Nov. 13, 2008
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Men's basketball head coach Mark Gottfried announces the signing of five players to National Letters of Intent to attend and play basketball for The University of Alabama beginning in the fall of 2009. As listed by position, the Crimson Tide will add two guards and three forwards to its roster. The recruiting class consists of two Alabama natives, two players from the state of Georgia and one prep standout from Illinois. The class is currently ranked 24th nationally by Rivals.com.
"I am excited about this class because we addressed needs at every position and all five have a chance to make an impact at Alabama," said Gottfried. "This is a very good class, in part because of the versatility of this group. We signed a terrific point guard, a great shooter, one of the best small forwards in the nation, and two excellent interior players."
Set to join the Crimson Tide in the fall of 2009 will be guard Charvez Davis (Montgomery, Ala.), forward Chris Hines (Hillcrest, Ala.), forward Shawn Kemp, Jr., (Canton, Ga.), forward Tony Mitchell (Swainsboro, Ga.), and guard Cully Payne (Schaumburg, Ill.).
Below are biographical sketches of all 5 Alabama men's basketball signees:
Forward 6-8, 220 Hillcrest, Ala. (Southwestern Illinois CC/North Atlanta Prep/Evergreen HS)
An all-region and all-conference honoree last year as a freshman at Southwestern Illinois Community College in Belleview, Illinois, in 2007-08...averaged 11.9 points and 6.3 rebounds at SWIC in 2007-08...the 2006 Alabama Class 4A Player of the Year...spent the 2006-07 season at North Atlanta (Ga.) Prep...played high school ball at Evergreen High School in Hillcrest, Ala. ...the Most Valuable Player of the 2006 Alabama Class 4A State Tournament...Alabama Sports Writers Association's 2006 Alabama All-State "Super Five" Team...runner-up in voting for Alabama's 2006 Mr. Basketball honor...led Hillcrest-Evergreen to the 2006 Alabama Class 4A State Championship while averaging 25 points, 12 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game as a senior...scored 24 of his team's 35 points in a Class 4A State Final win over Saks that gave the Jaguars their first state title...as a junior in 2005-06, averaged 26 points and 8.5 rebounds per game...coached by Tommy Dukes at Hillcrest-Evergreen...boasts a full array of post moves and can also shoot from the perimeter and handle the ball...has considerable athletic skills...an excellent passer...was recruited out of high school by Stanford, Indiana, Auburn, Alabama-Birmingham, South Florida, and Miami (Fla.).
Coach Gottfried on Chris Hines: "Chris is a very athletic basketball player. The thing about Chris that I like the most is his versatility. He can score around the basket, and can step out and make the jump shot. He also can be a terrific defensive player. He's a former 4A Player of the Year who is used to winning big, and I am excited to have him join our program."
Guard 6-3, 190 Montgomery Ala. (Northwest Florida State College/Jefferson Davis HS)
Through three games this season at Northwest Florida State College (formerly Okaloosa-Walton Junior College) in Niceville, Florida, is averaging 28.3 points per game...the 2008 Panhandle Junior College Conference Freshman of the Year for coach Bruce Stewart at NWFSC...hit 73 three-pointers while averaging 11.7 points per game in 2007-08...played high school ball at Jefferson Davis High School in Montgomery, Ala....a shooting guard at Jefferson Davis, he helped the Volunteers beat Huff¬man (and future Tide teammate Demetrius Jemison) in 2006 to advance to the state finals...led Jefferson Davis to the 2006 Alabama Class 6A State Championship...led Jefferson Davis to a runner-up finish in the 2007 Alabama Class 6A State Tournament...coached by Terry Posey at Jefferson Davis...also was recruiting by Mississippi State, Arkansas, Alabama-Birmingham and South Alabama.
Coach Gottfried on Charvez Davis: "A winner. Pure and simple. I like the fact that his high school team won a state title, and he has carried that to the college level. He is one of the best shooters in the nation in the junior college ranks. He also has great understanding of the game and is a terrific athlete."
Guard 6-0, 170 Schaumburg Ill. (Schaumburg HS)
Versatile point guard who is in his senior year at Schaumburg High School...earned All-State, All-Area, and All-Conference honors as a junior when he averaged 16.9 points, six assists and six rebounds a game for Schaumburg...dished a school-record 16 assists in a game during his junior season...as a junior in 2007-08, he helped Schaumburg to a regional championship in his first season with the program after transferring from Burlington Central High School...coached by Bob Williams at Schaumburg...earned conference and area Player of the Year honors as a sophomore for Burlington Central...averaged 22 points, six assists and six rebounds per game as a sophomore in 2006-07 at Burlington Central...earned All-Conference and All-Area honors as a freshman in 2005-06 when he averaged 17 points, five assists and five rebounds a game at Burlington Central...was coached by his cousin, Chris Payne, at Burlington Central...also recruited by DePaul, Iowa, Miami (Ohio), Loyola (Ill.), and Davidson.
Coach Gottfried on Cully Payne: "Cully is a tough, hard-nosed competitor. He is highly intelligent, like having a coach on the floor. He has a tremendous ability to run a team. He is exceptionally intelligent and I believe he is going to have a great future."
Forward 6-6, 185 Swainsboro, Ga. (Swainsboro HS/Central Park Prep)
Was ranked the No. 38 prospect nationally and no. 5 among small forwards in the Class of 2008 by Rivals.com...averaged 19.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 5.0 blocked shots as a junior in 2007...was named the 2007 Georgia Sports Writers Association Class AA Player of the Year and was voted all-state...USA Today rated him the no. 37 prospect in the nation for the Class of 2008...Van Coleman rated him no. 40 among his National Top 100 for the Chicago Sun-Times...led Swainsboro to a regional title as a senior in 2008...led all scorers with 26 points in a Class 2A State Playoffs loss to Dublin in 2008...also recruited by Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Cincinnati and Georgia.
Coach Gottfried on Tony Mitchell: "Obviously, we hoped to have Tony here this year, but I am excited to have him coming in next year. He's a tremendous athlete and an exciting player to watch. He's very long and a great defender. He had tremendous potential."
Shawn Kemp, Jr.
Forward 6-9, 215 Canton, Ga. (Cherokee HS)
A consensus National Top 100 prospect...did not play competitive basketball until his eighth grade year...son of former NBA star Shawn Kemp (Seattle Supersonics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Portland Trailblazers, Orlando Magic)...First-Team All-County; First-Team All-Region; and a First-Team All-State selection...averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds per game... is ranked as one of top ten centers in country...ranked as one of top 100 players in country by Rivals.com...coached by Roger Kvam at Cherokee High School...also recruited by Indiana, Cincinnati, Nevada, Georgia, Washington, and Mississippi...son of Genay Doyal and Shawn Kemp.
Coach Gottfried on Shawn Kemp, Jr.: "Shawn has tremendous potential for growth as a basketball player. He is long and is quick off the floor. He has great hands. He can run the floor and has great agility. He has all the tools you look for in a post player."