USA scored four runs in the first inning to take an early 4-0 lead. #SBCBB
The 6'3 180lb Johnson averaged 22 points, seven assists and six rebounds a game as he led his team to a 22-5 record and region championship. He combines defensive intensity, a solid mid-range game and a desire to crash the boards into an effective package that will benefit USA in the years to come.
Johnson had this to say about his commitment to the Jags:
"I picked South Alabama because I had a great relationship with the coaches. They were always calling me, making sure I was doing the right thing and checking up on me."
Johnson also had offers from Mercer and Eastern Kentucky as well as interest from Jacksonville, Boston University and FAU, among others.
Originally from Stone Mountain, Georgia, Adamu signed with Alabama State out of high school. As a freshman he averaged 4.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and .9 blocks in just 16.7 minutes per game with 16 starts for the SWAC champion. Seeking greener pastures, he transferred to Georgia Perimeter College near his home and had a solid sophomore season. As part of a talented, deep front line, Adamu contributed 9.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game while shooting 57% on his field goal attempts and even showing some range by hitting 3 out of 10 three pointers.
Adamu's accomplishments have gotten him offers from South Alabama, Jacksonville, Louisiana Tech and South Florida as well as interest from Mississippi State, Arkansas, Georgia and Georgetown. With so many potential opportunities, he will probably not sign immediately in the spring, but will likely wait a while to see what all of his options turn out to be. Adamu is clear on his current favorite, though.
"South Alabama is showing the most interest right now, the most love," he said. "So they're at the top at the moment."
While providing good size inside, Adamu says that he is most effective off of the dribble and forcing defenses to extend their perimeter with his ability to shoot from the outside. This versatility will make him a valuable addition to any program he chooses.
Time will tell if that value will be part of the South Alabama program in 2012-2013.
4/17/2012 UPDATE: Adamu says that serious interest has emerged within the last week from Mississippi State, Florida State and Iona. He will be taking more visits and plans on making his final decision on May 1st.
Antoine Allen - Fall signee Allen is a junior college 6'1" guard who began his career at Miami (FL) and was academic All-ACC as a freshman. He decided to forgo his scholarship there and spent a year pursuing his dream as a recording artist before realizing that basketball was his future. He spent this past season at Palm Beach State College where he was an impact player for the 26-5 Panthers. Allen ended up the second-leading scorer with 13.5 per game, along with 2.75 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 2 steals. He shot 78% from the foul line, 42% from the field and 38% on his threes. When you take into account the rust he had to shake off from a year's inactivity (as proof, look no further than the 25% he shot on threes for his first eight games), Allen should fit right into the backcourt as a solid contributor with perimeter offensive and defensive skills similar to the returning Xavier Roberson.
Delvin Dickerson - In Dickerson, the other fall signee, the coaches hope that they will have another freshman contributor in the mold of Mychal Ammons. Like Ammons, Dickerson is a player that spent a lot of time inside in high school but has guard skills. He led his Westbury Christian (TX) team to the state championship game with his 21.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.8 steals per game. He shot 77.5% on his free throws and 33.1% on his three point attempts. What makes him even more intriguing is that these perimeter abilities come in an ever-growing package. Since signing in November, Dickerson has grown another inch and half and now stands at 6' and 6 1/2" tall and weighs 220lbs. He could be a serious matchup problem for Sun Belt opponents next year.
Barrington Stevens III - Stevens is a player that committed this past December and intends to sign with USA on April 11th. The 6' point guard first caught the attention of South Alabama coaches when they were scouting a teammate of his at his Texas high school. The kept track of him as he went on to prep school at St. Thomas More and they are very glad they did. Playing for the defending national champions, Stevens helped them to a 28-8 record, a spot in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council championship game and a quarterfinal appearance in the national tournament. With his dazzling crossover dribble, quick first step and deft shooting touch, Stevens averaged 12.5 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game while shooting an amazing 55% on his threes and 80% on his free throws. With the lead guard position being one of need, it is likely that Jag fans will see a lot Stevens on the court this next season.
The Jaguar coaches are possibly looking for more players to bring in this next recruiting class, but this trio added to the returning players gives USA fans a lot of reasons for optimism.
Stevens explained his selection of USA.
"I thought it would be a good fit. They've been recruiting me since the summer and I built a great relationship with the coaching staff: assistant Coach Taylor, Coach Floyd and also Coach Arrow as well. Especially Coach Arrow because having a good relationship with the head coach is the most important. I'm excited to come here and run the show next year. This year at St. Thomas More helped me to mature and build my game in all aspects and I'm ready to get this show on the road."
Stevens is originally from the Dallas area and the presence of several other Texans on the USA squad helped in his selection, as did the proximity to home.
"That helped," he said. "First of all, I'm closer to home. It's only about a 7-10 hour drive from Dallas to Alabama so my parents can travel over there. It's a good conference and I think we have a chance to be really good over the next four years."
Stevens will bring great quickness and the ability to create shots for himself and his teammates to South Alabama. He has honed his outside shooting and is currently hitting on 65% on his three point attempts and 45% on his twos. Overall he is averaging about 13 points and 5 assists per game for 13-0 St. Thomas More, last season's prep school champion. He is also a strong on-the-ball defender, getting between 1.5 and 2 steals per game.
Stevens lost his sophomore year of high school to a stress fracture in his foot and it has taken time to completely recover. Now that he can build the strength back in his legs, he feels like he is more athletic than he was before the injury.
Vermont, Rice, Nebraska, Lafayette and Wofford were other schools expressing interest in Stevens.