas (Chateauguay, Quebec, Canada) and Anthony Wright (Harrisburg, Pa.) to National Letters of Intent to join the Vikings in 2016-17.
Thomas will have four years of eligibility at CSU, while Hairston and Wright will have two seasons of eligibility.

The trio will join Evan Clayborne (Dayton, Ohio) and Andy Lucien (North Olmsted, Ohio) who joined the Vikings during the early signing period and Gavin Peppers (Brookeville, Md.) who signed with CSU at the start of the late period in April.

Hairston, a 6-foot-8 forward, was named a third team NJCAA Division II All-American at Louisburg JC this past season after averaging 14.1 points and 9.0 rebounds, while shooting 37-percent from three-point. He posted 27 double-digit scoring games and 15 double-digit rebounding games, including a 19-rebound performance in the NJCAA National Tournament. He led Louisburg to a 28-7 record and sixth place finish at the NJCAA Championship this year.

"Jamarcus is a great addition for us," Waters said. "He has the ability to play the four and the five and his length and athleticism will help him at both positions. He can step out and shoot the basketball and also play down on the block. We expect Jamarcus to be an instant contributor for us this upcoming season." 

The 6-foot Thomas earned Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association All-Canadian second team honors in each of last two seasons. This past season, he ranked second in the conference in scoring (18.4) and assists (4.9) and third in free throw percentage (.827), shooting 44-percent from three-point. He averaged 13.5 points, 4.3 assists and 1.7 steals per game as a junior.

"We are excited to bring a player of Kasheem's magnitude into the program," Waters said. "He will provide an immediate lift at the point guard position. He brings quickness, good shooting and ball handling and the ability to penetrate as a point guard. We expect to see big things from Kasheem despite him being just a freshman."

Wright, a 6-foot-6 wing/forward, earned 2016 NJCAA Division I honorable mention All-America honors last year after averaging 17.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 3.3 steals per game, ranking fourth in the nation. He led Harcum JC to a 28-5 record, a Region XV and District 3 championship and a berth in the NJCAA National Tournament as the squad was ranked 14th in the final NJCAA Division I poll.

Wright, who shot 55-percent from the field and 75-percent at the free throw line, finished his as Harcum's all-time leader with 177 career steals, while also ranking eighth in assists (213) and ninth in points (768) and rebounds (335). Wright set a single game school record with 10 steals in a game and made a school-record 107 steals as a sophomore.

"Anthony is a great addition to what we want to do offensively and defensively," Waters said. "His length gives him the ability to defend and make steals, giving us an instant threat on the defensive end. But he also gives us just as much on the offensive end with his ability to score both inside and outside. He has tremendous speed and athleticism and is a great finisher in transition."

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Cleveland State reportedly in running for Ohio State transfer A.J. Harris

A.J. Harris
Former Ohio State point guard A.J. Harris is reportedly considering Cleveland State as one of his transfer destinations.

According to CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein, Harris is looking at Duquesne, UMass, and Cleveland State. as possible destinations, but hasn't set any visits.

A 5-foot-9, 175-pounder from Dayton, Harris averaged 2.8 points and 1.7 assists while playing in 13.7 minutes a game for the Buckeyes this season as a true freshmen.

He will have three years remaining after sitting out 2016-17 season.

Harris was highly-rated coming out of Dunbar High School in Dayton.

A four-star prospect, Harris was rated the No. 12 point guard, No. 86 prospect in the country and No. 4 player in Ohio according to 247Sports composite ratings.

As a senior, Harris averaged 19.3 points, 5.6 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 steals a game for Dunbar High.

Harris was a high school teammate of current CSU guard Andre Yates - both were on Dunbar's 2012 state championship team, when Yates was a senior and Harris was a freshmen.

Dunbar High has been a recruiting pipeline for the Vikings in recent years, producing CSU great Norris Cole, Aaron Pogue and Yates. CSU signee Evan Clayborne also spent two years at Dunbar before transferring to Dayton Thurgood Marshall High School for his senior year.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Anthony Wright Commits to Cleveland State

Anthony Wright
Cleveland State head coach Gary Waters completed his 2016 recruiting wishlist, picking up the final two pieces on Monday.

In the morning, the Vikings secured a commitment from Louisburg (Junior) College’s Jamarcus Hairston, a third team NJCAA Division II All-American.

Hours later, the Vikings got more good news when they received a commitment from Anthony Wright of Harcum (Junior) College in Philly.

Both will have two years of eligibility remaining.
Hairston, 6-foot-7, 225-pounds, gives the Vikings versatility in the frontcourt as he has the ability to play both the four and five positions.

The Danville, Va. native averaged 14.1 points and 9.0 rebounds per game this past season for Louisburg College.

Wright, 6-foot-6, 203-pounds, gives the Vikings a true wing on its roster who can play at both ends of the floor.

A Harrisburgh, Pa. native, Wright averaged 17.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 3.3 steals a game last season. He shot 54.7 percent from the field, 28.4 percent (33-116) from three-point distance and 74.8 percent at the free throw line, starting 31 of the 32 games he played as a sophomore.

