Gents nab five newcomers
Tuesday, August 28, 2012

SHREVEPORT – After a quick turnaround in 2011-12, improving from one win to 11 in just a season, Centenary is gearing up for another strong showing in 2012-13 by adding five to the roster.

Four freshmen and a junior college transfer will suit up for the Gents this year, joining 11 returners from last year’s 11-11 squad.

For the second consecutive year we can say that not only are we very proud of the character of the young men that have joined our program, but we can also say we have added more basketball talent to our program,” said head coach Adam Walsh, who’s entering his third year at the helm. “We are developing a great pattern in our recruiting that includes the intangibles needed to build a strong winning tradition. (Assistant) Coach (Justin) LeBlanc continues to work tirelessly on the recruiting trail.”

Brett Bell, a 6-foot-6 forward joins Centenary after earning two letters in football and basketball at Flower Mound High School, where he earned First-Team All-District honors in both sports. He gleaned Most Valuable Player honors in 2011-12 for his basketball team, setting two school rebounding records. He broke the single-season record (277) and single-game record (24). He broke the single-game record three times. He averaged 12 points, nine rebound and two assists his senior season and recorded a triple-double against Plano West.

“We are very excited about Brett’s upside and his versatility,” Walsh said. “This will be his first year focusing on one sport and we expect his development to be significant in a short amount of time.”

Simeon Brinkley is the lone JUCO transfer, coming from Mountain View College after a two-year career there. He helped lead Mountain View to a NJCAA Division III National Championship, finishing 28-6, following a conference championship.

“We expect the experiences that Simeon brings with him as a transfer to be a great addition to the program,” Walsh said. “Not everyone can say they have experienced winning a national title, but Simeon can, and we hope the knowledge of what it takes to be successful will carry over here with us.”

Brinkley’s high school career spanned two schools, H. Grady Spruce HS (2005-08) and James Madison HS (2008-09). Brinkley won a State Championship in his senior year at James Madison, where he was an integral part of the 34-4 championship squad. The 6-2 guard posted three 16-point efforts in the 2009 state title run and was ranked as the No. 65 shooting guard in Texas and No. 16 in Dallas his final year.

Andrew Erskine joins Centenary after earning First-Team All-District and District MVP honors his senior year at Victoria High School. The Victoria, Texas, native averaged 19.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game in his final year, leading the Warriors to the playoffs in his final two seasons. The 6-foot guard helped guide his summer AAU team to the Las Vegas Tournament Championship in 2012.

“As the knowledgeable son of a coach and a four-year member of the varsity squad, Drew adds tremendous basketball IQ and great toughness,” Walsh said.

David Gerhart, a 6-7 forward, poured in 17.5 points per game and grabbed 11.2 rebounds per game at Klein High School. He also swatted 2.5 blocks per contest. The Klein, Texas, native recorded 19 double-doubles and hit 53% of his 3-pointers last year. He helped the Bearkats to the second round of the Texas State playoffs.

“David brings much needed size to our program,” Walsh said. “We think that he will be a great compliment with all of our returning pieces and bring depth to one of our slimmest positions.”

Deavonte (DJ) Hicks rounds out the class of five. The 6-3 forward finished his career at Denton High School with First-Team All-District and Second-Team All-Area accolades. He was named MVP of his team, along with Academic Player of the Year twice. He served as the captain of his team his senior year, averaging nearly 15 points and 11 rebounds per game.

“As an undersized power forward in high school, DJ excelled,” Walsh said. “That exact same opportunity is available for him in our conference and in the way we are going to play.”