August 20, 2014

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – The John A. Logan College men’s basketball team became more talented and deeper with the recent announced signings of freshman recruits, Tamas Bruce and Lamont Walker.

Bruce is a 6-foot-8 All-state post player (18 points, seven rebounds) from Osceola, Ark. Walker is a 6-foot-5 All-State wing (18 points, 12 rebounds) from Morgan Park High School in Chicago.

“We are fortunate to get players of this caliber at this time of the year,” said Vols third-year head coach Kyle Smithpeters. “Tamas is long and athletic. He plays extremely hard and possesses a good skill set. He should contend right away for playing time as he battles Jordan Martin and Russell Woods down in the paint very day in practice.

“As for Lamont, he is a proven winner as his high school team won back-to-back state championships. He also has a nice skill set with good size and should make an immediate impact with us.”

Bruce said he was “very excited” to have the opportunity to play for John A. Logan College.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I would like to think I pass the ball well, can block shots, run the floor well and am a good defensive player. My game may be similar to Russell’s.”

Bruce said he has plans to study physical therapy upon completion of his general studies.

Walker said he, too, is excited about the chance to play at the next level.

“I think Logan is a good fit for me. We have the makings of a good team with a mix of returning players and freshmen. Our goal is nothing short of a national championship.”

Walker, who hopes to pursue a degree in architecture after completing his general studies, said he felt “comfortable” at Logan and believes he will have an opportunity to grow his game the next two years.

“I plan to play hard. I’m a hustle guy, who goes after everything,” he said.

The two latest additions brings the total roster to 12. Previous signings included: sophomore transfers Connor Wheeler (Central Missouri), Tyler Scott (Kent State) and Jeremiah Jackson (West Plains, Mo.) and freshman Devontavius Payne (Carbondale). Justin Lukens (Herrin) was redshirted last year and maintains two years of eligibility.

“I am very excited about this group. I think it’s one of the more talented ones I’ve been around in a long time,” Smithpeters said. “We have guards who can handle the basketball, pass and shoot and bigs who are skilled and can run the floor. More important, there is good chemistry with this bunch. They genuinely enjoy being around one another. You can see that in the pickup games this summer. As a coaching staff, we enjoy being around them, too. So many of these kids are proven winners and that should translate to a successful season.”