FRIDAY, AUGUST 20, 2010
MBKB Update: Cliff Warren Earns Award, Duo Signs Contracts
Cliff Warren has brought the JU men’s basketball program back to prominence on the court, but he’s also doing some work off the court as well.
According to a Fox Sports, Warren ranks 25th nationally in APR improvement from 2006 through 2009 – raising the Dolphins APR 83 points.
“The most important thing we as coaching staff want is for the young men in our program to leave JU after four years with their degree,” Warren said. “Our number one priority is to graduate student-athletes.”
SENIOR DUO SIGNS PRO CONTRACTS: The highest-scoring duo in JU basketball history will continue their careers in Europe, signing professional contracts this week.
Ben Smith, who finished second all time at JU in scoring while leaving with the school record for assists, free throws made and steals, has signed with Ilisiakos in Athens, Greece.
Colbert, who finished in the top 10 in rebounds and 14th on the all-time scoring list, will be heading to United Kingdom where he will play for Plymouth Raiders.
“These two young men have been blessed with a great opportunity to go overseas and continue their basketball careers,” Warren said. “They have meant so much to this program over the last four years and this is the reward for all the hard work and improvement while in our program.”
DOLPHINS WRAP UP LARGE RECRUITING CLASS: The JU coaching staff had a busy offseason as they put the finishing touches on a seven-man recruiting class that will make an immediate impact on the 2010-11 season.
“We have a tremendous group of young men coming into our program,” Warren said. “We’re expecting them to come in ready to work when we start our preseason program.”
The four newest members of the Dolphins are Aloys Cabell (6-1, Fr., Atlanta, Ga. – Mays HS), Delwan Graham (6-5, Jr., Atlanta, Ga. – Chipola Junior College), Shamile Jeffers (6-7, Jr., St. Kitts – Williston State College) and local star Keith McDougle (6-0, Fr., Jacksonville, Fla. – Bishop Kenny HS).
Cabell starred at Mays High School, leading his team to the Class 4A state championship by averaging 25 points per game. En route to earning team MVP honors, Cabell also was named “Player of the Year” in his region, as well as first team all-state and first team all-metro on top of being a McDonald’s All-America nominee.
Graham comes to JU after his sophomore year at Chipola Junior College and his freshman season at LSU. A four-star recruit coming out of high school, Graham was one of the top 30 power forwards in the country, leading Dunwoody to a state championship. At Chipola last season, he averaged 12 points and seven rebounds per game.
Jeffers spent the past two years at Williston (S.D.) State College, leading WSC to a 25-7 record last season, including a 17-game winning streak and the region 13 title under coach Rob Flocco. He was named second team all-conference and second team all-region after averaging 13.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game – hitting 56 percent of his shots from the floor.
McDougle comes to JU after a stellar career at Bishop Kenny High School, averaging 17 points per game as a senior. He was a first team all-state selection, as well as earning first team all-Jacksonville honors to go along with being named MVP of The Bolles School tournament. He was also a McDonald’s All-America nominee.
DOLPHINS MOVING ON: The players aren’t the only Dolphins moving on to bigger and better things, as two members of the support staff have moved on as well.
Graduate assistant Pat Leeper has signed on to be an assistant coach at John Wood Community College in Indiana. Former manager Kijuan Harden has received a position as an English Language Arts teacher at Raines High School in Jacksonville.
“We are excited for these two young men to begin their professional careers,” Warren said. “We appreciate all their hard work and dedication to our program and wish them all the best in their future endeavors.”
2010-11 MEN'S BASKETBALL