Getting one guy in early August who can score and handle the ball as the point guard is a late blessing for any basketball coach. New Tennessee Temple University Daniel Prevett was quadruply blessed Tuesday.
Signing their Temple scholarship papers were 5-foot-9 Shun Jones from Dunwoody High School in Atlanta, 6-4 John Mark Bell from Mount Juliet (Tenn.) High, 6-2 Terrance Scales from Cedar Bluff (Ala.) High and a redshirt year at Snead State and 6-1 Emmanuel Rounds from Memphis Catholic. Bell also played shooting guard, but the others were primarily points.
All were recruited by previous Crusaders coach Jeff Haarlow, and assistant coach Steve Edwards kept them hanging in until the new coach was hired.
"Coach Edwards was basically handed the program for a few months, and he deserves a lot of credit for closing on these guys," Prevett said. "I'm just meeting them, but in addition to their basketball skills you can tell they're all solid young men with a lot of character, which is what we want to build this program around."
Jones averaged 18.3 points and 4.4 assists per game as Dunwoody's team captain his senior year, and he was a DeKalb County all-star. Scales averaged 18 points and six assists his last season at Cedar Bluff, and Rounds averaged 11.5 points and was Memphis Catholic's all-sports scholar-athlete of the year.
Bell, whose father was an All-American at Trevecca Nazarene and who also considered the Nashville school along with Milligan and Motlow, also averaged in double figures and made the all-district-tournament team.
"John Mark is a great athlete and can do a lot of different things," Prevett said. "He has played different positions, and we will make use of his versatile abilities."
Having a group of ball-handlers who know how to score is good, the coach noted, because he wants a fast pace.
"We're going to run. We're going to run a lot," Prevett said. "And if they will give me their commitment on the defensive end, I'll give them some freedom on offense."
Tuesday's signees all said they were willing to wait because they really wanted to come to Temple.
"First of all, it's a great school, and I love the direction it's headed," said Rounds, who also considered Maine-Machias, Johnson University and Wiley College. He promised to provide "hard work and determination" and be "a leader on the court and off the court."
Scales likewise called TTU "a great school," and Jones, who also considered Georgia Highlands, praised Chattanooga and the friendliness he's found on campus.
Contact Ron Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6291.