By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (May 22, 2015) — Tarleton State added a fifth name to its 2015 men’s basketball recruiting class Friday, one that’s sure to turn some heads across North Texas and the country.
The reigning South Central Region and Lone Star Conference champion Texans have signed 6-2 combo guard Charles Hill Jr., who is transferring from TCU for his final season of eligibility.
“Several Division I schools like UNT (North Texas), Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin talked to me after I decided to leave TCU, but I would have had to graduate early to transfer and play next season instead of sitting out a year then playing,” Hill said of his other Division I options. “When I got my release and started contacting schools, Tarleton was the first school that got back with me.”
But certainly not the last. Hill ended up choosing between a number of Division II schools.
“I could have gone to Midwestern State, Cameron, or UTPB (Texas-Permian Basin),” he listed off the top of his head. “But when I went on my visit to Tarleton, everything just seemed perfect. I played basketball with some of the guys and we hit it off right away. It was like I had been playing with them for a long time and I had never seen any of them before.
“Then I met Coach Reisman, and he’s a cool guy. He wins a lot,” Hill added. “I told him I liked Tarleton, but this is my last go-round, so I have to make sure I pick the right school.”
It didn’t take long for him to realize he had already found it.
“I looked at some other schools then I visited with my family and we all thought Tarleton was the perfect fit,” he said. “I have a plan to graduate there, and it’s only an hour away so my family can still come see me play.”
Hill reminds Reisman of a recent Tarleton point guard who earned All-American and Lone Star Conference Player of the Year honors.
“He has the ability to play like Chuck Guy,” said Reisman, a three-time Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Small College Coach of the Year who has won 589 games and three regional titles at Tarleton. “He was a great high school player in Fort Worth. We would have liked to have gotten him then, but he was a high major prospect coming out of Trimble Tech High School.”
Hill was ranked as the No. 27 overall player in Texas while averaging 16 points and 3.1 steals to earn 6-4A district MVP honors and lead Trimble Tech to 30 wins in 2011-12. He ultimately selected TCU over Boston College, DePaul, Penn State, Providence, San Diego St. and St. John’s.
“I remember getting a couple letters from Tarleton when I was in high school, but I was receiving a lot of Division I attention so I didn’t give them much thought,” Hill admits. “In my second recruiting go-round, they were the first school I wanted to talk to.”
Tarleton associate head coach Chris Reisman has been watching Hill since his prep days, and credits assistant coach Marlin Cloudy for bringing him to Stephenville.
“Coach Cloudy did a great job in Charles’ recruitment. I’ve seen Charles since he was a junior in high school and always thought he was a very talented player,” Chris Reisman said. “I think Charles is looking forward to a fresh start and Tarleton State will be a great change of scenery that will benefit both parties.”
Hill appeared on his way to stardom at TCU when he started seven games and appeared in 17 more as a true freshman. He even scored scored 12 points and collected eight rebounds against Baylor and recorded 10 points against Iowa State. He scored a career high 20 against Mississippi State as a sophomore, but went on to sit out most Big 12 games.
The same happened for Hill last season, playing in 14 games before sitting out the last half of the season. In one of five performances against Big 12 foes, Hill netted 13 points at West Virginia.
Hill joins a Tarleton backcourt that returns starter Michael Hardge and backup Deshawn Riddick at point guard, and fellow newcomers Louis Baltazar (related story here) of Burlington County College (NJ) and Chantz Chambers (related story here) of Bossier-Parrish Community College (La.).
The Texans have also signed two high school forwards in Anthony Davis of Lewisville and Josh Hawley of Irving MacArthur (related story here).
Hill, who is carrying his social work major at TCU over to criminal justice at Tarleton, has big plans for his senior year.
“For sure I want to do what I can to graduate, that’s first and foremost,” he said. “Then I want to get on the court and make a huge impact on the team and help them get farther than they did last year. That can only happen if we reach the national championship game, and I want to help them win that.”