HIGH POINT, N.C. — The High Point University men’s basketball team has inked two more recruits to National Letters of Intent, bringing the program’s total commitment to four for the upcoming season, head coach Scott Cherry announced on Thursday. Guards Derrell Edwards and Adam Weary join previous signees Cliff Cornish and Lorenzo Cugini.
“Signing Derrell and Adam will help us replace what we’re graduating in our backcourt,” said Cherry. “We’re losing two great players – Nick Barbour and Shay Shine – who combined for 35 points a game last season. Adding these two will help us in that area. Along with our signees from the fall, Cliff and Lorenzo, we have four great additions. They are high character individuals from winning programs who will help us continue to build our team.”
Edwards is a 6-foot-2 guard who played for 2012 NJCAA national champ South Plains College in Levelland, Texas. In two seasons, Edwards averaged 8.2 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists. He was named honorable mention All-Conference in 2010-11 after averaging 12.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists while starting 19 of 29 games. He was a backup guard on the national championship team, which went 36-0 last season.
“Derrell is a little bit older, being a junior college player,” said Cherry. “He’s very strong, athletic and can really shoot the ball and defend. Derrell takes it as a challenge to defend the best player on the other team. Offensively, he’s going to be able to step in right away and produce. He can shoot threes or drive the ball to the basket and has shown he’s willing to play any role to help his team win.”
In high school, Edwards played with rising HPU sophomore Devante Wallace at Dunbar in Baltimore, Md. Edwards was named first-team All-Metro as a senior after averaging 24 points and leading his team to the state championship in 2010.
Weary is 6-foot-2, 180 pounds and comes from Ridgeway High School in Memphis, Tenn., where he helped his team to a 31-2 record and the No. 1 ranking in Tennessee according to MaxPreps. His team was ranked in the top 10, nationally, throughout the season. Weary averaged 15.2 points, four rebounds and three assists as a senior, earning team MVP honors.
“Adam is a multi-dimensional player on the perimeter. He was a scoring guard in high school but we will ask him to play the point as well,” said Cherry. “He’s athletic and can shoot the three or take people off the bounce. He’s great with the ball in his hands but he can come off screens and score. Adam also gives us an added element on the defensive end. He can get down in his stance and defend on the perimeter.”
Weary was also MVP of the regional state tournament and earned his school’s Athletic Scholar Award. He played in the Tennessee East-West All-Star game and scored 17 points. As a freshman and sophomore, Weary helped his team win Tennessee 3A state championships.
Cornish is a 6-foot-8 power forward out of North County High School in Glen Burnie, Md. Cugini joins the Panthers after four years at St. Vincent-St. Mary’s in Ohio. He is a 6-foot-6 forward. The Panthers also gain the services of 6-foot-7 forward John Brown, who was Florida 1A Player of the Year in 2009-10. Brown played in prep school in 2010-11 and redshirted last season at HPU.
Cherry expects to add more recruits for the 2012-13 season.
The Panthers return nine players who got playing time last season as the team went 13-18 overall and 8-10 in the Big South. HPU went 6-3 in the last nine regular-season games. The 2012-13 season will be Cherry’s fourth as head coach.