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Early Hoops Signees Expected To Make Impact

April 20, 2001 · MT Media Relations
Murfreesboro, Tenn. - Although struggling through their first season of Sunbelt Conference play, MT Head Coach Randy Wiel didn't let that stop him from staying on the ball and going out and finding some immediate help.

"We're excited about the people we've signed so far," he commented about the players the Blue Raiders have harnessed during the early signing period. "We really feel we've gone out and recruited some people that will help us compete in the Sun Belt."

Those people include early signees Eric Parham, John Humphrey and Charles Anderson.

Of the three, Anderson, a power forward hailing from Chattanooga, appears to be one of the biggest catches during the early signing period.

Listed at 6-8, Anderson looks to have all the tools that will be needed as the Blue Raiders hope to add size to their front-court next season. In high school he averaged a gaudy 19.5 points per game and collected nearly a dozen rebounds, all while shooting 63 percent from the field. Anderson's post-season accolades include an AA All-State selection and a nomination for McDonald's All-American.

"We feel he has the ability to score and rebound," explained Wiel. "But the most exciting thing about Charlie is that he is still growing. He's got a lot of playing experience and he should be able to come in and get a lot of minutes and help compliment us on the inside."

Although courted by some of the more prominent basketball schools in the country, Wiel mentioned that Anderson's ultimate decision to pick MT over schools such as Western Kentucky, boiled down to a persistent coaching staff and the early establishment of a relationship with him.

Humphrey and Parham both come to MT and will in all likelihood enter the fracas as guards.

Parham, a 5-11 guard from Nashville averaged 16.5 points per game and set his school record with 248, which averaged out to nearly 10 per contest. He also led his squad to the Ocala Junior College Tournament where he earned MVP honors.

"He's a different type of point guard than we've had here in the past," explained Wiel. "He's extremely athletic, has great speed and can score. We' ll really look to him as a slasher; someone who can penetrate and dish."

Finally, a Raleigh, North Carolina native, Humphrey, brings to the table what Wiel calls a classic two-guard. At 6-2, Humphrey is a second team JUCO All-American who was sixth in the nation last year in scoring with 24.2 points per contest. For two years running, he was named as the Region III Player of the Year and led Louisberg Junior College to a 22-win season and a runner-up spot in the regional tournament. His squad fell just one game short of making an appearance in the National Tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas a season ago.

"He's really built more like a football fullback," said Wiel of his potential new star. "He's big and strong and we'll be relying on him with the loss of people like Kevin White, Ortiz and Martinez."

Wiel said even with the signing of the three players during the early signing period, his coaching staff still has miles to go before they sleep.

"We've still got two more scholarships to give out," he said. "With those, we'll probably go out and see if we can get another big body."

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