April 14, 2010
LARAMIE, Wyo. - With the national signing period for men's basketball beginning today, University of Wyoming head coach Heath Schroyer announced that four student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to attend UW and play for the Cowboys.
The class includes: Francisco Cruz, the No. 22 ranked junior college scorer in the nation; Brian Gibson, the top junior college rebounder in the nation; Joe Hudson, a highly-touted high school guard who earned All-San Diego honors; and Luke Martinez, a Second Team Junior College All-American and the No. 25 ranked junior college scorer in the nation.
"With this class our staff really focused on addressing specific needs," Schroyer said. "There are two areas where we need to improve and that is in our perimeter shooting and our rebounding. With this group of young men we addressed both of those areas. I think these four players will complete our team.
"All four of these young men are very good people. We didn't sacrifice character or academics and that is of the utmost importance to me. They are all quality people and they will fit nicely within our program."
Following is a look at the 2010-11 Cowboy basketball signees:
Francisco Cruz, 6-4, Guard, Nogales, Mexico (Western Nebraska Community College, Scottsbluff, Neb.)
Francisco Cruz signs with the Cowboys after a two-year career at Western Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff, Neb. This past season, Cruz ranked No. 22 in the nation in scoring among National Junior College Division I players. He was also a First Team All-Region 9 selection.
As a sophomore, Cruz averaged 20.0 points, made 92 three pointers and shot 47 percent from three-point land. He shot 45 percent from the field and 78 percent from the free-throw line. He also averaged 6.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.0 steals a game. He started all 32 games and helped lead the Cougars to a 19-13 overall record. His best game of the season came when he scored 41 points in a win over Eastern Wyoming. On the year, Cruz made three or more three pointers in 18 of 32 games.
As a freshman at WNCC, Cruz knocked down 41 three pointers and scored 460 points. He was selected as the school's most valuable male athlete.
In his career at WNCC, Cruz became only the 12th player in school history to score over 1,000 career points. He ended his career with 1,099 points.
Cruz, who was born in Nogales, Mexico, moved to Denver prior to his junior year of high school. In Denver, Cruz prepped at Abraham Lincoln High School and won the 4A State Title both seasons. As a senior at Abraham Lincoln, Cruz was named the Class 4A Player of the Year by both the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News. Both publications also selected him as the Most Valuable Player of the Colorado State Tournament. He played in three Colorado all-state games.
Cruz goes by the name Paco. He will be a junior next season for the Cowboys.
Brian Gibson, 6-8, Forward, Baton Rouge, La. (Delgado Community College, New Orleans, La.)
Gibson, the top junior college rebounder in the nation, will transfer to Wyoming from Delgado Community College in New Orleans, La. Gibson will be a sophomore next season for the Cowboys.
Gibson was the leading rebounder in the nation this past season, averaging 14.6 rebounds per game. He also scored the basketball at an average of 12.2 points per game and averaged 2.3 blocks, 1.1 assists and 0.9 steals a game. He had single-game highs of 27 rebounds and five blocks. He served as a team captain and also excelled academically, carrying a grade-point average of over 3.0.
Gibson, 25, did not travel a typical route to end up as a Cowboy. He went directly to work after high school and didn't begin playing college basketball until the 2008-09 season. That year, he played in just three games before he was involved in a car accident and forced to miss the remainder of the season with injury. However, he did not lose a year of eligibility that season and thus has three years of eligibility remaining.
Joe Hudson, 6-1, Guard, Escondido, Calif. (Escondido High School)
Joe Hudson comes to Wyoming from Escondido, Calif., where he enjoyed a highly touted prep career at Escondido High School. Just this past weekend, he was selected as the North team's MVP in San Diego's annual Senior All-Star game.
As a senior Hudson was named the Avocado League Player of the Year, as well as a First Team All-Acocado selection, by the San Diego Hall of Champions. He was also named to the First Team All-San Diego Section team.
During his senior year, Hudson averaged 23.6 points a game and made 112 three pointers, while shooting 44 percent from the field, 39 percent from three-point range and 74 percent from the charity stripe. He also averaged 3.1 assists and 2.4 steals a game. He was a team captain for the Cougars.
He was selected as the San Diego News Network Prep Athlete of the Week on Feb. 22 after scoring a career high 40 points in a win over then No. 1 ranked Torrey Pines High School. He also had a terrific game against Foothills Christian and hit eight three pointers.
As a junior, Hudson was a First Team All-North County and First Team All-Avocado League performer. That season he averaged 21.3 points a game and knocked down 85 three pointers.
Hudson was also recruited by Cornell.
Luke Martinez, 6-4, Guard, Bismarck, N.D. (Williston State College, Williston, N.D.)
Martinez comes to Wyoming after an exceptional two-year junior college career at Williston State College in Williston, N.D. His career was highlighted by earning Second Team All-America honors for NJCAA Division I following this past season.
Following both his freshman and sophomore seasons at Williston State, Martinez was a first team all-conference and all-region selection. He was his region's Most Valuable Player as a sophomore and helped lead Williston State to a 25-7 record during the 2009-10 season.
Martinez, a Bismarck, N.D. native, was one of the top junior college scorers in the nation last season and ranked 25th nationally with 19.7 points per game. He is a tremendous perimeter shooter and made 99 three pointers, while shooting 39 percent from three-point range. He averaged 5.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.5 steals. He also shot 54 percent from the field and 84 percent from the free-throw line. One of his best games of the season came in the state of Wyoming, as he scored 31 points in a game at Casper College on Nov. 6.
Martinez will have two years of eligibility remaining and will be a junior next season for the Cowboys.