June 29, 2009
McCollum Announces Roster Additions
MARYVILLE-Northwest Missouri State University head men's basketball coach Ben McCollum has announced the addition of six players expected to compete for the Bearcats during the upcoming season.
Transfers Girod Adams (Sr. / Stephen F. Austin), Clint Hamilton (Jr. / Mesa C.C.) and Arunas Simanavicius (Jr. / East Wyoming C.C.) along with true freshman DeShaun Cooper (St. Louis / Jennings H.S.) have each signed national letters of intent.
Northwest has received a scholarship commitment from transfer Maciej Ustarbowski (Jr. / Western Wyoming C.C.). True freshman Jonathan Nutt (Palmyra, Mo. / Palmyra HS) is expected to walk on.
These six join eight returning Northwest lettermen and Bryston Williams, who signed an NLI in April.
Information on the seven players including quotes from McCollum is included below:
Girod Adams, G, 5-10, Topeka, Kan. (West H.S.)
Played in all 32 games and made 15 starts for Stephen F. Austin last season … averaged 5.3 points and 20 minutes per game … ranked third on the team in assists and was fourth in steals … helped lead the Lumberjacks to a 24-8 record and the 2009 Southland Conference Tournament Championship … played two years at Cloud County Community College in Concordia, Kan. … was born in Grafenwohr, Germany
"Girod has had nothing but success at every level he has played," said McCollum. "He was versatile enough to play both guard positions at Stephen F. Austin and will have an immediate impact here at Northwest. He is tough, is a leader and as competitive as they come. These qualities will help teach our younger players what it takes to be a winner."
Clint Hamilton, F, 6-6, Houston, Texas (Pflugerville H.S.)
Played last two seasons at Mesa Community College in Mesa, Ariz. … led the Thunderbirds to a 19-8 record while averaging 14.8 points and 6.5 rebounds in 2008-09 … earned all-conference and all-region honors … was twice named ACCAC Division 1 Player of the Week following performances of 27 points and 17 rebounds and 18 points and 21 rebounds
"Clint personifies what we look for in a Bearcat basketball player," said McCollum. "He has a tremendous work ethic on and off the floor and we are very excited about adding him to our team. He'll add size and athleticism to our front line and we expect him to contribute immediately at our level."
Arunas Simanavicius, F, 6-7, Kaunas, Lithuania
Played the past two seasons at Eastern Wyoming Community College in Torrington, Wyo. … averaged 11.5 points and 6.8 rebounds during the 2008-09 season … led the Lancers to a regional title and an NJCAA national tournament bid in 2007-08 … played for former Northwest basketball player and coach Joel Taylor in 2007-08 (Taylor was an assistant at Eastern Wyoming)
"We are excited about what Arunas will add to the Bearcat basketball program," said McCollum. "He is a quality person with a winning attitude. Arunas is skilled for his size and his versatility will allow him to play multiple positions in our system."
DeShaun Cooper, G, 5-8, St. Louis (Jennings H.S.)
Earned Missouri Class 4A first-team all-state honors at Jennings High School after averaging 21 points, 3.7 assists and 3.4 steals during his senior season under head coach Randy Carter … was also named the 2009 Suburban East Conference Player of the Year … was a three-time all-conference pick … selected to play in the Riverwar All-Star game and earned MVP honors after posting 31 points
"We are very excited about DeShaun joining the Bearcat basketball family," said McCollum. "He is one of the elite high school point guards in the state of Missouri and will be a perfect fit for our style of play. DeShaun will be a great four year player in our program and is capable of coming in and earning minutes immediately."
Maciej Ustarbowski, F, 6-7, Poland
Played the past two seasons at Western Wyoming College in Rock Springs, Wyo. … averaged nine points and four rebounds in 2008-09 … led the Mustangs to a 25-8 record and a second-place finish in Region Nine of the NJCAA in 2007-08
"Maciej's size will be a great addition for our team," said McCollum. "He is a strong player with a big body that allows him to play tough on the interior. His toughness and work ethic are what we look for from players in our program and we are excited about having him on board."
Jonathon Nutt, G, 6-0, Palmyra, Mo. (Palmyra H.S.)
Averaged 19.8 points and 3.2 assists in earning Missouri Class 3A first-team all-state honors as a senior … was also named the 2009 Quincy Herald-Whig Player of the Year and Clarence County Conference Player of the Year … was a three-time first-team all-conference pick … named MVP after scoring 33 points and totaling eight steals in the Missouri vs. Illinois McDonald's All-State game back on June 13
"We are pleased to add Jonathon to our squad for next year," said McCollum. "He had a successful high school career and will be a valuable addition to our program. He brings a lot of intangibles to the table and knows what it takes to win."
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