Coming off of their first championship since the 2007-08 season, Clayton State head men’s basketball coach Jimmy Link has announced a six person signing class for the 2017-18 campaign.
This group is headlined by four transfers, including one of the best players in the Peach Belt Conference from last season.
DENZEL COUNCIL: 6-7, Macon, Ga. (Armstrong State University)
The athletic big man joins the Lakers as a transfer from PBC member Armstrong State, which will no longer offer athletics due to a merger with Division I Georgia Southern.
In his first year with the Pirates last season he averaged 15.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.3 blocks while starting all 28 games. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of his game comes at the free throw line, where he shot .833 (180-of-216) to rank 10th overall in the PBC. It was also the highest mark by any front court player in the league.
He tied for fourth in rebounding and was ninth in blocks per game and reached double-figures in scoring 27 times. He also had 11 double-digit rebound games, 10 of which were double-doubles. Over the course of his career, Council has also played for Georgia Highlands (2014-15) and East Los Angeles Community College (2013-14).
Head Coach Jimmy Link on Council
“Denzel comes to us from Armstrong under Coach Evans Davis. He did a great job in the Peach Belt Conference last year. We are really excited to have a versatile forward that has potential to be an all-conference player and more. He will make an immediate impact for us.”
AUBREY MCRAE: 6-3, Augusta, Ga. (Georgia Southern University)
A transfer from Division I Georgia Southern, McRae brings two years of high level college experience to Clayton State.
Over the course of two years he saw action in 22 games, including a postseason contest against eventual Sun Belt Conference Tournament Champion Troy in 2017. He also played in the Eagles College Basketball Insiders First-Round game against Utah Valley, notching a pair of steals.
Prior to his time at GSU, McRae played basketball and football for Glenn Hills High School and earned 3-4A Player of the Year and All-State honors on the court as a senior in 2013-14.
Head Coach Jimmy Link on McRae
“Guard out of Georgia Southern University that will give us immediate impact. He is a coach’s son that can play and is going to be great in our system. I’m excited to see how hungry he is.”
SHONARI STREET: 6-6, Bristow, Va. (Battlefield High School)
A true freshman, Street played four years of basketball for the Bobcats. During that time he helped them to three Cedar Run District Championships and a 6A Regional Championship.
He was a four time All-Conference selection, earning First-Team honors in his final season. That same year he was All-Region First-Team and selected to the All-Defensive First-Team for the third straight year.
Street was also named All-Region Honorable Mention as a junior. As a senior he averaged 15.0 points and 8.0 rebounds, up from 12.0 points and 7.0 rebounds the year before. He also comes from a basketball family as his father, Kamau, was a junior college All-American at Howard Community College before playing two seasons for Division II St. Paul’s.
In addition to his skill on the court, he has developed a strong sense of compassion off it, volunteering his time for the past decade with numerous community outreach programs in the State of Virginia.
Head Coach Jimmy Link on Street
“Forward that will help us right away as a freshman. He is really skilled on the perimeter and even better on the block. He has a great body for an incoming freshman to help out in the Peach Belt.”
JUSTIN TUCKSON: 6-1, Stafford, Va. (Assumption College)
An NCAA Division II veteran, Tuckson comes in from Assumption College in Massachusetts. He has played the past two seasons for the Greyhounds, appearing in 54 games.
As a sophomore he averaged 9.4 points, 1.8 assists and 2.0 rebounds while shooting .417 from the field. That year he also notched a career-high 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting vs. Southern Connecticut State.
Tuckson would put up averages of 7.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists as a true freshman the year before and drained 19 points at Bentley and 18 at Franklin Pierce. A versatile player, he added a line of seven points, four boards and career-best seven assists at Molloy.
Head Coach Jimmy Link on Tuckson
“Justin is a combo guard that can really, really play. He shoots the cover off of it and will give us immediate impact. I am really excited to have a guard like him that will stretch the floor. I would think right away he will be a threat in the PBC.”
OBI UDEZEH: 5-10, Rosedale, N.Y. (Essex County College)
Udezeh is no stranger to Clayton State having been enrolled for the past year. This year he will get to showcase the talents he has honed at both Essex County College (2015-16) and Queens College – New York (2014-15).
He began his career at Queens where he played in 20 games as a freshman. While there he averaged just 2.4 points and 1.7 assists in limited playing time but did notch a 13 point, five assist game against Dowling.
With a transfer to Essex the following season, Udezeh averaged 6.4 points, 2.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.9 rebounds in 34 games. That production came for a team that went 28-6 on the year. He scored in double-figures eight times with a career-best 16 points and five steals against Manor and dished out at least four assists 11 times.
Head Coach Jimmy Link on Udezeh
“Point guard that has been here at Clayton State and is going to help our guard play. He can really shoot from three and is extremely fast and quick with the ball.”
MOSES WILLIAMS: 6-6, Augusta, Ga. (Academy of Richmond County)
Another true freshman, Williams comes in from the Academy of Richmond County where he was a four year member of the Musketeers’ basketball program.
While he played only two years on varsity, he made those seasons count. After averaging 10.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game as a junior (and his first season of varsity), he exploded for marks of 15.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks.
That year he was named Hoop Seen Class AAAA Second-Team All-State and Atlanta-Journal ConstitutionClass AAAA All-State Honorable Mention. In both of his years he also contributed to winning clubs as ARC went 23-7 last year and 21-7 in his junior campaign.
Head Coach Jimmy Link on Williams
“Forward that is long and extremely active. He doesn’t get tired and he will accept any challenge. He will give us added depth at the forward spot and will be really good in pick and roll offense.”