Davis looking to complete 2009 signing class

Incoming players wrapping up solid seasons with respective schools

March 20, 2009 · Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee men's basketball coach Kermit Davis has been hot on the recruiting trail looking to identify the remaining player to complete the 2009 signing class since the conclusion of the SBC Championships; however, the five signees already in place offer tremendous promise for the 2009-10 season.

Good thing, too, because several of them will have an opportunity to play an immediate role in the 2009-10 season, particularly at the guard positions where the Blue Raiders lose three senior starters.

"We have some good talented players coming into the program that we are looking forward to coaching," Davis said. "In addition to the talent and production they will bring to the court, I am also anticipating some of our younger players providing a leadership role."

While Davis is ecstatic about a solid class that blends athleticism, scoring punch, and talented players on the perimeter and inside, he says the Blue Raiders will look to sign one additional player in this class to help solidify the backcourt.

"We love our young players coming into the program but we really feel we need to add a very talented, experienced junior college guard to this class in the spring," Davis said.

Middle Tennessee will be seeking to sign either a point guard or combo guard to complete the class and add stability and scoring punch in the perimeter. The Blue Raiders return rising sophomore guards Demario Williams, who played in 28 of 32 games as a freshman, and Antwaun Boyd, who had earned a starting position before suffering a season-ending shoulder surgery in December.

Five players signed National Letters of Intent with the Blue Raiders during the early signing period last November, including four prep standouts and one junior college performer. Incoming players include, James Gallman (5-11, guard, Fulton (TN) HS); John David Little (6-3, guard, Olive Branch (MS) HS); David Murray (6-4, guard, Leeds (AL) HS); Trevor Ottley (6-9, forward, Garden City (KS) JC); and J.T. Sulton (6-7, forward, Yazoo City (MS) HS).

Each incoming player comes from successful programs and they played a key role in their respective team's success during the 2008-09 season. Gallman and Ottley's teams are still playing.

Gallman has helped lead Fulton into the championship game of the TSSAA Class AA Tournament at Murphy Center. The title game is Saturday at 4 p.m. Gallman moved into second on Fulton's All-Time Scoring List with 14 points in the semifinal win against Boliver and he now has 1,631 for his career. He earned All-State honors as a junior and is making a strong bid to land on the All-State team as a senior.

Murray is another potential impact player on the perimeter. The shooting guard turned in a remarkable senior season and led Leeds High School to the Class AAA state championship in Alabama. It marked the first state title for the high school that also produced Charles Barkley. Murray scored 29 points in a 72-64 against Madison Academy in the title game as he earned MVP honors. A dynamic scorer, Murray scored 20-plus points 16 times, including a season-high 37 against Altamont. He had 10 games with 25-plus points and he also had double-figure rebounds 13 times. Murray averaged 24 points and 14 rebounds as a junior.

Little capped a tremendous prep career with a run at the Class 5A state championship in Mississippi. Scored 20 points to lead Olive Branch to a 67-63 win against No. 2-ranked Brandon in the state quarterfinals before falling to semifinals. Olive Branch completed its season with a 30-4 mark.

Ottley's Garden City Community College team is still playing in the National Junior College Championships in Hutchinson, Kansas. Ottley turned in a double double with 10 points and 11 rebounds to lead Garden City to a 82-79 win in its opening game of the national tournament. It marks the first time in 53 years Garden City has reached the national tournament. Ottley helped lead the team to the District 6 and Region 6 championships on the way to the national event.

Sulton is a highly-regarded forward who is rated as the No. 2 prep prospect in Mississippi according to various publications and recruiting services. Sulton has been selected to play in the Mississippi-Alabama High School All-Star game and is an All-State performer.

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