Faulkner has added five players to its 2012-13 men's basketball roster, according to head coach Jim Sanderson.
The Eagles, who finished 17-13 last season, certainly have needs to fill, having lost all-conference performers Chris Palmore and Adam Okechukwu as well as starting forward Decorey Jones to graduation. Sanderson feels the new additions will go a long way in helping secure a successful future for the Faulkner program.
"We're trying to add some depth and also trying to get some inside punch, and hopefully we've done that," said Sanderson, who along with assistant coach Jeremy Monceaux have been working tirelessly on the recruiting trail. "It's hard to replace guys like Chris, Adam and Decorey, but I think we will be able to go a little deeper into our bench this next season. We feel pretty good about the core of players we have back, and our returning guys realize they're going to have to show some leadership for us to be successful at the level we expect."
The five new players are Nick McHenry, a 5-10 point guard from Shelton State Community College (Ala.); Dimar Hill, a 6-3 wing from McEachern High School (Ga.); Maurice Whitely, a 6-4 wing from Pensacola State Junior College (Fla.); Gerard Gore, a 6-5 forward from Cleveland State Community College (Tenn.); and Anthony Johnson, a 6-8 center from Otero Junio College (Colo.).
McHenry helped guide the Bucs to a 28-4 record last season and a spot in the region championship game, averaging nine points and five assists per game. He was selected to the all-conference team and was a second team all-region choice. A graduate of Greenville High School, McHenry will have two years of eligibility.
Hill enjoyed a stellar high school career in Powder Springs, Ga., averaging 24 points, six rebounds and six assists his senior season. He was the 5A, Region 4 player of the year and was a second team all-state selection. Sanderson believes Hill will be able to contribute at multiple positions for the Eagles.
Whitely competed in the extremely tough Panhandle Conference in junior college, and helped guide the Pirates to a 22-8 record last season while averaging six points and six rebounds a game. With two years of eligibility remaining, Whitely is expected to bring athleticism, rebounding and toughness to the Eagles' frontcourt.
Gore, originally from Antigua, averaged five points and six rebounds a game in his last season in junior college as Cleveland State made a deep run in its conference tournament. He should add depth and physicality to Faulkner's front line.
Johnson played a key role in Otero's run to the Elite Eight of the national junior college tournament and will provide a post presence on both ends of the floor for the Eagles the next two seasons.