Tigers land a pair for Class of 2012

Guard Shane Hammink becomes Jones' first commitment, Howard College swingman Shavon Coleman joins soon after.

What seemed like a quiet first week for new LSU coach Johnny Jones reaped some nice benefits Monday.

The Tigers reeled in a pair of commitments to add to the Class of 2012: 6-foot-6 guard Shane Hammink from Holland and 6-6 swingman Shavon Coleman from Thibodaux via Howard College in Texas.

Shane Hammink

Hammink's father is Geert Hammink, a Tigers center in the early 1990s who backed up Shaquille O'Neal before earning All-SEC honors in 1993, and then spent several seasons in the NBA and playing professionally overseas.

Coleman was the 2010 District 8-5A Player of the Year after pouring in 28 points and snatching 13 rebounds a game at Thibodaux High.

Both are expected on campus in June and join Malik Morgan in a recruiting class with up to three remaining spots to fill.

Jones did not return a text message Monday, nor has he been available by phone since last Monday, but released a statement through the LSU media relations office before his appearance in Shreveport at the TAF Tiger Tour.

"We are excited about the signing of Shane Hammink," Jones said. "It means a lot as a program for us to have a young man whose father had the chance to play for us. For him to allow his son to be a part of our program speaks volumes for what he feels about LSU and our staff. We look forward to the addition of Shane because of his ability to pass, shoot and create opportunities for others on the floor. He has the ability to defend the 1, 2 and 3 spots so with that versatility it will allow us to play a different way and it will bring a lot to our basketball team.

"Shavon Coleman will be a great addition to our basketball team. He has a knack for scoring. He is a great defender and he can create other opportunities for the players on the floor with him. We look forward to his competitiveness moving this team forward in the future."

Shane Hammink played most recently at the Canarius Basketball Academy in Spain, a school for top-level basketball players from throughout Europe. In his last tournament in Tourcoing, France, Hammink was named the MVP after averaging 14 points a game. He was also a star at the 2010 U-16 World Championships when he produced 17.8 points and 8.9 rebounds a contest.

Besides LSU, Hammink also considered Florida, Miami and Iowa.

"It says a lot for the son of one of our former players being the first to commit to this staff," Jones said of Hammink. "It means a lot to me because of the relationship I have had with Geert through the years."

Coleman wasn't far behind, sending his paperwork in to the LSU coaches early Monday afternoon – after he arrived at his decision.

The athletic rising junior also visited Oklahoma, Texas Tech and most recently Oregon State.

"I thought about everything over the weekend and considered what all the schools had that I liked, and I talked to my parents and coaches about where the best fit was for me," Coleman said Monday. "When I got up (Monday) and thought about it a little more, LSU made the best sense to me because it has everything I want and it's close to home, and that was important to me."

Shavon Coleman

Meeting Jones and getting a feel for the Tigers' new coach was a key as well.

Jones was introduced as LSU's new coach last Monday and spent most of the last week recruiting and assembling a coaching staff. In between, though, he managed to squeeze in a visit with Coleman.

"It was big for me to get to know him and get a feel for if I fit into his system," Coleman said. "The way his teams get up and down the floor, that fits my style a lot better."

Coleman averaged 14.7 points and 6.6 rebounds this past season at Howard College, the runner up in District V to NJCAA national champion South Plains (Texas) College. He also recorded 56 assists and 45 steals and shot 37.3 % (38 for 102) from 3-point range. Coleman had seven games with 20 points or more and boosted his scoring average to 16.2 per game in conference play.

Hawks coach Mark Adams said Coleman could have an immediate impact at LSU, which as of Monday had seven players on scholarship and two signees, with Hammink and Coleman joining November commitment Malik Morgan.

"I think he's improved in just about every area," Adams said last month. "The big thing with Shavon to start with is that he's a good person – a high character individual – and that makes him very coachable.

"He puts the ball on the on floor and finishes better, and his 3-point shot has improved a lot. He's very good on the offensive glass because of how explosive he is. And he plays defense much better than when he got here. He anticipates really well and he has long arms so defense comes naturally to him. He likes to get in the passing lanes and contest shots."

Coleman gives LSU his commitment

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