TUESDAY, JUNE 22, 2004
Basketball Announces 2004 Signing Class
June 22, 2004
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville University basketball coach Hugh Durham has announced the signing of five players to national letters of intent for the 2004-05 season, including Auburndale High School standout forward Alex Blair (Auburndale, Fla.). JU also signed four junior college players, who combined for a 115-21 record last season: guards B.J. Surry (Independence, Mo.), Antonio Cool (Chicago Heights, Ill.) and Jesse Kimbrough (Mexia, Texas), as well as 6-foot-6 forward Joey Robinson (Oklahoma City, Okla.). The Dolphins return four starters from last year's 13-15 squad, which entered the season as the most inexperienced team in Division I.
Blair averaged 15.0 points and 10.0 rebounds as a senior at Auburndale High, where he earned class 4A honorable mention all-state honors after helping lead the Bloodhounds to a 17-9 record. The 6-foot-7, 210-pound power forward has a similar all-around game as current Dolphin Haminn Quaintance (Sarasota, Fla.), who went on to earn A-Sun Freshman-of-the-Year honors last season.
"We're excited about the entire class because we were able to add talent and depth at each position," said head coach Hugh Durham, who is entering his eighth season at JU. "Each player is good enough to come in and immediately challenge for playing time and make a contribution."
Surry averaged 14.9 points and 3.4 assists per game last season at Highland (Ill.) Community College, where he helped lead the Cougars to a 32-3 record and a berth in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Tournament. The 6-foot-2, 192-pound shooting guard also shot 44 percent from the floor and hit 102 three-pointers, while connecting on 79 percent of his free throw attempts. Highland CC, which also produced former A-Sun Player of the Year Nate Williams, led the nation with 29 consecutive wins at one point and was ranked as high as No. 11 during the season. Surry is a native of Independence, Mo., where he played his prep ball at William Chrisman High.
Cool, a Chicago native, averaged 11.2 points and 5.1 rebounds a game for Fort Smith (Ark.) Junior College, where the Lions went 22-10 before losing to eventual champion Redlands Junior College in the Region II semifinals. The 6-foot-4, 192-pound small forward added 27 steals, 2.0 steals per contest and shot 76 percent from the line. Cool also averaged 14.2 points per game as a freshman, after playing his high school ball at Chicago Bloom Township for coach Gary Meyer, where he earned all-conference, all-area and all-state honors as a senior. Fort Smith JC had six players sign national letters of intent in 2004, including four Division I signees.
Kimbrough is a 6-foot point guard who averaged 16.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game at McClennan (Texas) Community College, where he led the Highlanders to a 26-6 mark as a sophomore and a second-place finish in the North Texas Region 5 Conference. McClennan was ranked as a high No. 18 nationally during the season. Kimbrough earned first-team all-conference honors as a freshman and sophomore, averaging 15.1 points and 3.1 assists per contest during his first season at McClennan, when the Highlanders went 22-10.
Robinson averaged 4.1 points and 3.1 rebounds per game at Redlands (Okla.) Community College, which went 35-2, was ranked No. 1 much of the year and finished second in the 2004 NJCAA National Tournament. The 6-foot-6, 210-pound center played behind Oklahoma signee Taj Gray after redshirting his freshman season. Robinson averaged 15.2 points and 7.3 rebounds per game as a senior at Northwest Classen High School in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Other returning JU starters joining Quaintance include 7-foot center Jure Lozancic (Omis, Croatia), senior shooting guard David Lee (Columbus, Ga.) and junior point guard Aubrey Conerly (Calumet, Ill.).
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