He is Harcum's all-time steals leader.

Hairston and Wright joins Dayton Thurgood Marshall forward Evan Clayborne, North Olmsted forward Andy Lucien, Laramie County Community College point guard Gavin Peppers and Canadian point guard Kash Thomas as members of CSU's 2016-'17 recruiting class.

Junior college forward Hairston commits to Cleveland State

Jamarcus Hairston
Jamarcus Hairston, a 6-foot-7, 225-pound forward from Louisburg (Junior) College, announced Monday afternoon on Twitter he will sign a national letter of intent to play basketball for Cleveland State.

Hairston averaged 14.1 points and 9.0 rebounds per game this past season for Louisburg College in North Carolina. He shot 46.1 percent from the field, 37.5 percent (67-173) from three-point distance and 67.2 percent at the free throw line, starting all 36 games he played.

A native of Danville, Va., Hairston will have two years of eligibility with the Vikings. He visited CSU's campus on Sunday.

Hairston was named to the NJCAA Division II All-American Third Team.

At George Washington High School in Danville, Va., Hairston averaged 15 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 blocks a game as a senior, earning the Conference 24 Player of the Year.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Kash Thomas Signs with Cleveland State

Kash Thomas
Cleveland State continues to revamp their 2016-17 men's basketball roster.

The Vikings added a second point guard to its 2016 recruiting class on Saturday, receiving a verbal commitment from two-time All-Canadian selection Kasheem "Kash" Thomas.

Thomas, who visited CSU's campus on Thursday, announced his commitment on his Twitter account:
The 5-foot-10 Thomas will have four years of eligibility.

A native of Ch√Ęteauguay, Quebec, Thomas played last season at Champlain College Saint-Lambert in Quebec, Canada. He finished second in the conference in scoring (18.4) and assists (4.9) and third in free throw percentage (.827). He also shot 44-percent from three-point distance.



NorthPoleHoops.com rates Thomas as the No. 71 prospect in Canada.

Thomas played his AAU ball with Brookwood Elite, the same program that groomed CSU walk-on Daniel Levitt.

Brookwood Elite is quickly becoming a new pipeline for CSU.

In Sept., CSU received a verbal commitment from Brookwood Elite point guard Richardson Maitre, but he decommitted a month later.

CSU is still looking to add a wing/forward and a big for next season.

The Vikings entertained two junior college swingmen in the past two weekends.

Aundre Jackson visited CSU last Saturday, while Anthony Wright is currently taking a visit to CSU today.

Jackson, a 6-foot-4 guard/forward from Kennedale, Texas, holds offers from CSU, Abilene Christian, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Loyola, UT-Arlington, Texas State, Southeast Missouri State, Idaho State, Robert Morris and Western Illinois.

As a sophomore, Jackson averaged 14.7 points and 6.8 rebounds for McLennan Community College in Texas. He shot 65 percent from the field and 36.6 percent on three-pointers. He was a 70.7 percent free-throw shooter.

The 6-foot-6 Wright originally from Harrisburgh, Pa., holds six Division I offers and picked up an offer from CSU on Monday.

Wright, an NJCAA All-American, averaged 17.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 3.3 steals last season as a sophomore for Harcum (Junior) College in Philly.

As for the bigs, CSU has expressed a strong interest in Cleveland Central Catholic's Tervell Beck and recently checked out Jarvis Doles, a 6-foot-8 forward from Columbia, Md.

The Vikings have also shown interest in Serbian center Aleksandar Zecevic.

Zecevic, 6-foot-10, 250-pounds, arrived in the US in September and is prepping at Scotland Performance Institute in Pennsylvania.

Juco All-American visits Cleveland State this weekend

Anthony Wright
For the second consecutive Saturday, Cleveland State is set to host a junior college swingman.

Anthony Wright, an NJCAA All-American, will visit CSU on Saturday, according to his Twitter account.

Wright, a 6-foot-6 guard/forward from Harrisburg, Pa., averaged 17.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 3.3 steals a game last season as a sophomore for Harcum (Junior) College in Philly.

CSU offered Wright a scholarship on Monday.

Wright, Harcum's all-time leader in steals, currently has six Division I offers to choose from.

Last Saturday, CSU hosted Aundra Jackson, a 6-foot-4 forward from Kennedale, Texas.

Jackson, who averaged 14.7 points and 6.8 rebounds last season as a sophomore for McLennan Community College in Texas, is considering offers from Abilene Christian, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Cleveland State, Loyola, UT-Arlington, Texas State, Southeast Missouri State, Idaho State, Robert Morris and Western Illinois.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Peppers Signs with Cleveland State

As expected, Gavin Peppers signed a National Letter of Intent with Cleveland State on Thursday.

CSU released the following press release:

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Gavin Peppers (Brookeville, Md.), a first team all-region selection at Laramie County CC last season, has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Cleveland State and play basketball. Peppers will have two seasons of eligibility for the Vikings.

