Green, Ivey newest Blue Raider hoopsters

November 9, 2005 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee wasted no time getting a jump start on the 2006 Signing Class as men's basketball coach Kermit Davis announced the signing of two players to national letters-of-intent Wednesday, the first day of the NCAA Early Signing Period.

Demetrius Green, a heralded guard at Daytona Beach Community College, and Jay Ivey, an interior force at Owensboro (Ky.) Catholic High School, made their verbal commitments to Middle Tennessee official when they signed their respective national letters-of-intent Wednesday.

Green, a 6-4, 190-pound, guard, averaged 11.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists for coach Brad Underwood at Daytona Beach Community College as a freshman in 2004-05. He is a third-team preseason junior college All-American.

Green helped lead Lexington Catholic High School to a 33-2 record, a No. 10 national ranking and the Kentucky High School State Championship as a sophomore. The school's all-time leading scorer, Green was named the state tournament's most valuable player during the team's title run in 2002.

Davis said signing an experienced perimeter player in the 2006 class was imperative as senior guards Fats Cuyler and Marcus Morrison are braced for their final college campaigns.

"We felt we really needed to address an immediate need, and we think Demetrius Green was one of the top junior college guards out there," Davis said. "He wanted to get closer to home (Lexington, Ky.) where his family could see him play. He's played for a coach in Brad Underwood, who puts a lot of demands on him. All of (Underwood's) guys have gone on to play really well so I think (Green's) adjustment level from Daytona Beach to Middle Tennessee won't be as much."

Ivey (6-8, 225) will provide the Blue Raiders a hard-nosed, physical inside presence, and a mature player with a tremendous upside, according to Davis. Ivey enters his senior season at Owensboro Catholic coming off a strong junior season in which he averaged 13 points, eight rebounds and three blocks to help his team to a 24-8 record. Ivey was named first-team Messenger-Inquirer All-3rd Region as a junior.

Ivey is a two-time All-State honorable mention, two-time 9th District selection, 3rd Region First Team and he is rated the No. 6 prep prospect in Kentucky by Rick Bolus. He helped lead Owensboro Catholic to a school-record 24 wins in 2005.

"(Ivey) is a big, strong kid who has great hands," Davis said. "He's another guy who has won a lot of games and he plays for an outstanding high school coach (Mike Orr), and a great program at Owensboro Catholic. With Jay, you know his progress and best basketball is in front of him. He's a very mature kid, a great student, and I think he is going to fit in really well with what we want to do."

Green has wasted no time making a splash at the junior college level, earning Mid-Florida All-Conference, FCCAA All-Freshman and state all-tournament honors in his first season. The talented guard said playing closer to home was important in his decision to attend Middle Tennessee.

"My mom (Kim Green) hasn't seen me play since high school, and I wanted to go to a school where she could come see me," Green said. "I loved my visit to Middle Tennessee, and I decided I didn't have to go anywhere else to find the right place for me after that official visit. I'm comfortable with the decision and looking forward to my time there."

Underwood said his versatile guard has intangibles you can't coach.

"After 18 years of doing this, he's the best perimeter player I've ever coached," Underwood said. "He can do it all, and he gives you exactly what you need to win the game. Demetrius has what you can't coach, and there are few players around like that."

Ivey said proximity also was important in his decision, as well as wanting to play for a strong program and for coaches who showed interest in him from the outset.

"I really feel good about the decision," Ivey said. "Coach Davis and (Associate Head Coach) Donnie Tyndall were always straight with me during the recruiting process. They believe I can help their basketball team. I'm also excited to have this decision behind me so I can focus on our high school season with few distractions."

Orr, Owensboro Catholic's successful coach, said Ivey has an ability to change the way a game is played with his inside presence.

"When he's on the floor, things change at the offensive end and especially on the defensive end," Orr said. "He's the one player (in our region) capable of doing that. He's worked hard to become a better player, to improve his game. Middle Tennessee likes a lot of aspects of his game. They have a quality basketball program and they would not have recruited him if they didn't believe he could help them."

Middle Tennessee will play Union in an exhibition game at Murphy Center, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m., before opening the season at home against Utah State, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m.

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