Aggies Add Scoring, Shooting
GREENSBORO – Third-year North Carolina A&T head men’s basketball coach Cy Alexander waited patiently for the members of his 2014 recruiting class to complete summer school before he announced them publicly. The wait is over, and he is thrilled about what he is going to put on the court for Aggie Nation to see in 2014-15.
“We wanted to improve our perimeter shooting,” said Alexander, who is coming off a 9-23 season a year after leading the Aggies program to its first-ever NCAA tournament win. “There were so many games we would go six, seven minutes without scoring. We would get shots, but we wouldn’t make them.”
A&T’s scoring problems will hopefully be solved with the addition of Trey Brown (6-3 G, 195, So., Hampton, Va., Louisburg College), Sam Hunt (6-2 G, 175, So., Greensboro, N.C., Jacksonville University), Jamin Lackey (6-8 F, 200, So., Los Angeles, Calif., Los Angeles Valley CC) and Austin Williams (6-1 G, 175, Fr., Queens, N.Y., Believe Prep Academy). In November, the Aggies also announced the signing of junior college transfer Arturs Bremers (6-3 G, 195, Sigulda Riga, Latvia, Columbia State College).
Brown attended Louisburg College for one season after playing high school basketball at Menchville. In his one season at Louisburg, Brown averaged 10.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. He also shot 47 percent from the floor, 49 percent from 3-point range and 81 percent from the line. Louisburg College head coach Mark Vanderslice called him the best player he has ever coached.
“Trey is a combo guard who brings us size and junior college experience from a team that won over 20 games last year,” said Alexander, who added that Brown will compete with junior Ahmad Abdullah and Williams for the starting point guard position.
As a Division I transfer from Jacksonville, per NCAA rules, Hunt will have to sit out the 2014-15 season. Alexander is not concerned because he will have the Greensboro Dudley product for three years once he is eligible. Hunt averaged 20.0 points, 5.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game as a senior at Dudley. In his first season with the Dolphins, he averaged 4.1 points in 30 games played.
“He is a prize catch for our basketball program,” said Alexander. “We are just elated to have Sam in our program. He gives us a legitimate local talent that we hope the Greensboro community will come out and support.”
Alexander hopes a 1,2 scoring punch of Hunt and Lackey will eventually give MEAC opponents fits. Lackey played one season at Los Angeles Valley Community College where he averaged 13.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists. He shot 47 percent from the floor and 37 percent from 3-point range in 23 games played.
“Lackey is a big-time athlete,” said Alexander. “He can score the basketball inside and out. He is versatile and has fluid high-major skills. He just needs to get stronger. What I really like about him is that he can handle the ball in transition.”
Williams is the only true freshman in the class. Williams averaged 15.0 points and 8.1 assists as a senior at Believe Prep. He was selected to play in the City All-Star Game and he was a second-team All-City selection.
“He definitely has a New York style game,” said Alexander. “He is probably the quickest guard we have on our team. That quickness allows him to get to the basket easily, but he will have to improve his perimeter shooting to develop into the complete guard we need him to be. It will be a learning process for him as a freshman.”
A year ago, Alexander decided to split up his nine-man recruiting class. He redshirted Nick Reese (6-7 F, 210, Los Angeles, Calif.) and James Whitaker (6-5 G, 180, Portsmouth, Va.), therefore, he has Williams, Reese and Whitaker for four years and Hunt, Brown and Lackey for three.
“I’m really starting to like that decision we made on Reese and Whitaker,” said Alexander. “We now feel like we have a bevy of perimeter players who can shoot the ball, which is what we have been looking for since we got here.”