"Gavin fulfills our need for an experienced point guard," CSU head coach Gary Waters said. "He adds the ability to score as a point guard and can also get others involved. He had a phenomenal season at Laramie County and we look forward to him leading the resurgence of Cleveland State basketball."

A 6-foot-2 point guard, Peppers averaged 18.7 points, 3.8 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game last year, helping LCCC to a 19-12 record and a third place finish in Region IX South with a 9-7 mark. He shot 37-percent from three-point, making 74 three-pointers, and made 83-percent from the free throw line, going 161-of-195.

Peppers scored in double figures in 29 of 31 games, including a season-high 39 points in a victory over Northeastern JC in the regular season finale. It was one of two 30-point performances for Peppers who finished the year with 10, 20-point games.

Peppers spent his freshman season at Olympic College in Bremerton, Wash., where he averaged 15.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists over 16 games.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Canadian point guard to visit Cleveland State

Kash Thomas
Gavin Peppers
The Spring signing period begins today.

Cleveland State has three players currently committed to be a part of the 2016 recruiting class.

Junior college point guard Gavin Peppers is expected to sign with the Vikings - joining early signees forwards Evan Clayborne and Andy Lucien.

Peppers is a 6-foot-3 point guard from Laramie (Wy.) County Community College where he was named all-region.

A Brookeville, Md. native, Peppers averaged 18.7 points, 3.8 assists and 2.9 rebounds last season. He shot 36.8 percent from the floor, including 36.6 percent on 3s (74 of 202), and 82.6 percent at the foul line.

Peppers had 10 20-point games as a sophomore and twice scored over 30 points in a game, including a season-high 39 points in a victory over Northeastern (Wy.) Junior College.

Gary Waters' recruiting wishlist includes adding a second point guard, a big and a wing/forward.

CSU is still setting up visits.

Canadian point guard Kasheem "Kash" Thomas is expected to visit CSU's campus on Thursday, according to his AAU program.

Thomas, who holds an offer from CSU, is from Ch√Ęteauguay, Quebec. He comes from the same AAU program that has produced CSU walk-on freshmen Daniel Levitt.

The 5-foot-11 point guard played last season for Champlain Saint-Lambert College in Quebec where he was named all-Canadian for the second straight year.

Another point guard, Jay McMiller of Horton (Mich.) Hanover-Horton High School, is also expected to visit CSU this month.

McMiller, 6-foot-4, holds offers from CSU, Eastern Illinois and Wright State.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Juco forward visits Cleveland State

Aundre Jackson
Aundre Jackson, a 6-foot-4 forward from Kennedale, Texas, visited Cleveland State's campus on Saturday, according to his Twitter account.

Jackson averaged 14.7 points and 6.8 rebounds last season as a sophomore for McLennan Community College in Texas. He shot 65 percent from the field and 36.6 percent on three-pointers. He was a 70.7 percent free-throw shooter.

In two games of the NJCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament, Jackson averaged 22.5 points and 8 rebounds per game, earning a spot on the All-Tournament Team.

Jackson holds offers from Abilene Christian, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Cleveland State, Loyola, UT-Arlington, Texas State, Southeast Missouri State, Idaho State, Robert Morris and Western Illinois.

As a prep player, Jackson averaged 20 points and eight rebounds a game and was a two-time first-team all-district and all-region selection at Kennedale High School.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Cleveland State adds Juco point guard

Gavin Peppers
In late February, Cleveland State head coach Gary Waters said his top priority heading into the off season was to find an experience point guard through the junior college ranks.

"We are going to bring in a junior college point guard that is as good as they come," Waters said following CSU's loss to Valparaiso in the regular season finale.

At the time, Waters said they were looking at four juco point guards and were still deciding which one they wanted.

On Thursday, Waters found his man.

CSU received a verbal commitment from Gavin Peppers of Laramie (Wy.) County Community College, according to multiple reports.

Marcus Helton of DMVelite.com was the first to report the news.


For a team that struggled to put up points last season, getting a player like Peppers is the perfect fit for CSU.

Peppers, a 6-foot-2 point guard who was a first team all-region selection, averaged 18.7 points, 3.8 assists and 2.9 rebounds last season. He shot 36.8 percent from the floor, including 36.6 percent on 3s (74 of 202), and 82.6 percent at the foul line.

The Brookeville, Md. native had 10 20-point games as a sophomore, including two games in which he scored over 30 points. His season-high came in the regular season finale where he dropped 39 points in a victory over Northeastern (Wy.) Junior College.

Peppers is the third commit of CSU's 2016 class, joining Evan Clayborne and Andy Lucien, who signed with the Vikings in November.

The earliest Peppers can sign with the Vikings is April 13.

CSU has three scholarships to fill for the 2016-17 season. Last week, Aaron Scales, Jono Janssen and Myles Hamilton announced they are transferring.

Waters recruiting wishlist includes adding another point guard, a big and a wing/forward.