Big additions

USI men’s basketball is going big.

Coach Rodney Watson has reportedly gotten commitments from two very tall post players: 7-foot-1, 235-pound Davis Carter and 6-11, 230-pound Macam Macam. Carter, who attended a junior college in Nebraska last season, seems to be a project (he averaged just 2.5 points and 3.0 rebounds at Western Nebraska Community College); he’ll apparently have three years of eligibility at USI. But Macam, who will have two years of eligibility, sounds like the real deal. According to a post at Rivals.com last fall, he’s been tagged a “high-level talent.”

From the post: “… the Boston area product is a legitimate four-star prospect capable of making an impact at the high-major level. Macam is also certified as disabled because he is deaf. However, watching him play one would never guess that he has any kind of disability. Big and strong, Macam was able to do whatever he wanted to around the rim. He chased down rebounds in and out of his area, swatted shots and even stepped out and hit some jumpers. A transfer from Massachusetts Bay Community College in the Boston area, Macam averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds per game as a freshman and those numbers should rise as a sophomore. Macam plays spirited ball on both ends of the floor and has the tools to help out at a high level if his academics are in order.”

Notice Macam is deaf, which may be why he’s ended up at a Division II school instead of in Division I. I’m assuming Watson and his staff will be learning (or already have learned) the basics of sign language. Anyway, Macam averaged 14.5 points, 57.7 percent field-goal shooting and 10.0 rebounds last season at Brown Mackie College, a junior college in Salina, Kansas. But the most notable thing about him may be his shot blocking: he averaged 2.3 blocks per game, totaling 66 for the season (as a team, USI finished with 76). Without a consistent shot blocker this past season, Eagles opponents drove to the rim frequently and successfully. And Macam’s rebounding would also be a major plus. Meanwhile, expect returning point guard Bobo Drummond’s assist totals to rise dramatically next season.

Macam is the type of player USI was rumored to be about to sign last summer, but it never materialized, and the Eagles suffered accordingly. With a small, guard-oriented group. they played well at times but seemed to run out of gas by the end of the season.

In other hoops news, senior-to-be forward George Edwards apparently has been redshirted for next season. Recall that the 6-6 Edwards — the team’sleading rebounder last season and one of its leading scorers — was arrested for drunk driving early this spring, and Watson suspended  him from the team indefinitely.

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