The men and women’s basketball teams had different gaps to fill with their outgoing seniors, and they both brought on new players in hopes of filling the shoes. On the men’s side, head coach Tyler Geving signed two junior college students to his 2011–12 roster.
Viking basketball updates rosters
The men and women’s basketball teams had different gaps to fill with their outgoing seniors, and they both brought on new players in hopes of filling the shoes. On the men’s side, head coach Tyler Geving signed two junior college students to his 2011–12 roster. On the women’s side, head coach Sherri Murrell has recently brought on a pair of standout high school athletes into the mix. The men have signed three earlier recruits and the women have two prior recruits already signed.
For the men, injuries and a ban from post-season play haunted the team’s 2010–11 season. The Viking’s depth will be tested again next season, especially with the news that shooting guard Chris Harriel has been added to the NCAA’s transfer list and will be playing elsewhere in the fall. To help solve this problem, Geving made two big additions this month, signing Lateef McMullen on April 14 and Martin Whitmore on Tuesday.
McMullen is a 5-foot-11 point guard who played his most recent season at Citrus Junior College and prior to that a season at University of California, Riverside. He averaged 16.3 points at Citrus, along with 3.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists. Geving said that the coaching staff was looking to recruit a point guard to help replace the loss of graduating senior Melvin Jones.
“In the end, we got who we wanted,” Geving said. “Lateef (McMullen) was the number one guy we went after. He’s a great shooter, he’s good with the ball, he’s quick, a good defender, a competitor. He’s just a winner.”
“The other thing we liked is that he had already played a year of division-one basketball,” Geving added. “So coming in he knows what the expectations are, he knows how to get through a season of division-one basketball.”
Geving’s most recent addition is 6-foot-5 small forward Whitmore. Whitmore competed in one year of basketball after high school in 2008–09 at Orange Coast Junior College and is a player most known for his outside shooting ability. In a statement to the school, Geving said that Whitmore would help fill the gaps left from graduating seniors Phil Nelson and Jones.
“Martin is a three-point shooter. He has got a great-looking stroke from the outside…We need to bring in another guy who can stretch the perimeter for us,” Geving said in his statement.
Despite going 14-16 overall, Geving said he was proud of how his team handled the ban from post-season play, but he also said that he’s looking forward to stronger leadership next season and a winning mentality from the returning players to pass on and teach the incoming recruits. Also, Geving pointed out that the extra depth the 2011–12 roster brings is a huge step toward achieving post-season play.
“You know it is tough” Geving said. “We were suiting up seven scholarship players and two walk-ons and you can’t afford injuries and now, knock on wood, if someone gets hurt we have a little more depth and we can overcome that.”
Just as the men are looking at depth as a key factor, the women’s side is looking to maintain its quality talent off the bench. The women’s program has prided itself in keeping a solid bench, and this past season there were multiple games when Murrell spoke about key reserves stepping up in clutch moments. Murrell has signed two guards from the Bay Area to help give the bench a boost next season, 5-foot-9 Jordan Henry and 5-foot-8 Lariel Powell.
In Henry’s senior year, she scored in double-figures in 27 of 28 games. Murrell said in a statement released to the school that Henry is a player that not only has accuracy but can also shoot the long shots.
“Jordan is an amazing shooter who can light it up from beyond the arc. Her ability to score with confidence will fit great into our high-scoring system,” Murrell said in her statement.
Murrell said that Powell’s strengths are defense. With Lexi Bishop graduating, one of the key defensive players from last season, Powell’s abilities on the defensive end could be a huge factor in the fall.
“I love (Powell’s) tenacious defensive mentality. Her quickness and athleticism will be a big contributor to our team’s attack mentality on both ends of the floor,” Murrell said. ?