Turgeon Adds Three Players To Program

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COLLEGE STATION – Three high school basketball standouts have signed national letters-of-intent to play college basketball at Texas A&M, head coach Mark Turgeon said Wednesday.

Naji Hibbert (Baltimore, Md.), Khris Middleton (North Charleston, S.C.) and Kourtney Roberson (Arcadia, La.) will join the Aggies for the 2009-10 season. Turgeon expects to sign an additional player before the early signing period ends.

The class is ranked as the 16th-best in the nation by ESPN recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons. All three players are rated among the nation’s top 100 prospects by ESPN.com.

Texas A&M Coach Mark Turgeon

“Overall, we are very pleased with our early signings. We feel like we have added some length, speed and skill. All four of these players will add an exciting piece to our puzzle and we are happy they are joining our Texas A&M basketball family. They are each very talented basketball players, but more importantly, they are high-character kids.”

ESPN Recruiting Analyst Bob Gibbons

“Texas A&M definitely has a national top 20 class that is very geographically diverse. I have them currently ranked No. 16 in the country. That can fluctuate a little based on the remaining uncommitted prospects and their choice of school. The bottom line is that Mark Turgeon and his staff have put together another outstanding and versatile class that is full of great players and hi-caliber kids.”

NAJI HIBBERT, G, 6-5, 180, Baltimore, Md. (DeMatha Catholic HS)

Hibbert is a 6-foot-5 guard from Dematha Catholic High School, long regarded as one of the nation’ top prep programs. He is ranked No. 59 nationally by ESPN.com and is rated as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com. Hibbert earned all-league and all-metro honors as a junior after averaging 17.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.1 steals per game. Hibbert also was recruited by Syracuse, Marquette, Maryland, Clemson, Xavier and Miami.

Naji Hibbert

“I couldn’t have gone anywhere else but Texas A&M because they believed in me. They recruited me hard. I just felt it was the best place for me, that I would get playing time, and it is where I could be successful. They had so much interest and they believed in me from day one, and if I wasn’t playing well they still would have wanted me. I appreciated them being great people, and I think Coach Turgeon believes in me and that I could be a great player in his system. I’m a family-type guy and when I took my visit, I already felt like I was on the team. Texas A&M may not have the history of schools like Kentucky, Indiana and Georgetown, but it’s an elite program. They win. They have great facilities, a new practice arena and they have a great fan base in a college town that revolves around the university. It has everything I was looking for. Coach Turgeon is a humble guy who gives it to you straight. The players are close like a family and there are no egos.”

Texas A&M Coach Mark Turgeon

“Naji is a great kid who fell in love with Texas A&M, his future teammates and coaches. He is a very versatile player who can do a lot of different things. Naji can shoot the three, score in the mid-range on pull-ups and off-screens, and he can get all the way to the basket. He also has great feel and vision for the game, as well as the ability to be one of our top defenders. Naji comes out of one of the top high school programs in the country in DeMatha High School. Coach Jones and Coach Atkins are doing a great job with him, helping him understand the importance of being a complete player who brings it everyday.”

DeMatha Coach Mike Jones

“One of Naji’s strengths is he’s very versatile and can play three positions at the Division I level. He handles the ball, can shoot, can create space to get his jump shot or get to the rim, and is one of our better rebounders, especially on the offensive end. He’s got potential to be a great defender because of his length. He grew by leaps and bounds last season.”

AAU Coach Carlton Carrington (Team Melo)

“Texas A&M is getting a good player and great person in Naji Hibbert. Naji’s signing with A&M will open the door to the East coast for A&M similar to the University of Texas signing Kevin Durant. I am excited for Naji and his family, he is joining a prestigious university and a big time basketball program. Coach Turgeon and his staff have done a great job making myself and the Hibbert’s feel like a part of the Aggie Basketball Family.”

ESPN Recruiting Analyst Bob Gibbons

“Hibbert comes from one of the top high school programs in America and is an excellent shooter and scorer. He is a tough kid who will be a very valuable player for the Aggies.”

KHRIS MIDDLETON, F, 6-7, 195, South Charleston, S.C. (Porter-Gaud School)

Middleton, a 6-foot-7 forward from Porter-Gaud School, is rated No. 64 by ESPN.com, which also ranks him as the best shooter among the nation’s small forward prospects. Middleton averaged 21.0 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists as a junior, earning state player of the year honors (Class 3A SCISA). Middleton also was recruited by Syracuse, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Clemson, Michigan, Tennessee, St. Joseph, Charlotte, Oklahoma, Georgia, SMU and Georgia Tech.

