I am a sports and music fanatic from Farmington, CT, currently attending Saint Joseph's University in Connecticut. I am mainly interested in College Basketball, CIAC High School Basketball, and Major League Baseball, though I follow just about all sports closely.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Previewing Potential JUCO Transfers: Panhandle Conference

Next up we have the Panhandle Conference, a small JUCO conference of five teams based in Florida. Some of the best junior college teams in the country play in this conference, including Northwest Florida State, which is currently #4.

Chipola College (Marianna, Florida) (16-1)
Lashay Page 6'2" Guard- Dillon, South Carolina (Dillon HS)
Lashay came out of high school as a 2* prospect who had been getting looked at by such schools as Clemson, South Carolina and Tennessee because of his ability to score the basketball and his deadly three-point range. But because of some behavioral issues, he was not able to play D1 ball right away and enrolled at JUCO powerhouse Chipola. He redshirted last year, because Chipola already had eight players receiving D1 scholarships, but has emerged as their leading scorer and go-to player this year. Page is reported to have an offer on the table from Coastal Carolina, while UAB and NC-Wilmington have also shown interest.

Dexter Ellington 6'0" Guard- Culthbert, Georgia (Randolph-Clay HS)
Ellington is a 6'0" point guard who played his first JUCO year at Trinity Valley CC in Texas. He is having a very solid year as Chipola's point guard, and supposedly has offers on the table from the likes of Mercer and Tennessee State.

Keith Dewitt 6'11" Forward- High Point, North Carolina (Charis Prep)
Keith Dewitt is a freakishly athletic big, who was supposed to make an immediate impact at Missouri but was not allowed admission into the university because of his academic record. From what I hear, Dewitt never graduated from his original high school in High Point, and eventually wound up PGing at Charis in an effort to turn his life around. Unfortunately for him and the University of Missouri, the 22 year old's academic record at Charis was not accepted by the NCAA and he had to settle for JUCO. If Keith can get his degree from Chipola, look for him to big a major pickup for a team in a few years.

Steadman Short 6'9" Forward- Simpsonville, South Carolina (Hillcrest High School)
Short originally signed and played one year for High Point University, but due to their poor record and coaching change his Freshman year, he decided to transfer to a JUCO school are relook his options. Short will instead take his ablity to score the basketball and athleticism to Marshall University in West Virginia, despite offers from Oklahoma, Kentucky, West Virginia and Missouri.

Gulf Coast Community College (Panama City, FL) (13-8)
Eric Buckner 6'10" Forward- Ehrnhart, South Carolina (Bamberg-Ehrnhart HS)
Eric Buckner wasn't very heavily recruited out of high school, but has improved incredibly since arriving at Gulf Coast, and is now considered a definate D1 prospect. He now has offers on the table from LSU and Georgia State, and is also getting interest from Alabama, Clemson, Iowa State, and Missouri among others. Buckner has transformed himself into an SEC-type prospect, and should be playing in a major or mid-major conference next season.

Michael Porrini 6'2" Guard- Massilon, Ohio (Massilon High School)
Porrini started his college career at Western Carolina, but was kicked off the team when he failed to accept a behavioral suspension from the team. After enrolling at GCCC, he has revamped his stock as a prospect, and has received interest from Southern Miss.

Willie Kirkland 6'4" Guard- Graceville, Florida (Graceville High School)
Willie is known for his ability to score the basketball, especially with his long range shot. He has signed a scholarship offer to play at Coastal Carolina next year.

Jeffrey Reese 6'5" Guard- Laural Hill, Florida (Laural Hill High School)

Paul Cooper 6'8" Forward/Center- Auburndale, Florida (Auburndale High School)
Standing in at 6'8" and 260 pounds, Cooper is a force to be reckoned with on both sides of the ball in the paint. Cooper signed a scholarship to play in the Big 12 at Texas Tech next season, turning down an offer from Central Florida.

Northwest Florida State College (Niceville, Florida) (19-1)
Brian Bryant 6'3" Guard- Albany, Georgia (Dougherty High School)
Brian Bryant was a mediocre 2* prospect coming out of high school, but opted to go to Junior College instead to raise his stock as a prospect. In doing so, he will now be playing basketball in the SEC next season. Brian is the leading scorer and leader of the #4 JUCO team in the country and the Mississippi State Bulldogs took notice of that. Despite also having offers from Auburn and Southern Mississippi, Bryant will be a Bulldog next year.

Toby Veal 6'7" Forward- Savannah, Georgia (Johnson High School)
Toby played all of last season with Colorado, but the Georgia native transferred after he felt too far away from his newborn daughter and family, and was not getting the minutes he necessarily wanted. Veal is treating this year as a buffer year between two D1 scholarships. He will be attending Virginia Commonwealth University next fall, where he should be a big part of their always successful team. He also had an offer from Southern Miss, and was looking at Georgia State and Troy as well.

Pensacola Junior College (Pensacola, Florida)
Daniel West 6'1" Guard- Saginaw, Michigan (Saginaw High School)
Daniel is another one of those high D1 level recruits coming out of high school that had to settle for junior college because of academic issues. The super quick guard was headed to Tennessee last year, but never cleared academically and is now in the JUCO ranks. I haven't heard anything about him making another attempt at D1 basketball, but for now he is among the best guards in the Panhandle Conference.

Tallahassee Community College (Tallahassee, Florida)
Marvell Waithe 6'9" Forward- Toronto, Canada (Sir Wilfred Lauier Collegiate)
Marvell was, a few years ago, one of the biggest prospects coming out of Canada, and Loyola University in Chicago looked like they were getting a steal in the athletic three-star forward. But once again academic issues, possibly having something to do with the change in country's, disallowed Waithe from playing NCAA basketball. He headed to Tallahassee where he has become one of the nation's top JUCO prospects. A guy who can score the basketball in a number of different ways, Waithe will be attending Arkansas next fall, choosing the SEC over Rutgers and the Big East. Look for him to be an impact player for the Razorbacks next year.

Bernard James 6'9" Forward- Savannah, Georgia (U.S. Air Force)
Bernard James has one of the most astounding stories coming from a JUCO player that I've ever heard. He never played basketball in high school, despite growing up in Savannah, Georgia. He tryed out his freshman year, but as a 6'3" skinny forward he did not make the team. School just wasn't going well for him, so he dropped out of high school. Eventually, he would enter the U.S. Air Force, and was deployed to Iraq and Qatar among other places. In between his high school years and now, he has grown about a half-of-foot. The 24 year old will be attending Florida State on a basketball scholarship next fall.


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