– In his first recruiting class, head coach Bob Marlin announced on Tuesday that four players have signed National Letters of Intent to suit up for Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns men’s basketball team in the 2011-12 season.
“We are excited to have these young men join our program,” said UL head coach Bob Marlin. “They are all outstanding players but more importantly they are all outstanding people. We look forward to seeing them contribute to the success of UL basketball.”
Junior college players Odayne Clarke, Kadeem Coleby and Darnell Jackson, along with high school athlete Kentwan Smith will step on the court for the Cajuns next year.
Clarke (forward, 6-6, 265) comes to Louisiana from Hill College in Hillsboro, Texas. He was tabbed First Team All-North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference after averaging 12.0 ppg and 8.1 rpg in the 2009-10 season. During conference play, his numbers increased to 15.0 ppg and 8.5 rpg. A native of Mount Vernon, N.Y., Clarke took official visits to Houston and Utah State before signing with the Cajuns. Rated as a top-100 JUCO player, Clarke had strong interest from Utah, Boston College and Western Kentucky during his recruitment.
Coleby (forward/center, 6-10, 235) hails from Nassau, Bahamas and spent time playing at Odessa College (2009-10) and Daytona State (2010-11). A rivals three-star recruit, he originally signed with Louisiana Tech in 2008 before heading to the JUCO ranks. In limited action at Odessa, he averaged 1.7 ppg and 2.7 rpg. As a prep senior in the Bahamas, he averaged 12.0 ppg, 10 rpg and 2.0 bpg. And like current teammate Scottie Farrington, Coleby was also a member of the Bahamian Junior National Team. This year at Daytona State, he is averaging 9.6 ppg and 6.0 rpg through the season’s first few contests. Other schools that showed interest were Cincinnati, Memphis, Iowa, South Florida and Wichita State.
Jackson (point guard, 6-4, 210) is a Rivals.com/JUCO Junction Top-150 player this season. While at USC-Salkehatchie last season, the Savannah, Ga. native averaged 8.0 ppg and 3.6 apg to go along with 4.5 rpg. For his efforts he earned second team honors on the Carolinas Junior College All-Conference Team. Against East Georgia College last season, he recorded his first triple-double with 17 ppg, 14 rpg and 10 assists. He also had five steals in the contests. Other schools that showed interest were Minnesota, Nebraska, Wichita State, Tulane and Utah State.
Smith (guard/small forward, 6-8, 185) attends Piney Woods High School in Piney Woods, Miss. Born in Freeport, Bahamas he averaged a double-double last season with 15.9 ppg and 10.1 rpg. Currently, Hoop Scoop rates Smith as the 12th best recruit of the 2011 class from Mississippi. In 2009-10, he led the Tornadoes to a 19-7 record. In every game, he reached double-digit rebounds and broke the 20-point barrier on six occasions. Smith declined offers from Missouri State, Chattanooga and FIU to play at UL. He also had strong interest from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Georgetown, Marquette, Villinova and Wichita State.