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Recruits, Transfers Shake Up Titans

August 01, 2000|LON EUBANKS

Coach Donny Daniels' whirlwind first basketball recruiting effort for Cal State Fullerton is finished, and it appears he did about as well as could be expected after taking over for Bob Hawking in late April.

"Coming in as late as I did, I'm pretty pleased with the talent I was able to assemble," Daniels said.

The Titans will have seven new players on campus when fall classes begin this month. However, one of them, point guard Derick Andrew of Rancho Cucamonga High, will have to sit out his freshman season as a Proposition 48 nonqualifier, Daniels said.

Replacing point guard Kenroy Jarrett, who completed his eligibility, will be the most pressing need. The team's other top point guard last season was Rodney Anderson, who was critically wounded in a random shooting near his home in Los Angeles before the final game last season.

But, Daniels said, "I think we addressed the backcourt issue with the guards we recruited."

Chris Smith of San Bernardino Pacific and junior transfer David Castleton, who played at Orange Coast College and Mater Dei High, are expected to be leading contenders to replace Jarrett.

Castleton, a walk-on because Fullerton cannot give scholarships to community college players as part of its NCAA probation penalty, also could contend for the shooting guard spot with incoming freshman Ryan Dillon of Victor Valley High and junior Brandon Campbell. Campbell started most of last season at small forward.

Two other recruits, 6-8 Keith Brooks of Compton Dominguez and 6-7 Joe Travis of Long Beach Poly, are expected to help immediately at forward. Daniels said forward Kevin Richardson, who averaged 14 points last season at Treasure Valley College in Ontario, also will join as a walk-on.

"Injuries inside hurt last year, but hopefully we'll have more depth there this season," Daniels said.

Whether top scorer Ike Harmon will return remains unsettled. Under an NCAA rule change approved last spring, Harmon can regain the year of eligibility he lost his freshman year as a nonqualifier if he graduates on schedule this summer. But that won't be determined until after classes end on Aug. 18.

"Ike is making normal progress, and if he continues on track and there are no pitfalls, he should be eligible," Daniels said.

Center Matt Caldwell, who played in only seven games last season because of a shoulder injury that required surgery, has been cleared to start lifting weights again, and has played in some pickup games this summer.

Australian Dan Thompson, a backup forward last season, has decided to transfer. "He apparently will be going to a community college in Colorado," Daniels said.

Daniels said three walk-ons who were on the roster last season--Jon Stoa, Ahmad Shurdim and Danny Dinh--won't be back. Daniels said Stoa is planning to play for Hope International.

Daniels said he doesn't expect any other additions for the coming season. "We still have one scholarship available, but there's no one in position right now to take it," Daniels said.

49ER RECRUITING PRAISED

Trying to rank the top recruiting classes in college basketball is a perilous task, but there is always someone ready to give it a try.

Basketball Times magazine, in a story written by Clark Francis, has ranked Long Beach State's incoming class as the nation's 31st best, higher than any other team in California and the Big West Conference.

The 49ers recruited four community college players. Two of them, 6-6 forward Lemi Williams and 6-8 forward Tadeu Souza, played last season at Mineral Area College in Park Hills, Mo.

Long Beach also signed Vance Lawhorn, a 6-8 forward from Dixie College in St. George, Utah, and 6-2 guard Michael Darrett of Olney Central College in Olney, Ill.

The incoming freshmen are 6-3 forward Terrance Watkins of Inglewood, N.Y., and 6-6 forward Kevin Roberts of Petaluma. "That kind of [recognition] is nice, but I guess we won't know for a couple of years if they're right," Long Beach Coach Wayne Morgan said.

The 49ers needed a good class after the departure of seniors Mate Milisa, Antrone Lee, D'Cean Bryant and Charles O'Neal. Milisa was the Big West player of the year. "One of the things we're pleased about is that all those seniors graduated," Morgan said.

Long Beach has three starters returning--Ramel Lloyd, James Williams and Ron Johnson--from the team that won the Big West's Western Division.

Among other Big West schools, UC Irvine's recruiting class was ranked No. 100 and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's No. 129 among the 150 schools the magazine listed. Basketball Times rated Oklahoma State's recruiting No. 1 followed by Connecticut and Oklahoma tied for second, Cincinnati fourth, Seton Hall and Missouri tied for fifth.

NOTEWORTHY

The Kia Baseball Bash at Cal State Fullerton, troubled by rain last season, is planned again for next season, this time with Tennessee, Wichita State and Long Beach State in the field along with Fullerton. The event is scheduled March 2-4.

John Bartleson, 30, has been hired as an assistant women's basketball coach at Cal State Fullerton. He has been girls' basketball coach at Park City, Utah High for the past three years. . . .Titan right-handed pitcher Jake Moon will transfer to Biola for his senior season, Biola Coach John Verhoeven said. Moon (1-1, 5.89 ERA) pitched 18 1/3 innings last season at Fullerton. He was at Virginia Commonwealth for one year before going to Cypress College for a season, then transferred to Fullerton.

John Savage begins his new job as UC Irvine baseball coach on Thursday. Savage, a former USC assistant, has been helping USC Coach Mike Gillespie coach Team USA this summer. The Anteaters will resume baseball at the start of the 2002 season.

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