Thursday, May 29, 2008
Ayers signs with Arkansas State
Arkansas State Head Men’s Basketball Coach John Brady announced Friday that Paris (Texas) Junior College transfer and former Mississippi high school all-state selection Brandon Ayers has signed a National Letter of Intent to play with the Red Wolves next season.
Ayers, a 6-4, 175-pound guard will have three years of eligibility left with ASU after redshirting the 2006-07 season and helping lead the Dragons to a 30-7 record and eighth-place finish at the NJCAA Tournament as a freshman last season. Ayers averaged 10 points, four rebounds and two assists per game in 2007-08 on a team that had seven players near a double-figure scoring average.
“Brandon is a big-time shooter and can really shoot it with range,” said Paris Head Coach Ross Hodge. “He has the capability to change a game because he can get hot and hit two or three straight threes in a short span.
“The biggest thing is he’s a guy who has won his whole life. He played in two state championship games in high school, redshirted on our team that won a conference championship last year and we won the regional championship and finished eighth in the country this year, so he’s just a player who hasn’t lost many basketball games period.”
Prior to signing with the Dragons, Ayers helped lead Holly Springs High School to a runner-up finish at the 2006 Mississippi High School Class 3A State Championships. He was named first team all-state and all-district after averaging 20 points, six rebounds and four assists per game. He was also named the Mississippi All-Star Game MVP, scoring 31 points that was only one point shy of the all-star record set by Doug Hutton in 1960. Ayers hit six three-point shots in the game and won the event’s slam dunk contest as well. As a junior, he helped lead the Dragons to the state championship.
“Our basketball team next year needs people who can shoot the ball and shoot it deep, and without a doubt Brandon fills that need for us,” said Brady. “Having him choose to come join our team is a plus, in addition to him having three years of eligibility remaining. With the three players we’ve signed, plus the two that were signed before we arrived, we feel like under the circumstances we’ve been able to have a very good five-man recruiting class.”
Brady also noted that early in his career while an assistant coach at Mississippi State, Brady recruited Ayers’ father, Joe, who played at John Carroll High School in Birmingham, Ala., and went on to be a starter for Ole Miss almost his entire career.
“Over 20 years ago I recruited his dad, and now I’m in a position to sign his son,” said Brady.
Ayers joins Donald Boone (6-5/205, G, Southwest Tennessee Community College), JeJuan Brown (6-7/232, F, Los Angeles Southwest College), Trey Finn (6-2/205, G, Little Rock Parkview High School) and Eric McKinney (6-8,/235, F, Cowley (Kan.) College) in ASU’s 2008 recruiting class.
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