The ink is dry for the Ohio State University men's basketball program.
This afternoon, the Buckeyes announced, after over a week of waiting, that junior college transfers Jeremie Simmons and Nikola Kecman (pronounced KETZ-man) have sent in their signed letter-of-intent paperwork and are officially Buckeyes.
Here is the complete press release from the university:
COLUMBUS, Ohio--Jeremie Simmons, a 6-foot-2-inch sophomore guard from Mott Community College in Flint, Mich., and Nikola Kecman, a 6-9 freshman forward from Eastern Arizona College, signed NCAA National Letters of Intent to play for the Buckeyes starting with the 2008-09 season, Thad Matta, head coach of the Buckeyes, announced Wednesday.
"We are excited with the addition of another frontcourt and backcourt player," Matta said. "Nikola gives us size with the ability to step out on the perimeter and shoot the ball. Jeremie gives us another playmaker that also shoots well from behind the 3-point line. In addition, both players come from winning programs."
Simmons will have two years of eligibility with the Buckeyes and Kecman (KETZ-man) will have three seasons in Scarlet and Gray.
Simmons led the Bears to Division II National Junior College Athletic Association National Championships each of the last two seasons with a 35-3 record in 2007 and a 35-2 mark in 2008.
As a sophomore, Simmons, who played as a prep for Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center in Chicago, averaged a team-leading 21.2 points per game with 268 of 555 (.483) made field goals, 122 of 289 (.422) 3-pointers and 125 of 139 (.899) free throws made for a total of 783 points. He rated No. 2 on the team with 185 assists and 110 steals. He finished No. 11 nationally in scoring last year.
As a freshman in 2006-07, Simmons averaged 16.6 points a game in 34 appearances. He knocked down 182 of 388 field goals (.469), including 91 of 225 (.404) 3-pointers. He also made 111 of 135 (.822) foul shots on his way to 566 points, second on the team. He led the squad with 145 assists and rated third among the Bears with 73 steals.
Simmons, a first team NJCAA All-American last season, was a 2007-08 All-Michigan Community College Athletic Association selection as a sophomore and was named the league's player of the year.
Mott defeated Columbus State Community College 83-73 for the NJCAA national title March 22 of this year. Simmons led the Bears with 23 points to earn a spot on the all-tournament team. Mott defeated Monroe Community College for the 2007 title, 75-61. Since 2001, Mott has claimed the national title three times (2003, 2007, 2008) and finished as the national runner up twice (2001, 2004) under head coach Steve Schmidt.
Simmons played for Vince Carter at Von Steuben.
Kecman, is a native of Belgrade, Serbia. He was named the Arizona Community College Athletics Association tournament MVP in 2008 with 21 points in a 69-58 win over Arizona Western in the Region I Championship in Yuma, Ariz.
The Gila Monsters finished fifth in the 2008 Division I NJCAA National Tournament with wins over Walters State CC (69-53), SE Illinois (70-53) and Indian Hills (70-63). Eastern Arizona fell to Three Rivers CC 75-73 in the second round of the event, annually held in Hutchinson, Kan.
Kecman was recognized in the tournament with the Sesher Sportsmanship Award, presented annually to the player demonstrating the best sportsmanship throughout the tournament.
Kecman averaged 13.4 points as a freshman at Eastern Arizona. He scored 428 points, the second-highest scoring total on the squad. He made 170 of 301 (.565) field goals and 35 of 80 (.438) 3-pointers. In 32 games, he grabbed 120 rebounds (3.8 rpg) for the 30-6 Gila Monsters.