Beilein and Staff Turn Attention to Class of 2003

The beginning of Coach John Beilein's tenure at WVU has initially kept he and his staff members scrambling to sign one or two additions to the Class of 2002. And although another late addition is possible for the incoming class, the focus is now beginning to turn to the class of 2003.

Coach Beilein was able to land Texas point guard Jarmon Collins (5-10 185) and German import Johannes Herber (6-6 205) at the spring signing period deadline. However, the first real gauge of how effective Coach Beilein and staff will be able to recruit at WVU will come this summer and fall.

Coach Beilein and staff will now look to evaluate and court prospects from the Class of 2003. Several names have emerged as the summer evaluation period begins. Included among WVU's early recruiting targets are the following:

Sheray Thomas – (6-8 220) Upper Marlboro, MD – A strong, efficient inside player who is fast developing into one of the top frontcourt players in the Class of 2003. Thomas is originally from Canada and was recently named to the All-Tournament Team at the AAU Southern Invitational. Thomas is also being pursued by Maryland, Virginia, Ohio State and Va Tech. Some WVU fans may remember Thomas from the St. James Invitational last February. Thomas will play for the DC Blue Devils on the AAU circuit this summer.

Aaron Gray – (6-11 265) Emmaus, PA – A big wide-bodied kid that moves well and has good potential. Gray averaged 16 ppg, 14 rpg and 4.5 blks. at Emmaus High School. Other schools involved include UConn, Temple, St. Joe's, Penn State, LaSalle, Maryland and Providence. Gray will play for the Keystone Blazers for the most part this summer.

Eddie Green – (6-9 230) Winston-Salem, NC – A native of Philadelphia, this strong, young frontcourt player has a huge upside, if he can just be more consistent. Moves well and has shown good offensive instincts. Green plays for one of the top high school programs in North Carolina (R.J. Reynolds).

Sean Banks – (6-7 210) Oradell, NJ – Sean Banks plays for Bergen Catholic and is considered one of the top juniors in talent rich New Jersey. Maryland, Louisville, Seton Hall, Rutgers, UConn, Wake Forest are just a few of the schools in the hunt for Banks. Banks will play for the Tim Thomas Playaz this summer.

Brad Byerson – (6-8 230) Chester, VA – Brad Byerson is one of the top prospects in the Richmond area and physically a man among boys. Byerson averaged 17 ppg, 12 rpg and 3 steals for Thomas Dale High School in Chester, VA. Byerson will be one of the most highly recruited players in Virginia this season. Byerson will play with the Virginia Squires this summer.

Morris Almond – (6-6 205) Powder Springs, GA – Almond recently burst onto the national scene in a big way at the AAU Southern Invitational Tournament. Almond, a gifted athlete, averaged 24 ppg and 14 rpg for McEachern High School. Among the schools recruiting Almond are Georgia, Georgia Tech, Marquette, Furman and Penn State. Almond carries a 3.4 GPA and already has a qualifying SAT score as well. Almond will play for the Georgia Stars squad this summer.

Gerald Brown – (6-4 185) Baltimore, MD - Brown is one of the better players from the Baltimore area this season. Brown lead Fredrick Douglass High School to the Maryland state championship this past season. Brown averaged 19 ppg, 3 assists and 4 steals. Brown is an up and coming wing guard that has caught the eye of UMass, Florida State, Maryland, Providence, NC State and UConn among others. Brown will play for Baltimore Select this summer.

Vern Hamilton – (6-0 175) Richmond, VA – Hamilton is considered one of the top backcourt prospects in Virginia this year. Hamilton is an excellent floor leader and playmaker with good ballhandling skills and a good outside jumper. Among the schools looking at Hamilton are Clemson, Wake Forest, Richmond, Virginia Tech and George Mason. Hamilton will play for the Virginia Squires this summer.

Linas Lekavicius – (6-0 180) Charlottesville, VA – The aggressive Lekavicius plays for The Miller School in Charlottesville where he averaged over 25 ppg. Lekavicius is being recruited by NC State, Butler, American, Virginia Tech, Tulane, William & Mary, VMI and Wofford. Lekvicius will play for Diaper Dans AAU squad rthis summer.

Most of these prospects will be playing in the Charlie Weber AAU tournament in Morgantown this July. All Mountaineer fans hope that the exposure from the tournament might persuade some of the recruits to sign with WVU come fall.

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