Men’s Basketball: Shaver inks three to letters of intent

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April 17, 2007

3:22 AM

__College has one scholarship left; sources report a fourth recruit has given verbal commitment__

p. With the spring signing period underway, the men’s basketball program received its third commitment last week. John Sexton — a 6’3’’, 180 pound shooting guard from Myrtle, Miss. — will enter the College this fall. Before signing Sexton, the Tribe received National Letters of Intent from Marcus Kitts and Valeriu Lazarescu prior to the 2006-2007 season.

p. “These are three guys that can be successful at William and Mary,” Head Coach Tony Shaver said. “They’ll be successful academically and easy additions and interesting additions to our [team] chemistry.”

p. Sexton averaged a triple-double during his senior season, recording 31 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists per game. He showcased his scoring ability throughout his high school career, notching nine 40-point games and a career-high 50-point game this past season.

p. “He can flat out score,” Shaver said. “We really loved his ability to score and his passion for the game.”

p. The College went to Montreal, Canada to find Lazarescu, who gives the Tribe another scoring option and its second international player on the roster. The 6’4’’, 190 lb. guard brings athleticism and a knack for finishing around the rim to the College; his athleticism earned him multiple dunk-contest titles during his high school career.

p. “[Lazarescu’s] going to be a very mature player,” Shaver said. “He’s very athletic and has a good feel for the game.”

p. With two backcourt players joining the fold next year, the addition of Kitts will provide the Tribe another low-post presence. Kitts, a 6’9’’, 250 lb. power forward out of Apex, N.C., averaged 19 points and 12 rebounds per game as a junior. His play as a junior earned him a 2006 McDonald’s All-America nomination.
“[He] has a chance to be a great player,” Shaver said. “[He has] tremendous hands and a knack for getting rebounds. He’s a great finisher offensively.”

p. The Tribe addressed several areas of need with this recruiting class. Signing Kitts bolsters the College’s frontcourt while Sexton and Lazarescu give the Tribe additional perimeter shooters. Shaver noted the team’s depth of talent and that next year the freshmen will not be expected to play 40 minutes a game.

p. “They will have plenty of opportunities to play,” Shaver said. “We do think they’ll have a chance to be real impacts for us.”

p. With Kitts, Lazarescu and Sexton receiving scholarships, the Tribe finds itself with one remaining scholarship. Shaver noted that the College has a number of options for either using or holding onto this scholarship. The Tribe could retain the scholarship and use it for next year’s recruiting class, award it to a transfer student or sign an additional incoming freshman.
Nevertheless, if the College gives the scholarship out this spring, Shaver stressed the importance of signing a great player. He also reinforced the notion that it is not mandatory to use the scholarship.

p. Due to NCAA regulations, Shaver cannot comment on the status of any potential recruits until the recruit signs his National Letter of Intent. Nevertheless, many sources – the Lexington Herald-Leader, The News-Enterprise of Elizabethtown, Ky. and the Daily Press’s Dave Johnson – have indicated that the Tribe recently received a verbal commitment from 6-5 guard Riley Benock from Battletown, Ky.

p. The College, however, has not received an official National Letter of Intent from Benock and has until May 16 to use its final scholarship if it chooses to do so.

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