There is no place like home: LSUS loads 2005-2006 roster with local talent
August 11, 2005
Shreveport, LA: For many coaches, long road trips, fast food, and hours spent in a gym hunting for that special athlete that will help take a program to the next level is the formula for a successful recruiting class. For LSUS head coach Chad McDowell however, most of the talent he was looking for was in his own backyard.
The Pilots are returning four players from last year’s team and knew they would have some new faces on the floor with them this year. The four players are good ones and are striving to make it back to Kansas City for the NAIA national tournament. Returning from last year’s team are Freddy Hughes, Fredericko Payne, Carlon Simmons, and Derrick Sowell. Also returning off his red-shirt season last year is Brandon Malveaux.
Earlier this summer the Pilots announced the signing of several players that were high school standouts right here in Shreveport/Bossier. Those names include Josh Porter (Southwood), Kyle Blankenship (C.E. Byrd), and Jeremy Johnston (Airline). All three players are transferring in from NCAA Division I programs and are well-known names in this area.
After announcing the signing of Anton Palmer of Chicago, Illinois, and Shadrach Roome of the West Indies this past week, the LSUS Pilots have released their 2005-2006 roster in its entirety. The roster continued to be filled with strong local talent which includes several high school standouts. Jariel Norton (Homer High School), Chris Wafer (Captain Shreve High School), and Damien Goff (Northwood-Lena) will be competing in their first year of college basketball this season. Greg Tyer (Airline High School) decided to transfer from Northwestern State University and will play his last two years for the Pilots. The Pilots also picked up a transfer from Jacksonville Community College in Chad Hardy out of St. Fancisville, Louisiana.
Greg Tyer, a junior transfer from Northwestern State University and former Airline high School standout under Coach Myles Holladay announced he will join the LSUS Pilots for the next two seasons. Tyer is a 6’4 forward from Bossier City who has the unique ability to play inside if called upon and shoots the ball for a high percentage from the outside. Tyer saw limited action with NSU in 2004 and decided to transfer to LSUS where he plans on contributing to what hopes to be a championship season at LSUS. “Greg is a great addition to our team.” commented McDowell. “He was a very good high school player who played for a great coach in Myles Holladay. We are thrilled that he has decided to finish his education and eligibility here at LSUS. I’m excited about the opportunity to coach him and I am sure his friends and family are excited to see him play.”
The Pilots have also added a 6’5 post player from Captain Shreve High School in Chris Wafer. Wafer earned All-District honors his senior year while playing under Coach Todd Martinez. His physical strength, size, and ability to rebound will help fill the void of graduate Abraham Saxon. “Chris will make his presence felt early this season and will fight for the ball every second he plays,” commented McDowell. “He is a rebounding machine. His physical presence along with his knowledge of the game will make him a great addition to our team. Chris was well coached by Todd Martinez at Captain Shreve High School and it shows in his play with our guys. People will have a hard time believing he has four years left to play.”
After exhausting the immediate local resources (Shreveport/Bossier), McDowell stretched out just a few miles by signing Homer High School’s Jariel Norton. Norton earned 1st-Team All-State Academic Team honors after accumulating a 4.0 gpa and was the valedictorian of his graduating class. His basketball accomplishments include 1st-Team All-District and All-State honors as he averaged over 26 points and 6 assists a game. At 6’1, this freshman guard has the ability to hit the open shot and has potential to become a solid player for the Pilots. “Jariel is a coach’s dream as an incoming freshman.” stated McDowell. “This young man has it all together on and off the floor. He is going to add depth at our guard position, but more importantly, he will be a great ambassador for our University. ” .
One of the biggest surprises of the summer for the Pilots was when they discovered a 6’1 guard from Northwood-Lena High School was attending LSUS. Damien Goff was a non-qualifier out of high School where he earned 1st-Team All-State honors. Goff accumulated a 3.0gpa his freshman year and will now find himself in a Pilot uniform as a shooting guard. “This was a big surprise, but definitely a good one,” chuckled an astounded McDowell. “Here is a kid who did what it took in the classroom to become eligible to play not telling anyone he was even here in school. We knew he was a great player in high school, but didn’t know exactly where he had decided to attend college. Damien is a talented guard and is a great addition to our team. What a great surprise we got when Damien came into the office ready to play.”
And last but definitely not least, the Pilots are proud to announce the signing of Chad Hardy. Hardy is a transfer from Jacksonville Community College. Last year as a freshman, Hardy played in 20 games, averaging 2.7 points while shooting 47.1%. from the floor. Hardy finished second on the team in steals and third in assists with 29. Athleticism and quickness will allow Hardy to fit in with the Pilots up-tempo style of play. Hardy attended West Feliciana High School where he was a standout point guard who averaged 26 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists his senior year and was selected to the 2003 All-District team. “Chad is a solid point guard and a good all-around basketball player,” commented McDowell. “He can handle the ball and loves to get his teammates involved. We are excited about having Chad for the next three years.”
If the Shreveport-Bossier area is looking for a program which showcases local talent at a highly competitive collegiate level, they need to look no further than the LSUS campus November 2. The Pilots will hit the floor with seven local high school standouts versus Southwestern Assemblies of God University as they begin their journey down the road they hope ends at the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, MO; site of the 2006 NAIA National Tournament. “We are eager to get started. It’s exciting to think how good these guys can be if they work hard and come together as one. We have several Shreveport/Bossier All-City players returning to play which will lead to great crowds once again.”
Al Cantwell Sports Information Director 318-797-5194 (office)