ADA - The East Central University men's basketball team will be bolstered by the addition of four players to the 2014-15 roster. Head coach Ja Havens has announced the signing of KeSean Brown, Jared Griffin, Deron Hill and Stirling Thomas.
2014-15 Men's Basketball Signing Class KeSean Brown, 5-10, 165, G, Fr., Midwest City, Okla. (Midwest City) Jared Griffin, 6-3, 180, G, Jr., Duncan, Okla. (Redlands CC) Deron "Bubba" Hill, 6-4, 207, G, Jr., Kansas City, Mo. (State Fair CC) Stirling Thomas, 5-11, 175, Jr., El Paso, Texas (Western Oklahoma State)
Brown comes to the Tigers after spending the last three seasons on the varsity team at Midwest City High School. He helped the team to two-straight Oklahoma State semi-final appearances and a trip to the area finals as a sophomore. The Defensive Player of the Year for the Mid-State Conference as a junior and senior, Brown averaged 13.6 points per game as a senior. The first team All-Mid-State Conference pick also added 91 assists, 54 steals, 114 rebounds and a .560 field-goal percentage. He also earned 6A All-Oklahoma State honors, OBCA All-Star and Big All-City honors in his final season as a prep.
"KeSean is a quick point guard that can make things happen for his team offensively and defensively," said Havens. "He has the ability to score himself, but he also does a great job of creating for his teammates. KeSean has experienced winning at a high level and has been a key component of the successful formula that Midwest City High School has used to make state tournament runs. We are confident that KeSean has a bright future ahead of him as a Tiger."
Griffin transfers to ECU from Redlands Community College, where he helped the Cougars to second place in the 2014 conference tournament. The all-tournament and all-conference pick in 2014 averaged 18 points per game. Griffin attended Duncan High School and helped the team to the Oklahoma State Tournament as a junior and averaged over 20 points per game for three seasons. He was also an all-state selection in football and the Oklahoma State champion in the 5A long jump.
"Jared is a very athletic guard that has the ability to break down the defense and really impacts the game with his ability to score off the bounce, from perimeter jump shots and in getting to the free-throw line," Havens commented. "Jared was a vital component in leading Redlands Community College to 25 wins this past season. He really understands work ethic and competition. Jared is a great fit for our style of play and we are excited that he will be wearing a Tiger uniform."
Hill spent his first two collegiate seasons at State Fair Community College in Missouri. He helped the Roadrunners to a Region 16 Championship and a NJCAA National Tournament appearance in 2013-14, while averaging 8.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Hill was a four-year starter on the varsity team at Ruskin High School. As a senior, he claimed all-state, all-district and all-conference first team honors and averaged 18.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.
"Bubba is a strong and versatile player that fits the way we play perfectly," stated Havens. "His versatility will allow him to play several positions for us. Bubba is an excellent passer that understands the game and he brings leadership qualities that will make his teammates better. We expect an immediate impact and look forward to all of the ways that he will be able to contribute."
Thomas helped Western Oklahoma State to a 40-20 record over the past two seasons and was named to the All-Region 2 First Team as a sophomore and second team as a freshman. While with the Pioneers he averaged 19.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game and shot 48.3 percent from the field. Thomas attended Elgin High School where he helped the Owls to a Comanche County Championship in 2011-12. He averaged 20 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals per game and was named to the OBCA 4A All-Star, all-district, all-conference and all-region teams.
"Stirling is a very quick and athletic guard that has the ability to score in bunches," Havens said. "He can run a team as well as provide offense in a variety of ways. Stirling led his Western Oklahoma State College team to 20 wins, while leading the team in scoring. He will be counted on heavily to play a big role for our team this season." Brown, Griffin, Hill and Thomas join Jacob Essman and Robert Johnson as the 2014-15 signing class for the Tigers.
"We are very pleased with the recruits that we were able to bring into our program this spring," added Havens. "We feel as a staff that we were able to address our roster needs while adding high character individuals as well as excellent basketball players. All four of these young men come from winning programs and will embrace the process of making our program at ECU the best it can be."