MARTIN, Tenn. – A total of five players have signed their National Letters of Intent to play basketball at the University of Tennessee at Martin, head coach Heath Schroyer announced today.
Joining the Skyhawk program are junior college transfers Twymond Howard and Alex Anderson, as well as incoming freshmen CJ Davis, Brandon Hitchman and Fatodd Lewis. All five will be eligible to play in 2014-15.
Twymond Howard, F, 6-6, 210, Jr., Pearl, Miss. (Southwest Mississippi CC)
Was named a 2013-14 NJCAA honorable mention All-American after averaging team-highs of 15.8 points and 9.8 rebounds at Southwest Mississippi Community College in Summit, Miss.…Playing for head coach Casey Carter and current Skyhawk assistant Thomas Gray, he started in all 25 games, shooting 44 percent from the floor…Also averaged 1.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.7 blocks per game…Eclipsed 20 points on eight different occasions while notching 14 double-doubles…Scored a season-high 30 points against Holmes Community College on Dec. 5…Was also named all-region and first-team all-state while garnering Most Valuable Player honors after scoring a game-high 20 points in the MACJC All-Star Game…Began his collegiate career at the University of Texas-El Paso, where he played in 12 games and averaged 5.6 minutes per game as a true freshman in 2012-13…Was a 2012 Parade All-American and ranked as a four-star recruit, No. 14 small forward in the country and No. 69 overall ranked player by Rivals.com following a stellar prep career at Pearl High School…Averaged 25 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and 1.5 steals per game while guiding Pearl to a 27-4 record as a senior…Shot 56 percent from the field, 38 percent from beyond the three-point arc and 72 percent from the free throw line…Had season-highs of 39 points against Clinton High School and 19 rebounds against Canton High School…Was a first-team all-state and all-metro player while being named a finalist for Mississippi Mr. Basketball and Gatorade Player of the Year…Was one of the Clarion Ledger’s “Dirty Dozen” as one of the top 12 players in the state of Mississippi...Averaged 23 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks as a junior, earning second team all-state accolades…Shot 58 percent from the floor and 39 percent from three-point range as a junior.
Coach Schroyer on Howard: “Twymond is a former top-100 player. He is an extremely gifted, physical athlete who has continued to get better each year. His basketball skills have continued to develop. He will play small forward for us and will give us the physicality that this team needs going forward in our league. He has the ability to put the ball on the floor, he can post it, he can shoot it and he is obviously a great rebounder for his size. He is a person that I have recruited for two years and I am really excited to add a player of his character and ability to this program.”
Alex Anderson, G, 5-11, 180, Jr., Memphis, Tenn. (Itawamba CC)
Earned 2013-14 NJCAA second team All-American status after averaging 16.7 points, 4.6 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game at Itawamba Community College in Fulton, Miss….Playing for head coach Grant Pate, Anderson helped lead the Indians to a 17-10 record, their first MACJC championship since 2008 and the quarterfinals of the NJCAA Region XXII tournament…Was named the first NJCAA All-American for the Indians since 2008…Had nine 20-plus point games, including a season-high 29 points at Northwest Mississippi Community College on Jan. 13…Handed out a season-best 10 assists (against zero turnovers) against Snead State Community College on Dec. 14…Shot 49.1 percent from the floor, 36.9 percent from beyond the three-point arc and 88.9 percent (sixth in the nation) from the free throw line…Also earned all-region status and was selected to the MACJC All-Star Game…Played at Jacksonville State University in 2012-13, averaging 6.8 minutes over 25 games as a true freshman…Played at East High School for head coach Sam Bachelor, helping guide the Mustangs to the 2012 AAA state title (the school’s first state championship since 1996)…Tallied 12.8 points, 6.5 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game during his senior campaign, shooting 52 percent from the field and 48 percent from three-point range…Ranked as one of the top 50 high school players in the state of Tennessee, rounding out his career with over 1,000 points scored to go along with over 500 assists…Averaged 13.3 points and 5.1 assists during his junior season.
Coach Schroyer on Anderson: “I couldn’t be more excited to add Alex – he is a point guard who has a high IQ. He’s a coach’s son who understands not only how to play the game but he understands how to win. He’s a fearless competitor who can score the ball and also facilitate offense and will be at the point at our defensive pressure. I look for great things from Day One from Alex.”
CJ Davis, G, 6-2, 170, Fr., Cave Creek, Ariz. (Westwind Prep Academy)
Averaged 24 points and six assists a game for head coach Jai Steadman at Westwind Prep Academy in Phoenix, Ariz., where he played alongside fellow Skyhawk signee Brandon Hitchman…Knocked down 43 percent of his three-point attempts last season…Was named to the prestigious Southwest Prep Showcase all-tournament first team in the annual tournament held in Gilbert, Ariz….Prepped under head coach Jamaal Scott at Cactus Shadows High School, where he helped lead the team to a 19-13 record and conference championship as a senior…Averaged 20.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 2.0 assists per game while shooting 50 percent from the floor (including 36 percent from three-point range) and 73 percent from the charity stripe during his senior season…Was a two-time honorable mention all-state selection and also led his team to the 2010 conference championship.
Coach Schroyer on Davis: “CJ is a great addition to this program because he has the ability to really shoot the ball and make shots from the perimeter. He is a fearless competitor and a guy who against the highest level of competition in prep school, scored the ball. I’ve known CJ a long time and he is a great piece of the puzzle going forward.”
Brandon Hitchman, F, 6-9, 215, Fr., Stratford, England (Westwind Prep Academy)
Averaged 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists per game for head coach Jai Steadman at Westwind Prep Academy in Phoenix, Ariz., where he played alongside fellow Skyhawk signee CJ Davis…Shot 53 percent from three-point range last season…Graduated from Charnwood College in Britain before coming to the United States to complete his high school eligibility…Also played for Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders, Loughborough and City of Birmingham in international competition, where he played in EBL Division Four and EBL Division Two in 2012-13.
Coach Schroyer on Hitchman: “Brandon is a big, strong, skilled basketball player. He’s a guy that can play and guard multiple positions but really has the ability to stretch the floor and shoot the basketball. He has played a lot of basketball in his time. He comes here as a freshman but with all of his international experience, he comes here with a great deal of basketball under his belt.”
Fatodd Lewis, F, 6-8, 200, Fr., Memphis, Tenn. (Raleigh-Egypt HS)
Averaged 23.8 points and 14 rebounds per game on his way to first team Class AA all-state honors at Raleigh-Egypt High School in Memphis, Tenn., where he played for head coach Duane Stokes…Went off for 50 points in a November win over Cordova High School…Was a two-time Commercial Appeal “Best of the Preps” honoree…Named in the preseason as a top-12 player in the state of Tennessee by recruiting guru Rick Bolus and was one of Tennessee’s McDonald’s All-American nominees…Was one of 120 of the nation’s top high school basketball players selected to participate in the 2013 Reebok Breakout Classic last summer in Philadelphia, Pa.
Coach Schroyer on Lewis: “Fatodd oozes with unlimited potential. He’s left-handed, can go inside or outside and has the ability to score the basketball in any way that you want it. I’m really excited to add a freshman of his caliber to this program. I think he was one of the most talented kids in the state of Tennessee this year and to get him in our first class is really a coup for our program.”