BY JEFF EVANS, Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Cal State Bakersfield has added two more pieces to the 2011-12 men's basketball team while preparing to move on without standout shooting guard Alex Johnson.
New coach Rod Barnes has announced the fifth and sixth signings of new players for next season: Adam Young, a 6-foot-8, 245-pound junior post player from Barton Community College in Great Bend, Kan., and incoming freshman Ben Davis, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound guard from Christian Faith Center Academy (N.C.).
Johnson, who is about to earn his degree at CSUB, has one year of eligibility remaining and indicated he has requested his release. But Johnson added he "is still deciding" on whether to return to CSUB.
"I have no idea right now," Johnson said. "I don't have my release and I'm not focused on basketball. My main focus is graduating."
If Johnson departs, he'll be the third player from last season's squad to leave CSUB with eligibility remaining. CSUB announced earlier this spring that two freshmen from last season, forward De'Aundray Robinson and guard Reynaul Baker, were leaving.
Barnes said Johnson is looking at "playing at a higher level" and pursuing his master's in an academic program not offered at CSUB.
"Alex's reason is a legit situation, but he hasn't left yet," Barnes said. "But you have to prepare for that."
Johnson ranked third among CSUB scorers last season with a 13.3 average and had a team-high 79 3-pointers, the third-most 3s in a single season by a CSUB player in the program's history. He is No. 2 on CSUB's all-time career list with 165 3s.
Barnes said he hopes to add at least one more player and is hoping to have CSUB's 2011-12 roster, and schedule, finalized this month.
As for the newest signees, Barnes said Young will provide an inside presence in shoring up an area where CSUB was seeking more talent and depth.
Young averaged 9.3 points and nine rebounds per game at Barton last season and led the team in rebounding 17 times. His career-high in scoring is 20 points. He played 27 games at Alabama A&M as a freshman. "Adam is a big guy that's skilled, a very, very good rebounder and defensive player that can play both center and forward," Barnes said. "He's a hard worker who comes from a fundamentally sound program."
Davis also played for Grassroots, an elite Amateur Athletic Union program from Canada where he averaged 12 points, six rebounds and five assists a game.
"Ben is a really athletic guard that can shoot with great range," Barnes said.
The first four players Barnes signed included three junior college transfers who will be juniors next season: Mo Hughley, 6-foot-7 forward from Paris Junior College (Texas); Tyrone White, a 6-foot-6 guard-forward from North Idaho College; and Jordan Walker, a 6-foot-6 junior forward from Midland (Texas) CC.
Annual barbecue tonight
The 39th annual CSUB Spring Barbecue will be held tonight at the Icardo Center.
Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. They can be purchased at gorunners.com, and at Bakersfield-area Vons stores, Wells Fargo Banks, Food Maxx, Mexicali Restaurants and Russo's Books at The Marketplace. The menu includes a New York steak or teriyaki chicken. Proceeds benefit CSUB's student athlete scholarship fund.
Call 661-654-3473 for more information.