Joplin, Mo. — Missouri Southern men’s basketball coach Jeff Boschee has announced the addition of eight newcomers for the 2016-17 basketball team.
The list includes three Division I transfers, two junior college transfers and three high school newcomers. The eight join Dexter Frisbee and Sean Choate who were signed in the early period in 2015. Below are bios of each player. A link to their highlight films can be found at the top of the page.
“I am extremely excited about this freshman class,” Boschee said. “When you add these three guys with Dexter Frisbie and Sean Choate, we believe we have a very talented group. With losing ten guys we knew we wanted to bring in a great freshmen class and I believe we did that. We love Parker Jennings‘ playmaking ability for others and his ability to create shots on his own. Elyjah Clark is someone who we believe could fill the void of losingAustin Wright with his shooting ability. Kinzer Lambert gives us size on the wing with great athleticism and scoring ability. He has a great handle that can play multiple positions in our system. I am excited for our fans to get to know these kids and their families over the next four years.
“This has been the longest and hardest we have had to recruit since I have been at MSSU. I am extremely proud of our staff and the job they did to bring in these five guys. We looked for size, scoring/shooting and playmaking ability. With losing so many seniors to graduation, we knew we had to bring in seasoned guys with experience. I look for each of these guys to have an immediate impact on our program. We have enjoyed getting to know all of these kids, and we are extremely lucky and excited for them to be a part of our program.
“Lawrence Brown gives us a huge rebounding presence and versatility at the forward position. JJ Cratit is a big guard that can play multiple positions and has a knack for getting to the basket. CJ Carr is a quick PG that brings in a ton of experience from SIUE. He fits our up-tempo style and will be looked upon to make an immediate impact. Melton Sandersknows how to find his shot in multiple ways. He is a strong guard that can stretch the defense with his shooting ability. When I first saw James Newton play, the thing that stood out to me was how hard he worked. He is a tough kid who has the ability to shoot the basketball along with being a great defender.”
Lawrence Brown – F – 6-5 – Kansas City, Mo. – The Barstow School (Mercer University)
Prior to Southern (At Mercer) – 2015-16 – Brown played in all 33 games, logging 416 minutes and averaging 12.6 per game … He averaged 3.5 points per game and 2.5 rebounds per game, while shooting 55 percent from the field … He had a season-high 14 points in 22 minutes against East Tennessee and followed that up with a 12 point performance in the season-finale against Coastal Carolina.
2014-15 – Earned playing time in 29 games, averaging 5.1 minutes per game … Recorded 27 points, 31 rebounds, six blocks, five assists and three steals during his sophomore campaign … Logged double-digit minutes in three of the final four games of the season … Had a career day in the SoCon Tournament quarterfinal matchup against VMI (3/6), recording personal bests in minutes played (20), points (nine), rebounds (five) and assists (two) … Posted a career-high two blocks in the season opener against Piedmont (11/14), while adding four points and four rebounds … Grabbed two or more boards in nine games, including four of the final five of the season.
2013-14 – Redshirted and did not play.
2012-13 – Played in 21 games, averaging 3.1 minutes per outing … Grabbed at least one rebound in nine games … Collected two rebounds, a block and a steal in collegiate debut against Sewanee (11/10) … Scored eight points on 3-of-4 shooting against Oglethorpe (11/12) … Was one-of-one from the floor for two points against Illinois-Chicago (11/17) … Collected one rebound and one assist versus Furman (11/25) … Dished two assists, had one rebound and one steal at No. 23 New Mexico (11/28) … Secured one steal in four minutes of work at Florida State (12/2) … Secured a rebound against Alabama A&M (12/8) … Grabbed two rebounds in one minute at Georgia (12/18) … Blocked three shots on one play and grabbed a rebound versus Lipscomb (3/6).
