Men's Basketball Announces Five Commitments

ANDERSON, S.C. -- As the Anderson men's basketball team looks to build on the momentum generated by one of the most successful seasons in school history, head coach Jason Taylor has announced standouts Adrian Addie, Kyle Sledge, Denzail Jones, DJ McGowan and Lamar Jack will join the Trojans on the hardwood, beginning this Fall.

“We are very excited about this class,” said Taylor. “Coach Brookman did an outstanding job as recruiting coordinator indentifying great players that are perfect fits for Anderson University. With Denzail [Jones] Adrian [Addie] and DJ we have solidified a strong backcourt for the next four years. Kyle [Sledge] assures us continued talent and athleticism at our four spot. Lamar is going to be a very good player for us in the pivot. All five of these players have played for championship-level programs in high school. They are use to winning and know how to win.”

Addie, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound point guard from Charlotte, N.C., averaged nine points and four assists for coach Eric Davis’ Hopewell High School’s Titans last season. He was a four-year varsity player and three-year starter for Hopewell and during his four years Hopewell notched a 96-19 record while reaching the 4A regional tournament twice. The Titans posted a 23-3 record this past season, while Addie earned a very respectable “scout’s” grade of 73 from ESPN Insider. “He was a big part of our team,” Davis told the Charlotte Observer. “He’s been a big part of our success and he’s a great kid doing things the right way. He made a lot of sacrifices. On a less talented team, his numbers could have been a lot higher. He played both guard spots and made a lot of big shots in a lot of big games.

Addie also excels in the classroom with a 4.6 overall grade point average. “Adrian is a true point guard who has the ability to score,” added Taylor. “He has great size for the position and is an excellent passer. He always makes everyone on his team better. He played for one of the best high school teams in North Carolina and is going to have a great career here.”

Sledge is a 6-foot-6 200 pound forward who averaged nine points and six rebounds per game for Hillgrove (Ga.) High School last season. Sledge helped lead coach Edward Morris’ Hawks to a 24-6 record and an appearance in the GHSA Class AAAA State Tournament Elite Eight in 2010.

“Kyle is an outstanding young man with a great work ethic and athleticism,” coach Morris said. “He has a lot of upside and continues to improve each day. He runs the floor very well and can finish in transition. Kyle would fit in great with a team that gets up and down the floor. He has worked very hard to get where he is at on the basketball floor.”

The Hawks were also Region 7 champions in 2009 and reached the GHSA’s Sweet 16. “Kyle is extremely long and athletic,” noted Taylor. “He is very coachable and comes from a great high school program. Kyle’s best basketball is ahead of him and he will develop and get better every day.”

Jones, a 5-foot-9 160-pound combo guard from Tuscaloosa, Ala., graduated from Norcross High School (Ga.) in June, 2009, and transferred to AU from Clark Atlanta last December. As a senior at Norcross, Jones averaged 16.2 points, 2.5 assists and 3.3 steals per game playing for head coach Jesse McMillan. Jones earned first-team all-county, all-region 7-AAAAA and honorable mention all-state honors following his senior campaign when Norcross fell in the quarterfinals to eventual state champion Wheeler.

In his three years at Norcross, Jones helped lead the Blue Devils to two GHSA state championships and an elite eight appearance. During his prep career, Norcross recorded an impressive 85-8 overall record. Jones received a “scout’s” grade of 86 from ESPN Insider. “Denzail has a gear that a lot of players just don’t have,” said Taylor. “He loves to compete and is very well-rounded as a player and person. He played for one of the best high school programs in the country. DJ will instantly make us better on both sides of the ball.”

McGowan is the brother of former Trojan standout Donielle Davis (2001-03), who stands fourth all-time on Anderson’s scoring list. He played for his father, Dondi McGowan, at Greenville High School and averaged 14 points, six rebounds and two assists per game for the Red Raiders last season. McGowan was named to the all-region team in 2010 and named the squad’s best defensive player in both 2009 and 2010. “I am excited that DJ has chosen to be a Trojan,” Taylor added. “He is a coach's son and is use to winning. DJ is a hard worker who will get better every day. He is already a very good defender and he is still growing. DJ is going to be a great addition to our program and our University.”

Jack is 6-foot-5 and possesses the ability to play either the post or at a wing spot and was a three-year varsity letterwinner for coach Tim Morris at Woodmont High School in Piedmont, S.C. He earned all-region honors in 2009 and 2010 and was named all-state following last season with the Wildcats, when he averaged eight points and 16 rebounds per game. Jack also participated in South Carolina’s North-South All-Star game. “Lamar has the potential to be a very good player for us,” Taylor said. “He has been well- coached and knows how to play. He had a great year for coach Morris and Woodmont despite playing through a knee injury all season. He has to get healthy after having surgery this spring on his knee, but is a great addition to our class.”

The Trojans enjoyed unparalleled success last season, getting off to their best start in school history and culminating in their first-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament. AU also set a new school record for most wins (24) in a season since becoming a four-year institution in 1995-1996.

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