Thursday, November 15, 2007

New names and bodies heading to the WAC

Here is what has fallen into our collection barrel so far regarding new men's basketball signings for the WAC teams.

Nevada easily runs away with the top dog trophy, landing three eventual starters, one of them a deluxe blue chipper:

Pack men's basketball team signs three
Steve Sneddon
Reno Gazette-Journal
November 15, 2007

The recruitment of Galena High star Luke Babbitt was a long, drawn out process that finally ended when the 6-foot-8, 220-pound Babbitt signed a letter of intent Wednesday to play basketball at Nevada, beginning in 2008-09.

He heads a star-studded class of Wolf Pack recruits, which includes 6-5, 175-pound shooting guard Mark McLaughlin from Inglemoor High of Kenmore, Wash., and 6-3, 180-pound point guard London "Cotton" Giles from Dallas' Kimball High. Both McLaughlin and Giles signed their letters Wednesday. Babbitt, who will play both forward spots for Nevada, and McLaughlin are four-star recruits. Giles is a two-star recruit.

The Nevada class has been ranked No. 22 in the nation by and No. 23 by

"Luke's established himself as one of the premier players in the country and he's a better person than he is a player," said Pack coach Mark Fox. "It's not often that you can say that. It's certainly a day we're extremely excited about because I think he's a winner in so many ways. He's just been a terrific kid to recruit and we're glad he's coming."

Nevada recruited him since he was a sophomore at Galena, but it was a rollercoaster process. Babbitt originally committed to Ohio State. But he withdrew that commitment and committed to Nevada on June 11.

"I remember when we had a staff meeting and of the topics was are we going to try to recruit Luke Babbitt because we knew he was going to be recruited by everybody," Fox said. "Today is a special day for our staff because we put a lot of energy in the process and I think Luke is one of those cases because he's local we've gotten to know him and his family very well. That's unique because any more with the phone call limits and contact you can't get to know everybody. With a kid in town, we were able to do that."

Babbitt, who shared the 2007 Northern 4A co-player of the year honors with Nevada freshman Armon Johnson last season, averaged 27.8 rebounds, 9.5 rebounds and 2.3 steals and led Galena to a state title.

"He'll play both forward spots, some three and four," Fox said. "He shoots it very well from three and he's a terrific block player so his versatility allows him to play all over the place.

Go here for the complete article.


Needing size to replace two departing seniors upfront, Coach Marvin Menzies has landed a bulky big man:

Aggies men's basketball team signs center Gabriel
Jason Groves
Las Cruces/Sun-News

LAS CRUCES - JSerra Catholic School basketball coach Tom Lewis confirmed on Wednesday that 6-foot-11 260 senior center Chris Gabriel signed a National Letter of Intent and financial Aide Agreement to play at New Mexico State University.

Gabriel joins current redshirts Hamidu Rahman, Troy Gillenwater and Robert Lumpkins in the 2008 recruiting class of first-year NMSU coach Marvin Menzies.

Gabriel signed on the first day of the early signing period, which runs through Nov. 21. The regular signing period is April 16-21, 2008.

"We took some pictures and made a nice situation for him," said Lewis, who coached the South Africa native for two seasons. "We had a ceremony on campus for him and took some photos of him signing."

Gabriel came to the U.S. two years ago and played his first year of organized basketball at the Patterson School in North Carolina. He moved to JSerra, located in San Juan Capistrano, Calif.

Gabriel visited the NMSU campus in September and verbally committed in October after taking an unofficial visit to California-State Fullerton and official visits to the University of San Diego and Santa Barbara.

Go here for the complete article.


LA TECH signs a down-the-road point guard with good basketball genes:

SIGNING DAY: Tech men secure future of point guard position
T. Scott Boatright
Alexandria News Star

RUSTON — It might be a tough season for Coach Kerry Rupp's Bulldogs in 2007-08 as he works to rebuild the team, but the future is looking bright.

And it got even brighter on Wednesday as the Bulldogs looked to lock down their point guard position for multiple upcoming seasons Rupp announced Wednesday that Holton Hunsaker of North Salt Lake, Utah, has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball at Louisiana Tech.
Transfer Jamel White, who came to the Bulldogs after playing for the Nebraska Cornhuskers last season, has impressed in practices but will have to sit out the current season but is expected to take over as Tech's starting point guard next season.

But there's plenty of time before Hunsacker is asked to take over the position for the Bulldogs as the top high school product in the state of Utah will go on his Latter Day Saint church mission for two years before heading to Tech as a 21-year-old true freshman in 2010.

Hunsaker was named first team all-state as a junior and second team all-state as a sophomore after being named first team all-region as a freshman. Hunsaker has averaged around 17 points and five assists per game during his high school career and is a McDonald's All-American nominee in Utah.

Basketball comes naturally for Hunsacker, whose father Dick is head coach at Utah Valley State and has been named NCAA Men's Basketball Independent Coach of the Year for the past four seasons and the 2001 Los Angeles Times national coach of the year as the interim head coach at the University of Utah.

Go here for the complete article.

We know that Nor Cal two guard Chris Jones will be signing with Fresno State, as Florida junior college frontcourter Joey Camerson is also expected to do but there is nothing in print on either as yet. Steve Cleveland also has two high school kids from Washington state committed, both guards, in Reggie Moore and Mychal Ladd.

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