HIGH SCHOOL – Earned four basketball letters and two soccer letters at The Barstow School in Kansas City, Missouri … Named first team All-District and first team All-State in his senior year while being coached by Jeff Boschee … Also played under direction of coach Billy Thomas … Picked up Crossroads All-Conference honors and All-Tournament team selections at both the Cass Midway Invitational Varsity Basketball Tournament and the Archie Tournament … Appeared in the MOSports.com Super50 rankings three straight years … Also spent time competing as a member of the Kansas City 76’ers AAU team for coach Victor Williams, helping the team rise as high as No. 15 in Five Star Basketball’s national rankings in 2011 … Earned the Presidential Service Award.
PERSONAL – Brown is the son of Tracey Davis … Also recruited by UC-Davis, Oral Roberts and Missouri Kansas-City … Intends on majoring in Biomedical Engineering.
CJ Carr – G – 5-8 – Jr. – Rock Island, Ill. – Rock Island HS (Southern Illinois – Edwardsville)
Prior to Southern (at SIUE) – 2015-16 – Third leading scorer…Averaged 7.5 points per game…Led the team with 88 assists (3.1 a game)…Dished out a career-best nine assists vs. Belmont 1/6…Scored a season-high 16 points in SIUE’s win at SIU Carbondale 12/9…Earned OVC Co-Player of the Week honors 12/14…The second OVC Player of the Week award in program history…Fourth on the team with 26 three-pointer made…Tied career high with three triples at Butler 11/28…Scored in double figures seven times…Led the team in scoring on three different occasions…Second on the team with 28 steals (1.0 per game)…Appeared in all 28 games…Made 23 starts.
2014-15 – Appeared in all 28 games as a true freshman…Finished sixth on the team in scoring with an average of 6.2 points per game…Second in assists with 61 (2.17 per game)…Connected on 15 straight free throws and 29 of his last 31 free throw attempts to end the season…Poured in a career-high 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting in home finale against UT Martin 2/21…Led the team with 15 points (7 for 7 free throws) in the OVC Tournament game loss to Eastern Illinois 3/4…Had career high three steals three times, last at Austin Peay 2/26…Drained career-high three three-pointers on eight attempts vs. UT Martin 2/21…Scored 18 points at Southeast Missouri 1/29 where he was 10 for 10 at the free throw line…Hauled in a career-high six rebounds vs. Robert Morris-Springfield 12/28, where he also added a career-high six assists…Also dished out a career-high six assists at Portland State 11/24…Recorded the first, of five, double-digit scoring game (10 points) at Portland 11/22-also led the team with five assists and no turnovers…Scored nine points and added three assists in collegiate debut against Harris-Stowe 11/14.
High School – Earned Class 4A All-State honors from Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (third team) and Associated Press (Honorable mention) as a senior…Chosen as the Dispatch/Argus Metro Player of the Year in back-to-back years as a junior and senior…All Big 6 First team choice as a senior…Averaged 14.1 points and 4.7 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game as a senior… All-Western Big 6 Player of the Year as a junior…Also All-Metro choice by the Quad Cities Times…Special mention All-State (IBCA) as a junior.
Personal – Carr is the son of Chris and Connie Carr … He is a psychology major at Southern.
Elyjah Clark – G- 6-2 – Fr. – Edmond, Okla. – Deer Creek HS
Prior to Southern – Clark prepped at Deer Creek HS for coach Matt Bailey where he was a four-year letter winner for the Deer … The school’s all-time leader in scoring, he was a three-year starter and also has the second-highest single-game scoring mark with 40 … As a senior, Clark averaged 25.5 points and was an All-Conference selection … As a junior he was also an All-Conference pick … Clark finished his career being selected to the COAC All-Star Game and was named a Big All-City All-Star … He also played football at Deer Creek.
Personal – Clark is the son of Steven and Jennifer Clark … he intends to major in business at Southern.
