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Stewart On Board; Jarvis Talks About Latest Signees

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Stewart On Board; Jarvis Talks About Latest Signees

The Florida Atlantic University men’s basketball program and head coach Mike Jarvis have received National Letters of Intent from prep standouts Darren Stewart (Miami/Monsignor Edward Pace High School) and DeMonte Simpson (Knoxville, Tennessee/Bearden High School) to study at FAU and play for the Owls in 2009-10.

Stewart and Simpson join an exceptional incoming class expected to play for Jarvis, which includes all-state point guard Ray Taylor (Plantation/American Heritage High School), Gainesville Sun "Player of the Year" Greg Gantt (Gainesville/Gainesville High School), 6-foot-6-inch forward Jordan McCoy (Orlando/Olympia High School) and all-DC1AA forward Andre Mattison (Washington, D.C./Coolidge High School), all who have signed letters of intent in the fall.

“Red Auerbach taught me a long time ago what it takes to put teams together,” said Jarvis, when asked to comment on this recruiting class. “I remember him saying that you have to recruit players with character, not characters. I also remember him telling me that you need to recruit players from winning programs and you want to recruit players that do something special.”

The six true-freshmen signees are part of eight additional players FAU is expected to have on its 2009-10 roster. Justin Davis (Jacksonville/Mercer University), a 6-foot-10-inch sophomore who sat out last season as a transfer, and redshirt junior guard Sanchez Hughley (Orlando/Lyman High School), who missed last season with an injury, both return to what is shaping up to be a much-improved Owls’ team this fall.

“In one year, thanks to the great work of my assistant coaches Mike Jarvis II, Matt McCall and Tim Kaine, we now have the necessary size, speed, quickness, depth and attitude to be force to be reckoned with in the Sun Belt Conference,” said Jarvis.

Jarvis and the FAU coaching staff inked Simpson despite Virginia Tech University and the University of Alabama-Birmingham both offering scholarships to the 6-foot-9-inch, 270-pound forward. Simpson unanimously was recognized as one of East Tennessee ’s top senior players this spring. The Tennessee Sports Writers Association named Simpson a 2009 First Team All-State (Class AAA) player after he helped Knoxville ’s Bearden High School amass a 35-3 record and earn a national ranking as one of the top high school teams in the country. Simpson shined against top-competition, scoring 24 points and clearing 12 rebounds in front of a capacity crowd when ESPN’s No. 2-ranked Oak Hill Academy of North Carolina visited Knoxville in January.

“All 6-foot-9, 270-pounds before breakfast, DeMonte Simpson is a player I liked immediately when Coach Kaine took me to see him,” said Jarvis. “He has really good hands; quick feet and can play with anybody in the post. I think with time and the conditioning program we have in place, he is going to develop into one of the best centers in this league. He can also knock down the jumper and can pass, so he will be really good in the high-low stuff we run. With the addition of DeMonte, we have a good group of big guys, a group that will complement each other.”

Stewart is an athletic, 6-foot-4-inch, 200-pound combo-guard from Miami ’s nationally-recognized high school basketball program at Monsignor Pace. A lock-down defender, Stewart also can shoot from the perimeter and get to the basket. He electrified an American Airlines Arena crowd with a series of dunks en route to scoring a game-high 17 points for the Miami-Dade squad at the 2009 South Florida All-Star Basketball Classic. ESPN Rise named Stewart an All-Area South Florida player this spring and even as a sophomore was recognized by BreakdownMagazine.com as Florida ’s best 10th-grade player in October 2006.

“In Darren Stewart we have a young man that is intelligent, has great character, great body, loves to play and compete,” said Jarvis. “He plays defense with a reckless abandonment. In college basketball if you are going to win you have to have players that can make stops. I think Darren Stewart is one of those guys.”

This class is as good a class I have ever been part of recruiting and that includes some pretty good classes at Boston University , George Washington and St. John’s ,” Jarvis added. “The reason for my optimism is the fact that we have recruited a complete team, point guard, shooting guard, small forwards, power forward, center and its not often that you do that. Of course it’s not often that you have to do that. We are really grateful to the fact that these young men have decided to put their trust and faith in us.”


Source:  FAU Media Relations

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Re: Stewart On Board; Jarvis Talks About Latest Signees

Simpson put on another 10 pounds...wow, guy is getting huge...
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