Nov. 21, 2013
Early Signing Day Central
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss men's basketball head coach Donnie Tyndall announced the signings of five recruits for the 2014-15 school year Thursday morning.
Devon Baulkman (Bainbridge, Ga.), Rasham Suarez (Jonesboro, Ga.), Willie Carmichael (Apopka, Fla.), Davaris McGowens (Taylors, S.C.) and Edson Avila (Bronx, N.Y.) will join the Golden Eagle program next year.
Suarez, a 6-3 guard, is a sophomore at the College of Central Florida. Last year, he helped lead CCF to a 27-3 record and the NJCAA National Championship. He was named First Team All-Mid Florida Conference, Region VII All-Tournament Team and NJCAA All-Tournament Team after scoring 17 points in the championship game.
Through six games this year, Suarez is averaging 14.0 points, 7.0 assists and 4.5 rebounds.
Suarez was the two-time Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Region 4AAAA Player of the Year at Jonesboro High School. In 2011 he was named the GACA Class AAAA South Player of the Year after leading Jonesboro to a 22-3 record.
"Rasham is a proven winner," added Tyndall. "He's won a high school state title, a prep school national title and he won a national championship last year in junior college. In my opinion, he's the best point guard in all of junior college. He's a guy who is tough. He has great size for the point guard position. He can shoot it, he can get to the foul line. But, most importantly, Rasham is a guy who is about winning. He's my type of guy, and with the loss of two senior guards, we're very excited about his addition as well."
Baulkman, a 6-4 wing, is a sophomore at Gulf Coast State College. Last year, he led GCS to a 20-9 record. He averaged 15.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.8 steals while being named First Team All-Panhandle Conference.
Baulkman was a two-time Region 1AAAA Player of the Year at Bainbridge High School. He was named First Team All-State by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution and Class AAAA Honorable Mention by the Georgia Sportswriters Association. Baulkman averaged 20.8 points, 11.0 steals and 7.8 rebounds while leading Bainbridge to a 27-3 record, the Region 1AAAA Championship and a berth in the second round of the Georgia Class AAAA Tournament.
"Devon is a long, athletic wing player that can play multiple positions," said Tyndall. "He plays for a great junior college coach in Jay Powell, who has done a good job of developing his game. He's a guy that can make shots from behind the three-point line, as well as drive it and get to the foul line. In addition to his length and size, we feel like he can be a very good defender. He's a great addition to our program, and we're certainly excited that he will be a part of our basketball family."
Willie Carmichael, a 6-8 forward, is a senior at Wekiva High School. He is the 40th-ranked senior in Florida by SourceHoops.com and the 41st-ranked player in Florida by FloridaHoops.com.
Last year, he averaged 11.2 points and 6.9 rebounds while recording six double-doubles. As a sophomore, he averaged 4.8 points and 4.6 rebounds.
Said Tyndall, "Willie is a long, athletic front-line player. He can play a couple of different positions. He's a great athlete who plays with a high motor. He reminds me of a young Kenneth Faried, in that he plays extremely hard. He runs the floor and is not afraid to compete at the highest level. Willie has had a great high school career thus far. He plays for one of the best high school coach in Florida in Scott Williams. We feel like he has the ability to contribute as a freshman."
McGowens, a 6-6, forward, is currently at Gray Military Academy. He is the two-time South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association 3A Player of the Year. Last year, he averaged 19 points, 11 rebounds and three assists. He led Eastside to a 25-4 record and a berth in the 3A Championship Game, where he scored 28 points and grabbed 19 rebounds. He was also named All-Region All-Greenville County and the Greenville County Player of the Year.
Last year, he represented South Carolina in the Carolinas All-Star Classic.
"Davaris is a two-time South Carolina Player of the Year. He is a combo forward that can create mismatches," said Tyndall. "He's physical and tough, but yet has a nice skill set on the perimeter. He's our type of guy in that he is a tough, competitive guy with a great motor and we're very excited to add him to the program as well."
Avila, a 6-10 center, is finishing up at Seward County CC. He earned first-team all-Region VI honors this past season after averaging 11.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.1 blocked shots and 1.0 assist per game while shooting .580 from the field. He helped the Saints to a 25-8 record after they went 31-7 and finished third in the National Junior College Athletic Association Tournament his freshman season. Both squads won the Jayhawk Conference's West Division.
Avila started all 30 games in which he played as a sophomore and scored in double figures 20 times. He recorded four double-doubles on the season, including a 24-point, 11-rebound effort against Colby Community College.
He is fifth at Seward County in blocks with 76 and sixth in field goal percentage (.580).
At Thomas Jefferson High School, Avila averaged a double-double during his senior season with 14 points and 12 rebounds per game en route to being named All-PSAL Conference.
Added Tyndall, "Edson is a long, athletic defensive presence. He can block shots, he can change shots. He plays very hard at both ends of the floor and can really run, but defensively, he really impacts games. I feel like he's a guy who will continue to develop his offensive skill set and in our system, he can be very impactful."
"With the loss of four seniors, we feel that we are restocking with a group that can come in and play right away. They all bring different things to the mix, and we feel they will be a tremendous asset to our program. My assistant coaches did an outstanding job of getting very good players that, most importantly, fit what we want as student-athletes in our program and style of play."