UTM signs players for 2003-04
Published: Friday, November 15, 2002
Updated: Monday, April 25, 2011 21:04
Bret Campbell, head basketball coach at the University of Tennessee at Martin, has announced his 2003-04 signing class. The trio of newcomers includes a 6-2 shooting guard, a 6-8 forward and a 6-5 swingman. Campbell said he was pleased with the recruiting class. "I feel like we've got not only quality basketball players, but quality young men.
These were our top choices going into the fall and we were able to get all three. A lot of the credit for signing these three goes to our assistant coaching staff."
Justin Smith, a 2000 graduate from Memphis Hamilton High School, is the shooting guard. Smith will play this season for Coach Ryan Cross at Chipola Community College in Florida. Chipola is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation among junior colleges.
Campbell is glad Smith decided to make a return to West Tennessee. "Justin Smith is a shooting guard with great range and he has the potential to score in many ways," Campbell said. "He could contribute immediately in the Skyhawks' back court next year."
Jared Newson is the 6-5 swingman. He will play this season at Forest Park Community College in St. Louis, Mo. Newson graduated from Belleville East in Belleville, Ill. He averaged about 10 points and four rebounds per game.
Newson said he signed with the Skyhawks for two reasons. "I signed mainly because of the relationship with the coaches.
They make basketball seem like a big family.
Will Lewis, a 6-8 forward from Northrop High School, Fort Wayne, Ind., is the only high school player Campbell signed during this early signing period.
Lewis said he liked the Skyhawk coaching staff and the campus. As for his preference in style of play, well, Lewis said he prefers to win. "Style doesn't matter as long as we can win."
"Will Lewis has a tremendous upside as a Division One player," Campbell said. "He has very long arms and he's athletic with good offensive skills around the basket."
Lewis is averaging 13 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots per game. He earned all-conference honors his junior season.
Lewis already has one thing in common with one of the Skyhawks. He plays for the same high school that assistant coach Trent Becker claims as his alma mater.