By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Northern Oklahoma College Enid men’s basketball team’s five latest signees all have something in common — they come from highly successful programs.
Their teams combined for a 117-32 record with two state championships, a state runner-up and a state quarterfinalist.
“They have the pedigree of winning,’’ said Jets assistant coach Ryan Mahoney. “If you’re on a team that wins the state championship or makes the state tournament, you know how to play hard ... you know they don’t take a day off or a possession off.’’
Mahoney said all five know how to “play under pressure.’’
“In college basketball, you’re going to have some adversity,’’ Mahoney said. “You have to learn to fight through it. These kids have shown they can. They have that winning
The new recruits include:
• Corey Alpough, a 6-foot-4 hybird forward from Channel View, Texas, who averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds for a 21-12 team. He was a first-team all-conference selection, but his season was cut short when he broke his finger after it got caught on the net on a dunk.
“He is really athletic and has some really good ball skills,’’ Mahoney said. “When it comes to rebounding, he needs to add some strength and some weight to withstand a college season. The injury set him back a little, but he’s healthy now.’’
• Roy Owens, a 6-6, 240-pounder who averaged 6 points and 3 rebounds in leading Little Rock, Ark., Hall High School to a state championship.
“He’s a big body who can battle inside,’’ Mahoney said. “He’s really crafty. He’s not a great athlete, but he’s able to move people because he’s so much stronger than the other guy. He needs to get his body toned up and fit so he can play longer. We’re counting on him to be one of our enforcers inside and control the paint offensively and defensively.’’
• Josh Palmer, a 6-6 forward who averaged 11 points and 7 rebounds in leading Tulsa Union to the Class 6A state tournament and a 17-10 record. He was an honorable mention All-State selection and a third-team all-conference pick.
“He is really athletic,’’ Mahoney said. “We’re looking at him as that 4 man who can shoot the 17 to 18 foot jumper and take guys to the post. He can be a Jeremy Espinoza, Ben Smith, Wayne Runnels type of player. I know that’s putting a lot of pressure on the kid, but he has the ability to blossom into one of those type players if he works hard enough. A four-guy who can face up can be a handful.’’
Espinoza was an all-region selection for the Jets. Former Jets Smith and Runnels went on to play Division I at Wichita State and Creighton respectively.
• Daryck Jones, a 5-10 combo guard from Midwest City who averaged 15.7 points, four steals and 2.5 steals in taking the Bombers to the state 6A finals. He shot 44 percent from the 3-point line and was both an Oklahoma Basketball Coaches Association All-Star and a Big All-City selection. He was the Region 8 male scholar athlete of the year. He is the second Bomber in the recruiting class, joining Cornell Neal.
“He can really shoot,’’ Mahoney said. “He was one of those streaky shooters where if he makes a couple, he’s dangerous. He had a couple of games where he made six or seven threes. You can’t leave him open. We hope he can play some point guard. We didn’t have enough point guards last year, and hopefully he can take some pressure off the other guys there.’’
• DeAngelo Smith, a 6-1 guard who averaged 18 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals for Class 4A state champion Oklahoma City Douglass. He was both a Little All-City and All-State selection. The Trojans were 26-3. He played alongside All-American Stephen Clark, who is headed to Oklahoma State.
“He’s another combo guy that we hope can play a little one (point guard),’’ Mahoney said. “You kind of like having two of those guys on the court at the same time because it makes it easier to make the outlet pass and makes you harder to defend.
“He’s a really good defender. Coach (head coach Brad Shamburg) and I envision him as one of those lockdown guys. He’s a really good shooter. He’s got that effortless, smooth look when he releases it. I’m excited to have him.’’