CUTHBERT, Ga.-- The eight month recruiting process has finally come to an end and Andrew College Head Men's Basketball coach Jamie Brooks is excited to announce the first recruiting class since the college restarted the program. And it took every bit of eight months to finalize the roster, signing the last student-athlete just two days before move-in day.
A 14-man roster will be rolled out in the 2017-2018 season and will feature student-athletes from nearly every region in the state of Georgia as well as a couple of players from Alabama and Florida.
"We managed to sign a group of student-athletes that have tremendous character and that is what we pinpointed from the start of the recruiting process," said Brooks. "We certainly wanted to recruit our neck of the woods and were fortunate enough to sign several south Georgia student-athletes that had tremendous seasons for their respective high school programs. We also branched out a little to reach the rest of the state of Georgia and dipped into Florida and reached over to Alabama to add quality guys as well."
The last signee of the class comes in the form of 6'4 wing Jalin Wimberly, who capped of his high school career by leading the Terrell Academy Eagles to the GISA Region 3-AA Tournament championship, the school's first region title since 1981. Wimberly isn't the only south Georgia signee for the Tigers as Brooks also signed 6'4 forward Ja'quan Daniels of Irwin County, who brings a high motor and a presence inside for the Tigers.
Another inside presence for the Tigers will be 6'5 Arthur Binn from Stewart County High.
In addition, the Crisp County High duo of point guard Ijon Owens and2-guard Quentavious Dean join the Tigers and hope to add a bit of explosiveness to the offense. In a triple-overtime win in the 2017 state playoffs, Dean scored 57 points, while Owens added 37 in the same game.
"I always say I'm a 229 guy, meaning that south Georgia is my home, and I love to recruit this area," said Brooks. "We want south Georgia and the entire state to know that this program is here and we want to represent Andrew College in the best way possible. As I said before these guys are tremendous people first and just happen to be talented on the court as well."
The Tigers also add another pair of teammates, 6'4 Marcus Kirkland and 6'4 Jordan Wright of Statesboro High, both who helped lead Statesboro to the Region 1-AAAAA title this past season. In addition, Brooks added another student-athlete with a winning mentality in 6'3 guard Dereck Lampkin, who led Brunswick High to the GHSA Region 1-AAAAAA championship and a berth in the 6-A state title game.
Lawrence "L.C." Collins, a 6'4 wing from Auburn, Ala., also brings in a winning mentality, as he was a part of the Auburn High team that won the central region championship and advanced to the Alabama Class 7A state title game.
Brooks rounded out the class with a couple of transfers who sat out last season. 6'4 Jahir Joyner of Duluth, Ga. is a long, athletic wing who is a defensive specialist and 6'4 guard Paul Fitzgerald gives the Tigers some size in the backcourt to help tackle the brutal GCAA schedule. The Tigers also added freshman guard Reggie Washington of Quincy, Fla., a quick defender, who also sat out last season as well as 6' sophomore guard Javan McBurrows.
"People don't give the GCAA enough credit a lot of times," said Brooks. "This league is competitive night in and night out with some tremendous players and coaches, so we're hoping that by having a few older guys out there, it will help us out a bit. Jahir, Javan, Paul, and Reggie all come in older and a little more mature at this stage, so hopefully they can be a great influence for our guys in the locker room. Like I said, this is a great group of guys who are willing to work hard and everybody is excited to get things rolling here in Cuthbert, Georgia."