May 30, 2012
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss head men's basketball coach Donnie Tyndall has announced that four players have earned scholarships for the 2012-13 season.
Davon Hayes (Portsmouth, Va.), Jerrold Brooks (Rochester, N.Y.), Aaron Brown (Hackensack, N.J.) and Chip Armelin (Sulphur, La.) will join the Golden Eagle program.
Armelin and Brown, who are transferring from Minnesota and Temple, respectively, will have to sit out the 2012-13 season due to the NCAA's transfer rules.
"All four guys are certainly very talented young men," said head coach Donnie Tyndall. "We've added two transfers who will each have two years remaining. They are both coming from very good programs in Minnesota and Temple. When they become eligible, they should certainly have an impact on our league and on our team. All these guys will be talented enough and tough enough to come in and I hope contribute immediately."
Hayes, a 6-7 guard, spent last year at Mont Clare Academy in Phoenixville, Pa. He was named third team All-Philadelphia/Eastern Pennsylvania South Jersey by HoopScoopOnline, who also named him the 38th-ranked fifth-year player in the nation.
In 2010-11, he averaged 13.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.0 steals while leading Saint Stanislaus (Bay St. Louis, Miss.) to a 34-2 record. He scored 16 points in the championship to lead the Rock-a-chaws to the 4A state title, their first in school history. MsBoysHoops.com ranked him the 12th-ranked player in Mississippi.
"Hayes is a guy who is going to be a nice, young player," said Tyndall. "He's long and athletic. He won a state championship here in Mississippi and played for a great high school coach in Jay Ladner and a very good prep school coach in Darrell Schofield.
Brooks, a 6-0 guard, played spent last year at Casper (Wy.) Community College. In 20 games, Brooks averaged 15.8 points, 2.5 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals in helping to lead the Thunderbirds to a 25-9 record. He connected on 73-percent of his free throws, 46-percent of his shots and 43-percent from three-point range, earning him First Team All-Region IX and Second team NJCAA All-American honors.
The previous year, Brooks helped lead the College of Southern Idaho to a 33-4 record and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Championship. Brooks was second on the team with 15.4 points, while also averaging 2.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.5 steals. His performance helped him to be named NJCAA Second Team All-Region 18 as well as Region 18 All-Tournament Team.
Brooks played his high school ball at East High School in Rochester, N.Y., where in 2009 he helped his team to a 20-3 record and the state championship, averaging 27.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.3 steals. That year, he was named Fourth Team All-State by the New York State Sportswriters Association and a Rochester City Athletic Conference All-Star, as well as All-Greater Rochester by the Rochester Democrat-Chronicle. In 2008, he helped the Western Squad win the Gold Medal at the Empire State Games. That year, the Rochester Democrat-Chronicle named him All-Greater Rochester Honorable Mention. In 2007, he was also named Second Team All-Greater Rochester in football.
Added Tyndall, "Brooks can do a lot of different things. He's a playmaker who can shoot it. He is going to give us some nice depth in the backcourt. He won a junior college national championship as a freshman, so he knows how to win."
Brown is transferring to Southern Miss from Temple. The 6-5 forward averaged 6.4 points in 14.6 minutes. He was sixth in the Atlantic 10 in three-point percentage, connecting on 41.5-percent. He had eight double figure scoring games, including a career-high 21 against Central Michigan. Against Maryland, he grabbed a career-high eight rebounds.
"Brown is an experienced wing player who brings an intensity to his game that not a lot of players have," said Tyndall. "He can play both inside and outside, making him tough to defend."
In 2010-11, he averaged 3.3 points and 1.0 rebound. He appeared in 29 games, making nine straight starts to end the year. Brown averaged 11.5 points in the Atlantic 10 tournament, scoring a season-high 14 points against LaSalle. He played with the U.S. Virgin Islands team in the Centrobasket Championships held in the Dominican Republic, placing second on the team with 12.5 points while ranking third in the tournament in three-point percentage (47%). He also competed at the 2010 FIBA Americas Under-18 Championship.
Armelin, a 6-3 guard, comes to Southern Miss after playing the last two years at Minnesota, where this past year he helped the Golden Gophers to a berth in the NIT Championship. He averaged 5.2 points and 2.1 rebounds. Armelin set career-highs against Nebraska this year in points (20), rebounds (7), steals (2) and minutes played (30).
"Armelin has played in big games for two years in the Big Ten," added Tyndall. He's an excellent slasher who knows how to take the ball to the basket and open things up for his teammates."
The four players will join a squad that returns nine players from last year's team that finished 25-9 and went to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 21 years.