Men's Basketball Adds Five for 2012

ANDERSON, S.C. – On the heels of a record-setting season, Anderson University head men’s basketball coach Jason Taylor has announced five additions to the Trojans’ roster as AU looks to defend its’ 2012 South Atlantic Conference regular-season title.

Rakish Taylor, a 6-foot-7 post player from Irmo, S.C., averaged 10 points, nine rebounds and two blocks per game for Coach Tim Whipple’s Irmo Yellow Jackets last season, as IHS posted a stellar 24-4 record. Taylor earned All-Region accolades following his senior campaign, while recording the second-most charges taken in school history. He was a two-time Academic Achievement Award honoree and helped the Yellow Jackets to an impressive 51-7 record over the past two seasons, including the 2011 4A South Carolina State Championship.        

“Rakish has great knowledge, understanding and feel for the game,” said Whipple. “For his height and size he is an excellent ball handler and a passer.  He uses his size extremely well around the basket.  He has great hands and feet and is a relentless defender and a very good shot blocker. Rakish has worked extremely hard for this opportunity and I am so proud and excited for him.  He will bring an incredible work ethic and passion for the game of basketball with him to Anderson University.” 
 
Steven Faust is a 6-foot-11 post player who averaged 6.2 points, 3.1 blocked shots and nearly nine rebounds per game at Colts Neck High School (New Jersey) before suffering an injury 10 games into his senior season that forced the left-hander to sit out the remainder of the Cougars’ 23-4 season.    

Lex Davis, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound forward out of Berea High School (S.C.), averaged 13.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.9 steals as a senior to help lead Coach Jeff Maness’ Bulldogs to a 21-6 record and the third round of the playoffs last season. Davis was a first-team All-Greenville County selection and played in both the North-South All-Star game and the Greenville-Spartanburg FCA Challenge.

“Davis has paid his dues,” Maness said. “He’s put work in the classroom and he’s an honor student. He has also put work in on the court, and it’s paid off. His recruitment really picked up late and I think it’s because he’s just gotten better. I think we have yet to see how good he can be.”

A 6-foot-1 shooting guard, Dillon Bender averaged 23 points per game last season while playing for Coach Hal Dunlap at Walhalla High School. Bender was a two-time All-Region selection and earned South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association Class AAA All-State honors as a senior last season. He set a school record with 97 three-point baskets last season, while scoring at least 20 points in 17 games and had 30 or more points on six occasions.

“Dillon was a pleasure to coach.” said Hal Dunlap. “He is a great defender and a fundamentally sound offensive player. He makes very few mistakes and gives 100 percent effort and brings a great work ethic every day. He’s an outstanding leader and will be a great asset to the Anderson program.”

As a junior he helped lead the Razorbacks to a 19-5 record on the strength of 19.1 points per game.    

Nick Jackson is a 6-foot-5, 190-pound forward from Grandview, Mo., who appeared in three games as a sophomore last season for Dartmouth College before suffering a season-ending injury. Jackson saw action in 24 contests as a freshman for the Big Green, averaging 2.3 points and 0.6 rebounds, while shooting 40 percent (10-of-25) from beyond the arc. He notched a career-high 17 points on the strength of 7-of-13 shooting, including 3-of-6 from long range in a 100-76 setback to Brown in February, 2011.

Prior to arriving at Dartmouth, Jackson played for a season at Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania where he served as a team captain for Coach Mark Cubit’s Blue Storm.
Jackson was a four-year letterwinner and served a team captain for three seasons for Coach Marshall Draper’s Lincoln College Prep in Kansas City. He was named honorable mention all-district as a sophomore, second team as a junior and earned first-team recognition as a senior, while helping the Blue Tigers to the conference title each of his four years on the squad. 

“I am extremely pleased with this class and excited about the opportunity to coach each of these young men,” said Taylor. “I want to first thank my assistant coaches, especially our recruiting coordinator Ryan Hilburn, on their tireless efforts to sign a group of talented young men that will have great basketball careers and be great ambassadors of Anderson University. Each of these young men have been coached by very good coaches and are used to being successful on the court and in the classroom. I cannot wait to start workouts with them and our returners this fall.”

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