Northern Arizona will have three scholarship signees, one walk-on, and one transfer, it has been announced.
Forward Jordyn Martin of Palo Verde High School in Las Vegas, forward Blake Hamilton of Pasadena (Calif.) High School and guard DeWayne Russell of Peoria (Ariz.) High School have signed National Letters-of-Intent to attend NAU this fall. Murphy also got commitments from former Tempe McClintock standout forward Cameron Forte, a transfer from Texas Tech University, and Sunnyslope guard Bryce Gosar.We have talked a bit about Jordyn Martin, who is the big man of the class at 6'7'', and who should have a chance to step in from day one with NAU's lack of size. He averaged nine rebounds per game last season.
Blake Hamilton is 6'5'', but he may be called upon to play in the frontcourt a bit as well, if his high school numbers are any indication. He averaged 16 PPG, 11 RPG, and 4 BPG last season. His cousin (Jordan Hamilton) is in the NBA, and his father played college basketball as well, so obviously he comes from a very strong athletic background. Murphy said he called him on his first day as NAU head coach, and he could be a nice player for the Lumberjacks as early as next season.
DeWayne Russell is a 5'10'' that led the state of Arizona in scoring last season at 27 PPG. He also averaged over five assists per game, as well as almost four rebounds and four steals per contest. He originally committed to USC in January, but decommitted after the season (rumors are that he may have had academic issues, or USC may have lost some interest). He had a few other Division I offers after leaving USC, and it appears that he could step in and get immediate minutes.
Cameron Forte led the state of Arizona in scoring two seasons ago, when he averaged a robust 36 points per game. He spent last season at Texas Tech, but will transfer to NAU. He also averaged 12.7 PPG, and stands at 6'6''. He should have all four years of eligibility remaining, if I am understanding it all correctly. He could be a big coup for the Lumberjacks, as he has the potential to be an elite scorer in the Big Sky.
The last signee is Bryce Gosar, who was invited to walk-on at Northern Arizona. He stands at 6'1'', and averaged 21.6 PPG last season. Both of his parents played for Northern Arizona, which officially helped in convincing him to come aboard even if they don't have a scholarship for him at this time. He could contribute early as well.
Not everything is rosy though. We already talked about Colin Gruber transferring, and it seems that James Douglas will leave also (his name is no longer on the roster). He was one of the best freshmen in the Big Sky last year after leading the Lumberjacks in scoring with 11.8 PPG. He had the potential to be a really dynamic offensive player, especially as NAU got more talent and he was not asked to do as much. It will be interesting to see where he goes.
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