NEWBERRY, S.C. - Newberry College head men's basketball coach Jeremy Luther is proud to announce the addition of seven players to his squad with the 2008 recruiting class.
"I am really excited about the 2008-09 recruiting class," Luther said. "We were able to sign some very talented players that fit the needs of our program and with these kids, we will be able to establish some much needed consistency in our classes."
Jesse Wheeler is a 6-6 sophomore forward from Suwanee, Ga., who transferred to Newberry from Gardner-Webb University in January.
"Jesse brings a great deal of athleticism to our team," Luther said. "He can defend any position on the floor and he can also score in a variety of ways. Jesse can step out and shoot along with being able to score with his back to the basket. He will be a tough match up for opposing teams because he is so athletic and can play so many positions on the floor."
Aaron Edwards is a 6-4 junior guard from Duluth, Ga., who comes to Newberry from St. Louis Community College.
"Aaron is a tough-nosed kid who competes at a high level every possession," Luther said. "Aaron is a defensive specialist who will be able to take on the challenge of guarding the opponents' best wing player. Not only can Aaron defend, but he can also stretch the defense because of his ability to shoot the basketball."
The final transfer in the signing class is Brett Goodwell, a 6-5 junior forward from Inglewood, Calif., who comes to Newberry from Arizona Western Community College.
"Brett is another very athletic wing man that is versatile with his skill set," Luther said. "Brett is a 6-5, 225 pound wing who can play the wing spot or the post position. Brett played a huge role on one of the most successful junior college programs in the country. Last season, Arizona Western finished 24-6 with a final national ranking of No. 11 in the NJCCA Division I polls. Brett is going to give us a lot of depth and experience having been a two year starter in a high quality program at Arizona Western."
Four true freshmen will join Luther's scarlet and gray squad for the 2008-09 season, with three of them coming from South Carolina.
Will Dawkins is a 5-9 freshman guard who comes to Newberry from Dorman High School in Spartanburg.
"I am really excited to be able to coach a player like Will. We needed to land a big time point guard and we did this with Will," Luther said. "Will is one of the best point guards in the state. He was selected to play in the North Carolina-South Carolina all-star game. This game features the top 12 players in each state and they play the game at Bobcat Arena in Charlotte. Will is going to give us great depth at the point guard position."
Coleman Young is a 6-0 freshman guard who also went to Dorman High School in Spartanburg.
"Coleman is a big-time shooter, which will be a welcome addition with the three point line moving back," Luther said. "Coleman was the backcourt teammate of Will Dawkins, and having this combination for the next four years will play a huge role in taking this program to the next level. Coleman had a great high school career and he will bring a consistent effort everyday on and off the floor."
Felder Leaphart is a 6-4 freshman guard from Lexington High School in Lexington.
"Felder played for one of the best programs and one of the state's most successful high school coaches, Bailey Harris," Luther said. "Felder has a great understanding for the game along with the ability to shoot the basketball. Having been taught so well under coach Harris, his transition to the college game will come much easier than the average high school player."
Ryan Barnes is a 6-3 freshman guard from Montverde Academy in Montverde, Fla.
"Ryan was the captain on the 2006-07 Montverde team which won the USA Today National Championship," Luther said. "Ryan is a big, strong guard who has the ability of making big time plays. He is used to winning and brings us depth at the guard position. Ryan will sit for the 2008-09 season and will have four years remaining starting with the 2009-10 season."
Founded in 1856, Newberry College is affiliated with the South Carolina, Southeastern, Florida-Bahamas, and Caribbean Synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Newberry is a proud member institution of the NCAA Division II and the South Atlantic Conference, a league comprised of eight colleges and universities in North and South Carolina and Tennessee.