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Davis inks five on signing day

Blue Raiders sign five to 2014-15 squad

November 13, 2013 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee men's basketball program and head coach Kermit Davis announce the signing of five student-athletes to National Letters of Intent Wednesday.

Three of the current five signees will be junior college transfers, while two will come straight from the high school ranks. Both of the high school players hail from Davis' home state of Mississippi.

Xavier Habersham
Forward / 6-6 / Dublin, Ga. / Hill College

Habersham is averaging 14 points, seven rebounds and two steals this season for Hill College. He played his freshman season at Gordon State College under Izzy Ingle. Habersham saw action in 30 games during the 2012-13 season, putting up 9.1 points per game on 43.1-percent shooting. He also collected 3.3 rebounds a contest, while dishing out one assist per outing. Habersham recorded two 20-point games during his freshman campaign. He posted 27 points against Georgia Highlands College Jan. 12, 2013, going 7-for-12 from the floor. His second 20-point performance came against Waycross College Feb. 14, 2013, going 7-for-10 from the floor and 6-for-8 from behind the arc. Habersham ranked fourth in the Georgia College Athletic Association in three-point percentage with a 39.4 mark.

Davis on Habersham: "Xavier is a really athletic 6-6 player that can really shoot it. He's made eight threes already in a junior college game this year. We think he's maybe one of the best three-point shooters we've signed here in a long time. He comes from the same area, Dublin, Ga., as (former Blue Raider) Marcos and (current Blue Raider) Tweety Knight. He knows those guys well. We think he's cut in the same character mold as Marcos and Tweety. He's a guy that is going to be really receptive to coaching, a pleasure to coach, so we're really excited about Xavier being here. His junior college coach played for me at the University of Idaho, Swede Trenkle so we know Swede will do an outstanding job with him this season."

Darnell Harris
Forward / 6-7 / Milwaukee / Northwest Florida State

Harris played last season at Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he averaged 11.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. He was 35-percent from behind the arc, attempting 5.5 a contest. Harris was rated as a three-star recruit by Scout.com. Harris will play the 2013-14 season at Northwest Florida State, the same junior college as current Blue Raider Neiko Hunter. Harris will have two years of eligibility at MT when he transfers for the 2014-15 season.

Davis on Harris: "We're really, really excited about Darnell. He's obviously a guy that has had some success at a very good Division III program, averaging double-figures. Right now he's leading Northwest Florida in scoring. He had a huge weekend in Texas with 25 points in one game and 17 points the next game. He is a guy that can rebound the ball and can shoot for a really good percentage from three-point range. He has an in-out game; he's a power forward that we think can be an extremely good player here."

Jacob Ivory
Guard / 6-0 / Jackson, Miss. / Murrah HS

Ivory's Murrah High School team won the Mississippi Class 6A State Championship during his junior season. He averaged 14 points, seven assists, five rebounds and four steals per game last year. The point guard led Murrah to a 24-9 record and the state title, where he had 14 points and four steals in the championship game. He was a Clarion-Ledger All-Metro Team selection.

Davis on Ivory: "We were really looking for a high school point guard. We think Jacob is one of the most complete point guards we saw in Mississippi last year in the summer. He can really run a team. He's the son of coach and he helped win a state championship last year in Mississippi. He's very athletic and we feel he can be a really good player here."

DeVante Jones
Guard / 5-10 / Chicago / Southwest Tennessee State

Jones is averaging 22.2 points, two rebounds and three assists per game this season at Southwest Tennessee State. He has shot 49-percent from three-point range. Jones played his freshman year at Motlow State Community College, where he averaged 12.4 points per game, shooting 44.9-percent from the floor. He helped Motlow State to a 26-4 record and to the second round of the NJCAA Tournament. He went 52-for-109 from behind the arc to shoot 40.9-percent. He was 81.3-percent from the charity stripe. Jones' best game at Motlow State came against Cleveland State Community College, hitting 8-of-9 shots from the floor and going 5-for-6 from long distance to total 26 points.

Davis on Jones: "We love DJ's personality. He's a 5-10 point guard combo that can play different spots. He can really, really score. He'll be as athletic for his position as anybody. He can just shoot, he's had, I believe, like 34 and 29-point games already this season in junior college games. He just has really good charisma on the floor. He is just a fun guy to watch play and I think he'll impact our program in a big way."

Ed Simpson
Guard / 6-3 / Ocean Springs, Miss. / St. Martin HS

Simpson averaged 21.8 points per game as a junior during the 2012-13 season at St. Martin High School. He recorded a season-high 43 points for the Yellow Jackets against Long Beach. He has scored 30-plus points in seven games during high school career. St. Martin went 26-5 last season, losing 60-54 to Gulfport in the South State championship game. During his high school career, Simpson shot 40-percent from three-point range and 81-percent from the line. In the classroom, he boasts a 3.9 GPA and plans to study engineering.

Davis on Simpson: "We thought Ed was one of the best high school shooters we saw all summer. He's got great size, 6-4 about 210 pounds. He's strong physically and played at a high level in the AAU circuit. His character is off the charts. He has a really strong ACT score and is a guy that is going to be in our honors program at Middle Tennessee. He's been very well coached by Charlie Pavlus, his high school coach. Like the rest of our guys, Ed comes from a tremendous family and he has a really good chance a being a good player for us." 

The early signing period opened Wednesday, Nov. 13 and will close Wednesday, Nov. 20.

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