Tirrell Baines Signs With Marshall Basketball

Marshall new men's basketball coach Donnie Jones completed his first signing period with the Thundering Herd by landing the highest rated player of the class in Tirrell Baines. The 6-foot-6, 210-pound forward averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds per game at The Patterson School in North Carolina, a player rated as a three-star standout by Scout.com

"Tirrell is a great kid with an outstanding work ethic," said Donnie Jones of the Herd's fourth signee, "and the ability to play an up-tempo style." Baines was ranked as high as the No. 3 prep player in the state of North Carolina and helped lead The Patterson School to the national prep school semi-finals with a 36-4 record. Chris Chaney, head coach at The Patterson School, said Baines was the go-to guy. "He was the key to our team the last two years," said Chaney.

Scout.com said of Baines, "When you're a 6-foot-6 power forward, you better be two things: 1) tough and 2) athletic. Baines is both. Originally a College of Charleston signee, he's spent the last two years at Patterson getting ready for college." Scout listed Baines strengths as athleticism, toughness and a finisher. His areas for improvement included his size for a power forward and his perimeter shot, but Baines was also called a "smaller Kenyon Martin" in earlier articles.

Baines was being recruited heavily by Ole Miss of the SEC and Seton Hall of the Big East. He had also spoken with Baylor, Illinois and Nebraska. He is a native of Laurens, S.C., and joins 6-foot-3 combo guard Matt Walls (Scott County H.S., Ky.) and junior college teammates Emmanuel Jones (6-foot-6 forward) and Revelino "Mookie" Pierre (6-foot-4 guard) of Riverside Community College in California as signees for Jones' first class. Jones also added 6-foot-6 forward Bruce Senior from Huntington High School as an invited walk-on, off of the three-time West Virginia state AAA championship team.

Marshall returns junior Darryl Merthie and seniors Mark Dorris and Taurean Marshall at guard; junior Markel Humphrey and sophomore Tyler Wilkerson at forward; and senior Jean Francois Bro Grebe, junior Jesse Oglesby and sophomore 7-footer Robbie Jackson at center. Sophomore guard Adam Williams also joins the Herd for 2007-08, after tranferring from the University of Kentucky and sitting out last season.

Marshall finished its second season in Conference USA at 13-19 overall. The Herd was the eighth seed in the first round of the C-USA Tournament and picked up a win over No. 9 UAB 53-52 before falling to eventual tourney champ Memphis 92-74. Humphrey has scored 660 points in his first two seasons at Marshall (440 last year), and was on the All-C-USA Frosh team in 2005-06 and third team all-league last season. Dorris, who joined the Herd as a sophomore, has scored 588 points in two seasons, with 435 this past season. Dorris was in double-figures in 15 of the final 16 games last season. Bro Grebe has 145 points, 112 rebounds and 68 blocks in just 42 games over two seasons, due to limited time recovering from knee surgery coming out of junior college. Wilkerson showed great play in C-USA games, doubling his rebounds and scoring totals, while Jackson was just starting to bloom when a foot injury in mid-year slowed him in his initial season. Merthie struggled shooting-wise, but showed promise at point guard and may battle Wall for that spot for the upcoming season.

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