MU Men's Basketball Gets Four Commitments

Marshall head men's basketball coach Ron Jirsa has announced the signing of four players in the early signing period. Jeral Davis, a 7-1 center from St. Catharine College; Robbie Jackson, a 7-0 center from Prince Avenue Prep in Pickens, S.C.; Marcus Moses, a 6-0 guard from St. Catharine College; and Chris Williams, a 6-2 guard from Long Beach, California, have signed and will compete for the Thundering Herd beginning in the fall of 2006.

"This class not only addresses our need at the center and guard positions, it also advances our program to a higher level of competition," said Jirsa. Williams decided to enroll in the spring semester after signing a National Letter of Intent with Marshall in the spring of 2005. The Long Beach Calif., native averaged 18.1 points, six rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.6 steals per game at the two guard position for Fullerton College as a sophomore. Williams will be eligible to practice as soon as the fall semester ends in December, enrolling in January's second semester after graduating from Fullerton.

"It will be like getting a head start, like coming in the summer," said Jirsa of Williams, who the Herd coaches will set out as a red-shirt in the spring, according to NCAA rules. Williams will then be a junior at Marshall for 2006-07, with two years of eligibility. "Chris Williams is a quick scoring guard," said Jirsa. "He can go by people on the dribble, but also keep them honest with a very good three-point shot. I'm glad he'll finally be practicing with us (starting in December). I know he's worked hard academically to get himself eligible. This will be a valuable red-shirt year and I look forward to the day he will be able to play.

"Chris is a guy with an in-between game, drive to basket, hit the pull-up jumper or go behind the three-point arc, and that's kind of a lost art. We are building a quicker team and Chris will help us with that," said Jirsa.

Davis, originally from Toledo, Ohio, played with current Marshall player Travis Aikens at Daytona Beach Community College, where he averaged six points and five rebounds on a very balanced team. So far this season at St. Catharine College, Davis is averaging 18 points, eight rebounds and nine blocked shots. Davis is a very athletic presence in the middle that can have a tremendous defensive impact around the basket. He will have two years of eligibility for Marshall beginning in 2006. "Stretch is a very long, athletic defensive presence," said Jirsa. "He will have an enormous impact, especially when it comes to shot blocking and scoring over people, on the inside for us. He ‘s got a soft touch. He can not even leave the floor to block shots. He's slender, but I believe Jon Sanderson (MU basketball's strength and conditioning coach) can do some good things with him.

"We're excited about the aptly named Stretch." Davis transferred to St. Catherine's and agreed to attend Marshall on his first official visit. "One of our main goals is for Stretch to graduate on time and get in here in the summer, bag some credits and work with Jon to get stronger and bigger. 10 or 15 pounds, not all the way to 250 pounds, but just some padding. He can go up and over folks."

Jackson is a 7-0, 265 pound center who will have four years of eligibility for the Thundering Herd. Originally from Aberdeen, Maryland, he averaged 16 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks per game on his Aberdeen High School team in 2004-05, and this season, he is attending Prince Avenue Prep in Pickens, S.C. Jackson chose the Herd over Saint Bonaventure, Xavier, South Florida, and Towson. "Robbie has tremendous potential," said Jirsa. "He's very agile for a 7-0, 270 pound player and is very skilled. He's a good passer, sees the floor well and has pretty good footwork."

Moses is originally from the Washington, D.C. area and attended North Platte Community College in Nebraska in 2004-05, where he averaged 8.4 points and four assists per game. This season, he is attending St. Catharine College and will play with Jeral Davis. Davis and Moses also played together in prep school at Coastal Christian Academy in Virginia Beach, Va. "Marcus is a feisty guard that has the potential to play for us," said Jirsa. "He is very familiar with Marshall, and with Jeral Davis, and I think he is a good fit for us at the guard position."

Marshall will have its second exhibition game of the 2005-06 season on Saturday, November 12, against Glenville State of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference at 7:00 p.m. in the Cam Henderson Center. It will be another doubleheader with the MU women's team, as they also play the Pioneers at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $5.00 to attend the women's game, and they can be used in the general admission seats in the upper bowl of the Henderson Center to stay for the men's game. Men's tickets are $6 each.

Marshall women's coach Royce Chadwick did not release any signees on Wednesday, but hopes to have some recruits on board by Friday or Saturday.

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