In an effort to improve on last year’s success, first-year Stetson men’s basketball head coach Corey Williams has brought in reinforcements for the 2013-14 season. Williams announced the addition of freshmen Raekwon Harney and Glenn Baral, as well as transfers Raymone Andrews and Kentwan Smith on Tuesday.
“They’re going to bring a high level of talent,” Williams said of his first four recruits. “They complement where we are, and I think they bring another element of basketball to our program. I think as we go along, they will understand who I am a lot better – the system we’re going to run – and I think it’s going to be a good mesh. I’m excited about all four of them. I think they’ll do a lot for our basketball program, and I think they will help us get better.”
Harney, a native of Winston-Salem, N.C., is a 5-11, 165 pound point guard who led Winston-Salem Prep to back-to-back North Carolina Class 1-A State Championships. Averaging 11.3 points, 10.0 assists, and 4.9 steals per game as a senior, the Phoenix recorded a staggering 63-2 mark during the two seasons Harney was running the point. He spent his first two seasons at Northeastern High in Elizabeth City, N.C. Harney was named all-conference four straight years, and added conference Player of the Year honors as a senior.
“Raekwon is a very quick point guard who understands how to play the game,” Williams said. “He’s a true point guard. He understands how to distribute the ball to his teammates, and I think guys really like playing with him, because when you play with a point guard who wants to get you the basketball in spots that you can score in; people get excited about [that]. Raekwon is a smart young man who will bring some speed and some quickness, and he will defend. I’m excited about him coming in.”
Baral is a 6-4, 205 pound combo guard from Richmond, Calif. After three seasons at St. Mary’s College High School in Berkeley, where he led the Panthers to three trips to the Division IV State Finals – including a title in 2010 – Baral played at Salisbury School in Connecticut in 2011-12. There he led the Crimson Knights to a New England Prep Class A Championship. Baral then spent last year at the highly regarded Westwind Prep Academy in Phoenix, Arizona. On a team in which regularly nearly every player goes on to play college basketball, Baral led the Wildcats with a 65 percent field goal percentage in 2012-13, and helped lead the team to a Southwest Prep Basketball Championship.
“Glenn is an excellent mid-range shooter,” Williams went on to say. “He can really score off the dribble. He elevates on his shot. He knows how to create opportunities to score. He’s also a very good passer. Glenn has a high IQ, understands the game, and will be counted on to score. He can really score in a hurry. I’m really looking forward to him doing positive things for our basketball team. He’s going to be a heck of a freshman.”
A 6-2, 180 pound guard, Andrews transfers to Stetson with one year of eligibility remaining after playing three seasons at Louisiana. Teamed with fellow new Hatters Smith and Assistant Coach Nikita Johnson, Andrews started 68 games at point guard for the Ragin’ Cajuns. The Hammond, La. Native averaged 5.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in three seasons, and was known as one of the top defenders in the Sun Belt Conference during his time at UL. Andrews played high school basketball at St. Thomas Aquinas, where he was named Class 2A All-State in 2007, 2008, and 2009 and led the Falcons to state championships in 2007 and 2008.
“Raymone is a leader by nature,” Williams continued. “He’s going to lead this basketball team and do whatever it takes to put us in a position to be successful. Raymone’s a terrific defender. He knows and understands what the next play should be, and where the next pass needs to go. From a leadership stand point you couldn’t ask for a better person, because he brings a wealth of knowledge form the schools he’s been at. I’m going to look for him to be a leader, and to make sure that our guys are doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”
Smith attended Louisiana as a freshman after leading Piney Woods High School to a Mississippi Class 2A State Championship as a senior, and averaging a double-double as a junior. A native of the Bahamas, Smith played in 28 games, averaging 2.2 points and shooting 44.6 percent from the floor in 7.4 minutes per contest with the Ragin’ Cajuns. Smith spent this past season at Otero Junior College in Colorado, where the 6-8 forward averaged 10.4 points and 5.2 rebounds while shooting over 50 percent from the floor.
“Kentwan is a young man who can play the 2, 3, and 4 positions,” Williams added. “He has very good ball handling skills, he’s a good mid-range shooter, he can shoot threes, knows how to play with his back to the basket, he can face up, and can drive around you. Kentwan’s very explosive, very athletic, a good rebounder, and understands the offensive end very well. He is an excellent talent. He has some things to work on, but I am excited to have him as a part of our program. I’m glad he decided to be a Hatter.”
Harney, Baral, Andrews, and Smith join freshmen B.J. Glasford and Andrew Zelis to give Stetson six newcomers for the upcoming 2013-14 season. The contingent will help give depth to the Hatters squad led by seniors Aaron Graham, Willie Green, and Hunter Miller.