JJ Cratit – G – 6-4 – Sr. – Miami, Fla. – South Miami Senior HS (Central Connecticut State)
Prior to Southern – Cratit comes to Southern after a year at Central Connecticut State University … In 2015-16: Played in 19 games, including five starts…Averaged 7.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 18.6 minutes per game…Scored in double-figures in four games…Scored a season-high 20 points at Boston College (11/19) and grabbed four rebounds…Shot 7-of-16 from the floor and 6-of-8 at the foul line against the Eagles…Scored 11 points in season-high 33 minutes against Binghamton (11/24)…Scored 10 points at LIU Brooklyn (2/25) and 17 points with six rebounds against Fairleigh Dickinson (2/27) in back-to-back games to close out the season…Had seven steals and six blocks on the season.
Prior to Central: Played two seasons at Lewis & Clark Junior College in Godfrey, IL…Played in 26 games as a sophomore, starting 23 and averaging 14.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game…Shot 39.2 percent from three-point range…Posted eight 20-point games in 2014-15, including a season-high 26…Played in 27 games with 22 starts as a freshman and averaged 7.7 points and 3.0 rebounds per game…Attended South Miami Senior High.
Personal – Cratit is the son of Josephine and Kelvin Cratit … He is a communications major at Southern.
Parker Jennings – G – 5-10 – Fr. – Bixby, Okla. – Bixby HS
Prior to Southern – Jennings was a three-time letter winner for coach Scott Padek at Bixby High School … His senior season, Jennings averaged 19 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 4.8 assists en route to a first-team All-Conference selection … As a junior, he was a second-team All-Conference selection … In his career, Jennings is a two-time All-Metro pick, while also earning All-Region and All-State honors as a senior … He was an Academic All-State pick all four seasons.
Personal – Jennings is the son of Shane and Jami Jennings … He is undecided on his future major at Southern.
Kinzer Lambert – G – 6-4 – Fr. – Owasso, Okla. – Owasso HS
Prior to Southern – Lambert was a four-year letter winner for coach Mark Vancuren at Owasso High School … His senior season, Lambert averaged 21 points, seven rebounds and 3.5 assists per game … He was a second-team All-Conference pick as a junior, while being named All-State and All-Metro his senior season where he was named the Conference MVP … Lambert helped the Rams to back-to-back state tournament appearances.
Personal – Lambert is the son of Michael Lambert … he is undecided on his future major at Southern.
James Newton – G – 5-10 – Jr. – Coffeyville, Kan. – Field Kindley HS (Dodge City CC)
Prior to Southern – Newton comes to Southern after two seasons at Dodge City Community College in Kansas … As a sophomore at DCCC, Newton played in all 30 games, starting 26, and averaged 12.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game … he shot 43 percent from the field and 36 percent from long-range, while hitting 73 percent of his free-throws.
In High School – Newton was a four-time letter winner at Field Kindley HS where he played for coach Tyler Thompson … A four-time All-Conference selection in basketball, Newton was also a three-time All-Conference pick in football, as well as a three-time conference champion in track and field … He was a three-time All-State pick in both basketball and football … Newton averaged 20 points, five assists, seven rebounds and four steals in his high school career … He was a two-time Kansas 100m state champion.
Personal – Newton is the son of Tara Newton … He is an education major at Southern.
Melton Sanders – G – 6-2 – Jr. – Ft. White, Fla. – Ft. White HS (Indian River CC)
Prior to Southern – Sanders comes to Southern after two years at Indian River State College in Florida … As a sophomore, Sanders averaged 18 points per game, five rebounds per game and three assists … He scored a career-high 30 points against Santa Fe Community College … He was named an All-Conference selection in both his freshman and sophomore seasons.
In High School – Sanders prepped at Ft. White High School where he played for coach Isaiah Phillips … A four-year letter winner on the basketball court, Sanders was a three-year letter winner in football, as well … A four-year All-Area pick, Sanders was All-State his senior season when he averaged 24 points, six rebounds and five assists per game … He scored a career high 44 points against Hamilton County High School.
Personal – Sanders is the son of Donnell and Tracy Sanders … He is a public communications major at Southern.