STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton men’s basketball coach Lonn Reisman has announced the signing of six players for the 2016-17 season.
Of the six players signed by Reisman and his coaching staff, five are transfers and one is out of high school.
“There is no doubt that we lost some very key seniors from our program that will be tough to replace,” said associate head coach Chris Reisman. “They helped us win back-to-back regional championships and were instrumental in our success here at Tarleton State.”
The Texans were balanced in their recruiting by bringing in three guards and three forwards – all of which will have at least two years left of eligibility. Ridell Camidge comes to Tarleton from the University of Charlotte, a Division I program in Conference USA. Camidge is a 6-foot-3 guard that played in 28 games as a sophomore and averaged four points and two rebounds in 14 minutes. Stephen Edwards, a 6-foot-2 guard from Trinity Valley Community College, comes in with experience of playing on an elite team. Edwards averaged seven points per game as a sophomore for TVCC while helping the Cardinals to a No. 1 junior college ranking and a 33-2 record. Brandon Willis is the lone high school recruit in the class, and comes from Hammond High School in Columbia, Maryland. Willis was the second leading scorer in the Baltimore area with 20.5 points per game, 4.5 assists, 4 rebounds and 2.7 steals per contest.
Tarleton also signed three big men in Curtiss Anderson, Ruston Hayward and Denzel Smith. Anderson, a 6-foot-9 forward from Western Texas Junior College, averaged 10 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Hayward and Smith both have the abilities to spread the floor offensively. Hayward comes in at 6-foot-5 and averaged 15.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists at Arkansas Baptist. Smith (6-foot-6) averaged double figures at Walters State with 12.8 points and 3 rebounds.
The Texans return six members – including two starters – from the 2015-16 team that went 24-9 and reached the NCAA Division II Elite Eight for the second straight season.
“We knew this season would be a key recruiting year,” said Reisman. “Going into this recruiting class we needed to address a few elements to hopefully make us a better basketball team. This year’s class along with the six freshman that red-shirted last season bring certain qualities. We have the potential to be a much better shooting team which will allow us to space the floor better. I think we will have more depth inside and can be more effective scoring ball inside the paint while also stretching the defense with a few of our bigs. We have really improved our size on the perimeter in some key positions as well. I’m excited to work with this group and see how we mesh.”
Ridell Camidge | Jr. | 6-3, Guard | University of Charlotte | (Video)
Ridell Camidge comes to Tarleton with two years of eligibilty left after playing his sophomore season at Division I University of Charlotte. Camidge played his freshman season at Cloud County Community College. Camidge is from Wilmington, N.C.
Stats: Played in 28 games with six starts as sophomore; averaged 14 minutes per game, 4 points, 2 rebounds. Scored 18 points vs Elon; 14 points vs Davidson; 10 points vs Appalachian State.
Coach Chris Reisman quote: “Ridell is a big-time shooter who can really provide us spacing and scoring. He has great size and can play either wing position. Ridell had some big games at the Division I level as a sophomore and had a tremendous freshman season at Cloud County Junior College. I think he can be one of the better shooters in our conference if he comes in here ready to work and improve. We are excited to add a guard of his caliber for two seasons.”
Stephen Edwards | Jr. | 6-2, Guard | Trinity Valley CC | (Video)
Stephen Edwards comes to Tarleton with two years of eligibilty left after playing his sophomore season at Trinity Valley Community College. Edwards signed with Division I Santa Clara out of high school and played 20 games as a true freshman at Santa Clara.
Stats: Played in 34 games for TVCC, averaged 7 points per game on 47.9 percent shooting, 32.3 percent on 3-pointers and 80.7 percent on free throws. Helped lead TVCC to a 33-2 record and No. 1 overall ranking.
Chris Reisman quote: “Stephen will turn some heads this season. He has another gear and is extremely quick and fast. He helped lead one of the most dominant juco teams in the country last season while playing PG for Trinity Valley JC. He’s a great vocal leader and is able to score in a variety of ways but also excels and setting up his teammates.”
Brandon Willis | Fr. | 5-11, Guard | Hammond High School (Columbia, MD) | (Video)
Brandon Willis was one of the top high school players in the Baltimore area. The lone high school signee in Reisman’s class was the second leading scorer in Baltimore after averaging over 20 points per game.
Chris Reisman quote: “Brandon impressed me right away with the way he carried himself on the court. He’s a really good shooter and has a good feel for the basketball. He’s a good scorer but he’s also very good about facilitating and creating opportunities for his teammates. He’s a tough kid with a serious demeanor that really fits our program well. I think he’ll have a great four years here and that he’ll be a great student-athlete and ambassador for our men’s basketball program.”
Denzel Smith | Jr. | 6-6, Guard/Forward | Walters State
Denzel Smith comes to Tarleton as a junior who can play down low on the block and score from the perimeter. Smith played at Walters State before transfering to the Texans.
Stats: 12.8 points per game, 2.8 rebounds, 47.2 percent FG, 76.5 FT.
Chris Reisman quote: “Denzel is an extremely talented multi-dimensional guard that can cause a lot of match-up problems for our opponents. He brings good versatility to our team and is a very smooth player that has good instincts. If Denzel can adapt to our structure and level of intensity there is no doubt he can be an impactful player in this league. He has a very high ceiling and I look forward to seeing him grow as a player and person.”
Chris Reisman quote: “Ruston is a very athletic and explosive big guard that has potential to play multiple positions. He brings a toughness to the floor that we think will be important in the Lone Star Conference. Besides that he’s a stat sheet stuffer that has shown improvement in his game every year since High School. Ruston was a key member of his team at Arkansas Baptist last season and helped them to one of the schools most successful seasons.”
Curtiss Anderson | Jr. | 6-9, Forward | Western Texas College
Curtiss Anderson is the tallest signee for the Texans and at 6-foot-9, is the tallest on the roster. Anderson comes from Western Texas Junior College where he averaged 10 points per game and 6.2 rebounds. Anderson originally signed with Division I Louisiana Lafayette.
Chris Reisman quote: “Curtiss brings to our team a legitimate inside scoring presence. He uses his body extremely well and has good hands/feet. He has a very soft touch for a Big his size and I think he can really flourish as he continues to put work in with Coach Rod Cole in our strength and conditioning program. He comes from one of the most competitive Juco Conference in the country while playing at Wester Texas College.”