Lumberjacks Finish Off Recruiting Class
April 30, 2007
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack basketball team completed its 2007-08 signing class last week with two more additions. Head coach Danny Kaspar announced Monday the signing of prep recruit Eddy Williams and transfer Benson Akpan.
These two players bring the total signings this year for the Lumberjacks to eight -- four prepsters and four collegiate transfers. The eight-man class is the largest signed by Kaspar in his seven years at SFA.
Akpan comes to SFA from Nigeria, via Howard College in Big Spring, Texas. The 6-8 forward was a First-Team All-Western Junior College Athletic Conference selection this season. As a sophomore, he ranked third in the conference in field goal percentage at .626 and led the league in blocked shots with 2.03 per game. He led his squad to a 24-6 record and a berth in the Region V semifinals. As a freshman, Akpan helped guide Howard to a 35-2 mark, winning the WJCAC and Region V Championships along the way.
"Benson is a great sign for us," Kaspar said. "He's a very athletic and mobile center, whose specialty is rebounding and blocking shots. He was an all-conference player in a tough junior college league, and he started as a freshman on a team that was ranked No. 1 in the nation. Everything fell into place for us to sign him late, and we are very excited about it."
Williams, a 6-2 Lawton, Okla., native, will be a valuable asset in the backcourt, where he can play either guard position. He led his team to the Class 6A state championship game in Oklahoma and finished the season with the eighth-best scoring average in the state at 17.1 points per game. Williams also averaged five assists per contest as a senior and shot 44 percent from 3-point range. He was a second-team all-state selection in the Class 6A ranks.
"Eddy is a great all-around addition to our program," Kaspar said. "He will make contributions both as a basketball player and as a student and leader. He has been lauded for his basketball skills, his leadership on the court, and his good works off the floor. We are very excited to have him join us."
Williams and Akpan are the latest additions to a full recruiting class for next seasons. SFA inked transfers Eric Bell (point guard, McLennan Community College) and Jason Rogers (shooting guard Frank Phillips College) earlier this month. In the early signing period last November, the Lumberjacks signed Nick Shaw, a forward from Collin County Community College, as well as high school signees Jereal Scott (forward, LaPorte, Texas), Preston Davis (point guard, Mansfield, Texas) and Dean Pele (guard, Austin, Texas).
SFA is coming off a 15-14 season in 2006-07. The Lumberjacks went 8-8 in Southland Conference play. SFA will lose four players -- Dykes and Johnson, as well as guard Keith Hardaway and center Antuane Miller -- to graduation this spring.
-- SFA --