Yaphett King commits to Cal State Fullerton

The Titans interest in 6'-4", 235 pound forward from Redlands Community College in Oklahoma pays off as Yaphett King commits to play for the Titans. He will be eligible to play in the 2003-04 season but, because of NCAA rules, he can not sign an official letter-of-intent until he attends a class at Cal State Fullerton in late August. He played high school ball at Lakewood High in St. Petersburg, Florida.

As noted in the Orange County Register, Cal State Fullerton is on the recruiting trail starting today. Last week, however, the Titans were wooing Yaphett King, a post-type player in a guards body. According to Redlands coach Steve Eck, "Yaphett can shoot the three and also play inside with  his Charles Barkley body."

According to TheInsiders.com recruiting experts, his talent is a mid-major plus and was receiving early interest from several schools from the WAC and Conference-USA. This past season with Redlands, at the Christmas break, King was averaging 14 points, 7 rebounds and 5.1 assists. When he went back to his hometown in Florida for the holidays he broke his foot. He sat out the second semester, put a few pounds on his body, and then somehow came back and played with five games left.

Eck said he was playing at about 65%. "He probably shouldn't have played but he doesn't like to watch," Eck said. "He scored 21 in the Region 2 championship game and made the all tournament team in the Region.

Then when we went to Hutch for the Nationals, he tweaked his foot a day before our game and he was a non factor. It killed our chances, but he is just a workhorse." Redlands closed out the season with a 30-3 record.

"Yaphett is a winner," Ecks says. "His looks are deceiving as he is very athletic for his build  He can jump and run the court well."

As a freshman, where Redlands won the NJCAA National Championship (Division II), King averaged 15.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.1 assists. He shot 62% from the field. He is also an outstanding student with a 3.6 GPA.

The Pick-up game

Kings possesses a quick first step to the basket, runs the floor well and has a very effective fall-away jumper inside the paint. He played pick-up with most of the returning Cal State Fullerton players and he appeared to fit in quite well. It's difficult as an outsider to come in and play pick-up with complete strangers but Yaphett looked comfortable from the get-go.

Anthony Bolton set the tone early by getting him the ball his first three trips down the floor. He only made one but you can tell he is athletic and has a nice shooting tough around the basket. He also had several nice passes. King will make a nice replacement for Jamal Forcheney if he can show that he can rebound and play defense against taller players. As with all the returning players, he needs to start playing more and getting back into shape.