NC A&T’s Recruiting Class Big On Talent, Size

James Whitaker (10) is one of three recruits added to NC A&T’s 2013 recruiting class.

The last six weeks have been a whirlwind for North Carolina A&T basketball. The Aggies entered the MEAC tournament as an after thought and left Norfolk as conference champions. A few days later the team picked up its first-ever NCAA Tournament victory before bowing out to Louisville, the eventual national champion.

On Thursday, they signed four new recruits, bringing their 2013 recruiting haul to a total of seven new players.The new signees were Steven Borrough, Nicolas Reese, Jerome Simmons and James Whitaker.

Here’s the skinny on the new recruits:

Whitaker is a 6’5 guard from Portsmouth, Va. The combo guard comes from a deep basketball pedigree as his father and uncle both played Division I basketball. He average 15 points and 7 rebounds per game for Norcom High. Whitaker is an athletic guard who also shows a nice shooting touch. 

With MEAC Defensive Player of The Year Austin Wittner departing, someone will have to pick up the role as shot blocker extraordinaire for A&T. That someone just might be Steven Burrough, 6’9 big man from Charlotte. Burrough averaged 5.4 blocks per game to go along with 10 points and 6 rebounds per game for Harding High School.  

// there’s Jerome “The Enforcer” Simmons. At 6’8, 230 pounds, he definitely fits the bill. Simmons finished his career at Massanutten Military Academy, but is originally from the same Jacksonville (NC) high school that produced Aggie guard Adrian Powell

-Reese is the recruit with the longest route to Greensboro. The 6’7 forward will travel over 3,000 miles from Los Angeles to North Carolina. At 190 pounds, he’ll need to add more weight to be effective, but his senior averages of 14 points and 11 rebounds per game and first-team All City honors from an area rich in basketball talent show tons of potential.

Those players will join A&T’s fall signees: wingman Maurice Taylor, JUCO power forward Bryan Akinkugbe, Maryland’s Khary Doby and Kinston’s Denzel Keyes, who will play both basketball and football for the Aggies. 

// focus was obviously on adding size as six of the recruits are 6’7 or better. Cy Alexander lost seven seniors from last season’s team, which won the MEAC Championship for the first time since 1995 last month.

Despite those losses, with the talent coming back and the new recruits just added, don’t expect another 18 years between conference crowns in Greensboro.

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