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Men's Basketball signs Jerotic, Watson in early period

Nov. 14, 2017

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Southern Miss head men's basketball coach Doc Sadler has announced the signing of Nikola Jerotic and Gabriel Watson during the early signing period for the 2018-19 season.

Jerotic's Southwest Christian Academy team claimed the NACA national championship last year among a roster almost entirely filled with Division I prospects. He also plays for the Arkansas Wings AAU team. Jerotic is averaging 14 points and eight rebounds.

The 6-foot-7 forward is originally from Belgrade, Serbia, and spent his previous two seasons with the 19-and-under KK Partizan Junior Team. That organization competes within the EuroCup and Basketball League of Serbia. The last foreign-born member of the program was Norville Carey (British Virgin Islands).

"We felt like we needed to get a 6-foot-6, 6-foot-7 athlete who can guard four spots, from point guard down to the four," Sadler said. "He shoots the ball, played for the Serbian junior national team and played for one of the best coaches in the country in Charles Baker [at Southwest Christian], who played and coached at this level. He had some very demanding practices."

Watson averaged 29.5 points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals per game as a junior at Saint Joe's in Madison, Miss. The 6-foot-2 guard has been ranked as high as No. 11 in the state and was also a Dandy Dozen selection from the Clarion-Ledger.

"I think we got the best point guard in the state of Mississippi when you put it all together," Sadler said. "He's got character, he's a winner and he understands how to play. We're very excited about that for a lot of reasons. He's going to make a big difference in the state of Mississippi regarding our recruiting.

"Both of these guys, we feel they can contribute right away."

Watson continues the recent influx of in-state signees with the program. The current roster consists of freshman LaDavius Draine (Calhoun City), D'Angelo Richardson (Vicksburg), Clay Weatherspoon (Ridgeland) and Anfernee Hampton (Jackson). From the 2013-15 seasons, the squad had no in-state natives.

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