May 10, 2005
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
University of Wyoming head basketball coach Steve McClain announced on Tuesday the signing of two student-athletes to national letters of intent. Daaron Brown of Compton Community College in Compton, Calif., and Brad Jones of the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, a community college in Fort Smith, Ark.
Daaron Brown is a 6'9", 250-pound forward/center from Compton Community College in Compton, Calif. He averaged 9.0 points and 5.8 rebounds per game as a freshman in the 2003-04 season, while shooting 57 percent from the field and 72 percent from the free-throw line. Brown redshirted the 2004-05 season due to a back injury. He was a teammate of current Cowboy Kevin Lewis at Compton Community College. Brown helped Compton CC to the 2004 California State Junior College Championship.
Compton finished the 2003-04 season with a 17-8 record. It became only the third team in California Community College history to win three regional playoff games on the road to earn a spot in the state tournament, and was the first of those three teams to go on to win the state title. The Compton Tartars trailed by five points (33-38) at halftime of the state championship game, but turned up the defensive pressure in the second half, out-scoring American River Community College 49 to 39 in the final period on way to an 82-77 victory.
Lewis was coached in junior college by Damaine Powell.
The son of Angie Brown, he was also recruited by Oklahoma, USC, Arizona State and Creighton.
"Daaron (Brown) is a young man who brings a toughnesss to our program," said McClain. "He will provide us both rebounding and scoring inside. His competiveness and toughness reminds me of Uche (Nsonwu-Amadi, who played for Wyoming from 2000-01 to 2002-03). I also expect Daaron to be an effective defender inside for us, much like Uche was. The added positive for us is that Daaron has three years of eligibility remaining."
Brad Jones is a 6'0", 170-pound point guard out of Arkansas-Fort Smith. Jones averaged 10.7 points per game and 6.5 assists per game his freshman season of 2004-05. Arkansas-Fort Smith posted a 29-4 record for the 2004-05 season, and ended the regular season ranked No. 4 in the nation among National Junior College Athletic Association teams.
UAFS captured the Bi-State Conference East Division Championship, and advanced all the way to the NJCAA Region II Championship game before losing by four points, 74-78, to Seminole State College of Seminole, Okla. Jones played for head coach Jeremy Cox at Arkansas-Fort Smith. Cox was a former graduate assistant basketball coach at the University of Wyoming under Benny Dees in 1991.
Jones is originally from Marked Tree, Ark., where he played at Marked Tree High School. His senior season of 2003-04, he averaged 26.3 points, 10.1 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game. He helped lead Marked Tree High to a 20-7 record. His high school coach was Barbara Wilburn.
The son of Jeanette and Jerry Jones, he was also recruited by Arizona State, Creighton, Middle Tennessee State and Mississippi State.
"With Brad (Jones) and Brandon Ewing (incoming freshman), I think our point-guard position is solidified for the next three years," said McClain. "Brad has the ability to push the basketball from free-throw line to free-throw line without committing turnovers. I think he and Brandon will really challenge each other in practice to be the best players they can be. Brad, like Daaron Brown, also comes to our program with three years of remaining eligibility."
Brown and Jones join four high school student-athletes, whose signings with the UW Basketball program were announced in the fall. The four previous signees were: Brandon Ewing, a 6'1", 190-pound guard from Julian High School in Chicago, Ill.; Ross Forman, a 6'7", 190-pound guard/forward from Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis, Minn.; Travis Nelson, a 6'10", 225-pound forward/center from Linn-Mar Marion High School in Marion, Iowa; and Ike Okoye, a 6'8", 210-pound forward from Woodcreek High School in Roseville, Calif.
The combined team record of this year's recruiting class was 133-34 (.796). Ewing's Julian High team posted a 2004-05 record of 24-3, and was ranked No. 4 in the final Illinois State rankings. Forman's Patrick Henry High squad was 23-6, and finished the season ranked No. 6 in the final Minnesota 4A poll. Nelson helped lead Linn-Mar Marion High to a 24-2 record and a second place finish in the Iowa 4A playoffs. Okoye's Woodcreek team posted a 16-11 record in `04-'05. Add to that, Jones 29-4 Arkansas-Fort Smith record, and Compton's record of 17-8 in 2003-04 -- the last year Brown competed -- and you have a recruiting class that has enjoyed a lot of success in their careers..