As we continue our 2012-13 Season Preview, we want to introduce you to the new players on every Ohio Valley Conference team.
The first assembled recruiting class for the Murray State’s Steve Prohm and coaching staff will be needed early as the Racers look to win their fourth straight conference championship. The team will feature 7 new faces when they step on the court and try to carry on the success left by the departed senior class.
Lets meet the New Kids on the Block:
The first of 5 true freshmen for the Racers, C.J. Ford will likely have an important job for the Racers, taking over if Isaiah Canaan gets in foul trouble. Ford is the only other true point guard on the Racers roster, so the learning curve for the freshmen will be accelerated.
Ford played high school basketball at Westover High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina, averaging 23 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists. A 2 star recruit according to ESPN, Ford was named All-State his senior year. He was pretty impressive as a junior as well, averaging 25 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Much like Cannan, For has excellent range: A 42% 3-point shooter at Westover.
And in case you’re wondering, the “C” in C.J. stands for Carlton. I know that thanks to this highlight video:
Erik McCree (6’7″ Forward, Freshman, #14)
McCree is considered the headliner of the recruiting class, coming to this team from West Orange High School in Winter Garden, Florida. The Racers hope to play McCree anywhere on the floor, as they say the versatile forward can play the 3 and 4, requiring him to learn both sides of the pick and roll offense that the Racers like to use.
“He’ll be able to play a big wing or a forward spot for us, head coach Steve Prohm said of the freshman. “He can score in a lot of different ways. He can score in the paint and can go out and hit a three.”
McCree could compete for a starting spot this season, especially given the Racers depleted front court.
Another 2-start ESPN recruit, McCree averaged 19 points and 8 rebounds his senior season, and has surprising range for a 6’7″ player. Proof? The highlights below, a game in which McCree hit nine threes:
After sitting out last season due to transferring from UAB, Dexter Fields will be asked to fill into the role as a second scorer, left open by the graduation of Dante Poole. At OVC media day, Prohm made it clear that Fields would be in the starting five at the beginning of the season.
Fields spent two seasons at UAB, never becoming a consistent starter, but did average 22.5 minutes per game his sophomore year. Fields was a solid shooter, hitting 40% from the field and 37% from behind the arc.
Fields says that sitting out last season made him focus on becoming a better defender, something the Racers pride themselves in. When he was recruited, Prohm called the transfer “a strong guard,” that “can defend a couple of positions, but his biggest strength is he can really shoot the ball.”
Fields was a 3-star recruit out of high school, according to Scout.com
Gilmore made an instant impact on the fans at Murray State’s Midnight Madness, flashing his dunk skills as he dethroned Ed Daniel.
Another 2-star ESPN recruit, Gilmore comes from Jackson, Mississippi where he played at Callaway High School, the Mississippi 5A Champions his senior season. Gilmore statistics weren’t gaudy: he averaged just 11 points and 6 rebounds per contest, but was named second team All-State, and ranked by Max Preps as the number one player out of the state of Mississippi.
Gilmore is a capable scorer, but known more for his shot blocking skills, averaging 4.7 blocked shots per game his junior year.
Here are some highlights from Gilmore’s senior year:
Another true freshman, Moss was a two sport star at Bob Jones High School in Madison, Alabama. Rated as a three star player by Rivals.com, Moss was rated fourth on the Birmingham News list of 2012 super seniors in Alabama boys basketball.
ESPN described Moss as “a hard driver,” who “attacks the rim with purpose. Has the size and athleticism to make a play at the rim”
As for his role with the Racers, Prohm expects Moss to take Jewuan Long‘s role from last season. “I feel that Jeffery can come in and fill that,” Prohm said. “He can play a lot of positions for us on the perimeter. He’s an outstanding athlete and has great length.”
His senior season, Moss was named a finalist for Alabama’s Player of the Year, averaging 12 points and 5 rebounds a game. Moss played AAU basketball with The Alabama Challenge, where his team went to the national tournament and advanced to the semifinals.
As for that other sport, Moss was also a quarterback and wide receiver for the Patriots’ football team that was ranked in the top-5 in Alabama Class 6A. Just for fun, here are some highlights of his football playing days.
Zay Henderson (6’8″ Forward, Freshman, #35)
Henderson joins the Racers from Neville High School in Monroe, Louisiana, where he was named Louisiana 4-A All State his senior year. Henderson signed with the Racers during the November signing period, coming off a junior year averaging 17 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 blocks a game. Those numbers weren’t as great his senior year, averaging just 11 points and only 11 rebounds.
Henderson’s high school coach, Phillip Craig, described the 2-star Scout rated forward as “a great shot blocker,” and added that Henderson’s best quality was his consistency.
Rambo is one of the few players with a year in the program, after being redshirted last season.
Rambo, a 2-star Rivals and ESPN recruit, spent his senior season at Christian Life Academy in Humble, Texas, where he averaged 15 points, 6 rebounds, and just over 2 assists per game. Prior to playing his senior season in Texas, he played in Kansas City, Missouri area at Grandview, averaged 16 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists.
ESPN says Rambo “has a good burst of speed to blow past defenders with his first step or in the open court.”