Khris Middleton

“I chose Texas A&M because of the excellent reputation of both the academic and basketball programs. Their basketball program is outstanding, but they also have a great academic program. That’s a huge reason why I picked A&M. I have all the confidence in the world that Coach Turgeon and the rest of the coaching staff will seek my best interest on and off the basketball court. I would also like to thank Porter-Gaud for preparing me for college and creating a great academic situation for my high school career.”

Texas A&M Coach Mark Turgeon

“Khris is a great young man who comes from a great family. His mom and dad have done a great job of teaching Khris the right values to be successful in life. Khris is one of the best shooters in the country at his position. He can shoot the three spotting up or coming off screens. Khris has a great feel for the game and for his height he can really pass and dribble, which will fit great into our system. We are excited about Khris because we feel he has a big upside. With another inch or two plus working hard in the weight room, the sky is the limit for him.”

Porter-Gaud Coach John Pearson

“I couldn’t be more proud of Khris Middleton and his basketball accomplishments here at Porter-Gaud School. Texas A&M is a great choice for Khris to further his academic and basketball career. The coaches there are excellent and committed to each student athlete. I know that Khris will be an asset to the Texas A&M team as he is a great player and athlete, but he will be equally beneficial to the A&M student body and community. He is a tremendous person, and his choice of school is a perfect fit.”

Scout.com Recruiting Analyst Dave Telep

“He has great size and his value comes from his ability to shoot the ball behind the line. He can stretch a defense and put pressure on opponents to account for him on the court.”

ESPN Recruiting Analyst Bob Gibbons:

“Middleton is a highly skilled wing forward with the ability to make three-point shots and is an unselfish, team-oriented player. He has a high basketball I.Q. and should be an impact player for the Aggies.”

ESPN.com

“Middleton is a thin, wiry athlete who uses his explosiveness to enhance his game. He is a long-range shooter with NBA 3-point range. His range and accuracy could make him one of the top offensive players in the Class of 2009.”

KOURTNEY ROBERSON, F, 6-9, 215, Arcadia, La. (Arcadia HS)

Roberson, a 6-foot-9 forward from Arcadia High School, is the half-brother of Bernard King, A&M’s all-time leading scorer who played from 1999-03. Rated No. 87 nationally by ESPN.com, Roberson earned first-team all-state honors as a junior after averaging 18 points and 10 rebounds in leading his team to the state semifinals. He earned first-team all-state honors and is regarded by some publications as the top prospect in Louisiana this year. Roberson also was recruited by LSU, Southern California, West Virginia, Texas and Louisiana Tech.

Kourtney Roberson

“It’s a great school academically and I really like the closeness of the coaches and players. I felt comfortable there and my brother said it was a great place to go to school. I like how A&M treated me and it’s a good school. It’s a good fit for me. The players and coaches are what made A&M stand out. They are good guys and I feel like they will treat me right. You can talk to the coaches about anything. I have good ball handling skills and I’m a good rebounder. They told me what I need to work on and that I should be able to come in and help them right away.”

Texas A&M Coach Mark Turgeon

“We are very excited about the opportunity to coach Kourtney. For his size, he is a player who has a lot of skill and instincts for the game. His best basketball is in front of him. Kourtney is a great example of the type of player we are bringing in to our program. At 6-9, he has the ability to do a lot of different things for us on the court. He has a chance to be a great defender and great all around offensive player for us.”

Arcadia Coach Shane Lee

“Kourtney has really looked forward to signing with Texas A&M. It is a dream come true for him to play at A&M and follow in his brothers footsteps. He is excited about playing for a young and energetic coach like Coach Turgeon. Kourtney loves how close-knit the Texas A&M Basketball family is.”

ESPN.com Recruiting Coordinator Antonio Williams

“In Roberson, Coach Mark Turgeon adds another talented recruit with a great deal of upside. He attacks the boards with aggression on both ends and points usually result from offensive rebounds and put-backs. He also has good athleticism which allows him to get out and score in transition. Reoberson plays the game with great intensity and displays the toughness necessary to compete on the interior.”

ESPN.com Recruiting Analyst Bob Gibbons

“Roberson is a quality big man with great size. He is a good rebounder and shot blocker. With his developing scoring ability, good athleticism, and toughness he has the tools to be a very effective post player for the Aggies”




 
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