Friday, September 30, 2016

Campbellsville University Adds Four More to 2016-17 Recruiting Class

Campbellsville University recently added four more players to the 2016-17 recruiting class, including some former Division I players.

Here's a release from CU:

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — When Brent Vernon accepted the head coaching position in late June he knew of the big uphill climb that was presented to him. The first would be to hire a coaching staff …. Check. The next would be to assemble a roster…. Check.

The coaching staff is made up of the Vernon brothers – Brent and Mark – and also former Tiger Darius Clement.

The staff is pleased to announce the roster additions for 2016. This year's Tiger basketball squad will feature two former NCAA DI transfers, a junior college transfer and an NAIA transfer.

Joining Roderick Lawrence (Ole Miss) from the DI ranks is Kelton Ford (Troy University) and Andre Applewhite (Mississippi State). Ford is familiar with Campbellsville University, as he is from neighboring LaRue County High School. Applewhite transferred from Mississippi State to Our Lady of the Lake, another NAIA program in Texas.

Jalen Coates makes his way to CU from Montana Tech and Antonio Chapman is the lone junior college transfer on the 2016 roster.

Kelton Ford | Senior | Guard | 6-0 |195 | Horse Cave, Ky. | LaRue Co. HS | Troy Univ.

Ford ransferred from Troy University where he played under coach Phil Cunningham – the son of longtime CU men's basketball coach Lou Cunningham. While at Troy, he appeared in 82 games during his three-year career. His sophomore year saw the most success, averaging 7.3 points and three rebounds per game. He finished the season shooting 35 percent from the field and 62 percent from the free throw line, including two game-winning free throws which gave Troy a 55-54 win against UT Arlington. Ford scored a career-high 26 points against regular-season champion Georgia Southern, as he finished hitting 6-of-7 from downtown.

"Kelton is a kid we recruited and really wanted out of high school," said Brent Vernon. "Even though we didn't get him then, we are glad he decided to choose us for his senior year. It's always nice to have quality Kentucky kids on your roster, whether we get them out of high school or as a transfer. During his time at Troy, he was a good contributor for their team and I have very high expectations for Kelton coming into this season. He will be one of our seniors and will be counted on to be a leader for us on and off the floor. Kelton is a physical guard that can play different positions. He brings great experience to the table and a very good skill set that should help our program."

Andre Applewhite | Junior | Forward | 6-5 | 220 | Memphis, Tenn. | Central HS | Mississippi State | Our Lady of the Lake

Applewhite comes to Campbellsville after a stint with Mississippi State and Our Lady of the Lake. In his redshirt freshman season, he appeared in 12 games for the Bulldogs and had six starts under his belt while averaging 5.5 points and four rebounds. While playing at Our Lady of the Lake, Applewhite averaged 10 points and four rebounds last season.

"We are fortunate to be getting Andre with two years of eligibility remaining," said Vernon. "He is a very long, athletic, and strong player that can play multiple positions. With his versatility, both offensively and defensively, we can use him in a lot of different ways and we believe he can be a major matchup problem for other teams. Andre is another player who has played against great competition and brings great experience to our program."

Jalen Coates | Junior | Guard | 5-9 | 170 | Sacramento, Calif. | Luther Burbank HS | Montana Tech

Coates played collegiately at California State University and Montana Tech the past two years. While at Montana Tech, he averaged 31.1 minutes, scored 18.9 points per game while shooting 46 percent from the field and 34.5 percent from the 3-point line. Coates also grabbed 2.6 rebounds, dished out 2.8 assists and averaged two steals a contest.

While at Luther Burbank, Coates led the team to a 20-8 record his senior year while scoring 21 points, six assists and three steals. He was named Conference MVP, First-Team All-Sacramento, Third-Team All-Northern California and Titan of the Year. He currently holds the all-time scoring record and was inducted into the Burbank Hall of Fame.

"Jalen will have two years of eligibility remaining for us," said Vernon. "He is a point guard that can really apply pressure to opponents with his defense. As a sophomore, he was ranked in the Top 20 nationally in scoring. Where he may not score as much for us this season, we expect him to use his offensive ability to really create offense for others and make it easier for our team as a whole. He can shoot the basketball with lots of range and even though he is small he can really finish at the rim. His speed will help us play the up-tempo style of basketball we want to play this season and I am excited for him to be joining our program."

Antonio Chapman | Junior | Guard | 6'0 | 185 | Prichard, Ala. | Mattie T. Blont High School | Paris JC

Chapman is a star guard out of Mattie T. Blont High School in Alabama. During his prep days, he led his team to back-to-back Alabama 6A state championships in 2013 and 2014, while averaging 17 points per game. Chapman earned All-District and All-Region all four seasons, while earning All-State honors his senior year.

During his time at Paris Junior College (Texas), Chapman averaged 15 points per game his one year on the team.

"Antonio comes from a really good junior college program and he has proven he can do lots of things well on the floor," said Vernon. "Coming into a new system and finding the school he wanted to attend late has put him a little behind. But he is working hard and continues to get better. He can really stretch the floor and help our team once he figures out what we are trying to do."

The four new Tigers will join returners – Erik Kinney (r-Sr.), Roderick Lawrence (r-Sr.), Elliott Young (Sr.), Zach Perry (Sr.), Taylor Howard (Jr.), Shawn Johnson (Jr.), Italo Barbosa, (Jr.), Hagen Tyler (So.), Byron Dean (r-Fr.) and Corey Shelton (r-Fr.).

The Tigers are scheduled to open the season with its first regular season game on Wednesday, Oct. 26, as they host Central Penn. College at 7 p.m. in the Powell Athletic Center. The complete 2016 schedule will be announced within the next two weeks.

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