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| Four New Numbers Join the Celts Menís Basketball Team this Season |
The numbers 12, 13, 40 and 42 will have a new meaning on the hardwood this year as they join the 14 other men’s basketball players at the University of St. Thomas.
After losing, forward Ivan Earls and guard Melvin Roberts due to graduation and guard Brian Kaase due to an ACL injury, the new players couldn’t have come at a better time.
Adrian Morales, a 5-foot-9-inch guard has been assigned the number 12. Morales graduated from Deer Park High School and went on to the San Jacinto Community College men’s basketball team. Athletic director and men’s head basketball coach, Todd Smith unsuccessfully tried recruiting Morales before.
“Adrian is a versatile combo guard who has the potential to score or run the team whenever either is needed,” said Smith. “His athleticism and ability to play point or off guard and the fact that he has played with one of the best junior college programs makes his presence felt in practice and come game-time.”
Number 13 will be worn by Deric Dudley, a 6-foot-3-inch wing from one of the most successful programs in the city of Houston in District 23, Elkins High School, who put up an average of 13 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists per game his senior year.
“Dudley is deceivingly athletic and has a big strong body that we’re optimistic he’ll use to his advantage to have a great year on the glass for us,” said Smith.
Michael Williams, a 5-foot-8-inch guard from East Texas Baptist, will be wearing number 40 for the Celts this season. Due to his status as a transfer, Williams will sit out this season as a red-shirt.
“Though he has to sit out this year I was really excited to get him because he adds so much athleticism to practice games,” said Smith.
“He’s quick, has the ability to push guys, can simulate other teams and we really appreciate the skill-set he brings to the hardwood.”
Andrew Graves, a 6-foot-7-inch forward from Liberty Hill High School by way of Austin Community College, will don the number 42. Graves has been on the Celts roster for a year, but was red-shirted.
“Andrew is a long lanky-lefty who has very good offensive skills enabling him to post up or put down the 3, whenever it is needed,” said Smith. “I think he will really add some versatility to our offense this year and he has to have a good year on the glass for us.”
Returning to the court are team leaders Travis Lampley, who led in assists and steals last year with a 2-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, and Jeremy Lewis who led in scoring last season.
This season’s home opener will be at 2 p.m. on Sunday Nov. 6 versus Waylan Baptist University, under the direction of a new coach coming from the Sooner Athletic Conference. The Celts will participate in the Our Lady of the Lake Tournament against Oklahoma City and Lubbock Christian and will also be hosted by Rice University on Saturday, Dec. 3 as they compete against the Owls.
The University of St. Thomas men’s basketball team re-emerged on the hardwood after a 20-year hiatus in 2009 to finish with a 10-15 overall record. During the 2010-2011 season the Celts improved to an overall record of 13-13. The University’s athletic program accepted an invitation to become the newest member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Red River Conference earlier this year, which pits them against Huston-Tillotson University, Texas Weslayan University, Louisiana State University – Shreveport and Our Lady of the Lake University, just to name a few.
“This will be our first conference season with a rigorous 24-conference game schedule, which is a very lengthy conference,” said Smith. “How we handle this inaugural season in this conference will be a determining factor in our success this year.”