LARAMIE, Wyo. -
University of Wyoming coach Larry Shatt announced Wednesday that four recruits have signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Cowboy men's basketball program. Austin Conway of Aurora, Colo., Justin James of Port Saint Lucie, Fla., Andrew Moemeka of Lake City, Fla., and Jordan Naughton of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., will begin their UW careers during the 2015-16 academic year.
"I've said this before, but the coaching staff we have put together here with Scott Duncan, Allen Edwards and Jeremy Shyatt are as good as it gets in the country," UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. "They are as good a fit as Wyoming could have and I trust them with my life. They did a very thorough job with this recruiting class, knowing its importance with six seniors on the roster this season."
Florida and Colorado have proved to be recruiting hot spots for Shyatt. James and Moemeka are the fourth and fifth players he's signed from the Sunshine State since 2011, while Conway is the seventh from the Centennial State. Naughton will join fellow Californian Jeremy Lieberman on the Cowboy roster.
"Colorado and Florida are logical states for us to recruit simply because of the relationships our staff has cultivated there over the long haul," Shyatt said. "Because of our location, we have to continue to spread our wings and find those players that are a good fit for our university."
Austin Conway - Guard - Aurora, Colo.
One of the top prep players in the state of Colorado this season, Austin Conway plays for coach Danny Fisher at Overland High School. The 5-10, 165-pound guard is rated a three-star prospect by Rivals and 247 Sports.
As a junior in 2013-14, Conway averaged 10.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game, while shooting 46 percent from the field. The Aurora Sentinel placed him on its All-City First Team. Overland went 20-7 overall, including 11-3 in conference play, en route to Colorado's Class 5A Final Four.
Conway also starred on the football field for Overland as a dual-threat quarterback. This fall he passed for 1,341 yards and 13 touchdowns, while adding 509 yards and five touchdowns on the ground to be named to the Denver Post's All-Colorado team. As a junior he threw for 1,847 yards, ran for 1,130 yards and had 31 total touchdowns.
Conway also had scholarship offers from Indiana, Nebraska and Rice. Conway verbally committed to Wyoming on July 1.
Shyatt on Conway: "We have been familiar with Austin the last two-and-a-half years as our staff did a great job of recruiting him as he chose between a football or basketball career. Austin is a blur in terms of speed. He travels up the floor as fast as any guard in the country. He will enter the University of Wyoming with nearly 25 college credits already and is another great fit in a group that wants to focus on developing during their collegiate careers."
Justin James - Guard - Port Saint Lucie, Fla.
A 6-7, 180-pound shooting guard, Justin James will play his senior season this winter at Oldsmar Christian High School under coach Jordan Fair. As a junior in 2013-14 he competed for West Centennial High School where he averaged 21.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.9 blocks per game. He was named the 2014 Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers Player of the Year and is ranked a three-star recruit by 247 Sports.
James also had scholarship offers from numerous schools, including Mississippi State, Florida Gulf Coast and George Mason. James verbally committed to Wyoming on Sept. 14.
Shyatt on James: "Recruiting Justin was a pleasure because his parents were not only involved, but very understanding during the process. Justin has as good a motor as anyone we have recruited and has the versatility to play four positions, which gives him an early advantage as a young player in our program. We had a battle with Mississippi State, but fortunately the relationship that our coaching staff has developed with James and his family had a convincing effect."
Andrew Moemeka - Forward - Lake City, Fla.
Another Cowboy that has transferred to Oldsmar Christian High School for his senior season, Andrew Moemeka is an athletic power forward at 6-8 and 200 pounds. He played his junior season at Columbia High School where he averaged nearly 13 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks per game.
Moemeka also held scholarship offers from 10 other NCAA Division I schools, including Louisiana Tech, Murray State, Florida International and Western Kentucky. He verbally committed to Wyoming on Aug. 5.
Shyatt on Moemeka: "Andrew possesses the most athleticism in the front court that we've brought in in a long time. He's long. He's quick. He's agile. He, too, seemingly fits the mold of what we are trying to build here in terms of a young man early in his basketball growth. Almost every time he set foot on the floor this summer he did something new and something acrobatic, whether it was blocking a shot or gathering a rebound out of his area."
Jordan Naughton - Forward - Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
A 6-9, 220-pound forward, Jordan Naughton is a senior for coach Dave Kleckner at Etiwanda High School. Kleckner is considered one of the top high school coaches in California and has sent nearly 30 players to Division I schools in his 18-year career. He was an assistant coach for former UW coach Jim Brandenburg at San Diego State.
Naughton transferred to Etiwanda midway through last season and helped the team finish 27-5 overall and 10-0 in league play. Etiwanda advanced to the semifinals of the state tournament before losing in double-overtime to perennial California power Mater Dei High School.
Naughton was also recruited by Tulsa and North Carolina A&T. He verbally committed to Wyoming on Aug. 7.
Shyatt on Naughton: "Coach Duncan and I had a chance to see Jordan play repeatedly early in the recruiting process, before his injury sidelined him all summer. We were very impressed that he is a player with tomorrow written all over him as a potential scoring big man. Coach Duncan was very aware that he played for one of the top, if not the best, basketball coach in the West, who also coached former UCLA star Darren Collison. We are also really thrilled that Jordan, as with all four of these young men, possesses a wonderful family with strong values and an excellent academic background."