Fresh off its eighth trip to the NAIA National Championships, the John Brown University men's basketball team and sixth-year head coach Jason Beschta announced six newcomers to join the 2019-20 edition of the Golden Eagles on Wednesday, July 31.
The six newcomers hail from four different countries -- including Ireland, Iceland and Switzerland -- along with the states of Arkansas and California. Highlighted by five guards and a post, the Class of 2023 includes five freshmen and a transfer.
"We couldn't be more excited about our 2019 recruiting class," Beschta said. "While we certainly have some holes to fill after graduating two All-Americans (Jake Caudle and Josh Bowling), we return five players with starting experience. We believe that we have added impact players who will be able to help us immediately and who will compete right away for quality minutes. It will be a battle to earn a spot on the floor next season.
"One of the special things about many of our recruits in this class is how versatile each player is; they are capable of playing or guarding multiple positions. They all have very high ceilings when it comes to how good they can become. I would not be surprised if four or five of these new recruits end up earning their way into our top 10 players and potentially even have one or two of them push for starting positions."
Looking to fill the void of losing two NAIA All-America honorable mention selections, the six newcomers will hope to propel the Golden Eagles to back-to-back appearances at the NAIA National Championships for the first time since the 2004-05, 2005-06 seasons. Last year, JBU hustled its way into a second-place finish in the ever-competitive Sooner Athletic and ran through the conference tournament before suffering a tough setback in the championship game to host Oklahoma City.
John Brown returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 2, in the world-famous Toilet Paper Game. The Golden Eagles will once again welcome Crowley's Ridge (Ark.) to Bill George Arena for the second time since 2013. Tip is slated for 7:05 p.m.
Adam Asgeirsson, 6-4, guard, Fjölbrautaskóli Suðurnesja (Iceland)
Beschta on Asgeirsson: "Adam is a guard with good size who can really shoot the ball. He is adept at moving without the ball in ways that will fit in well with our style of play. He is capable of both playing and guarding multiple positions. Adam is crafty with the ball in his hands and able to make plays for himself as well as being a strong passer. Also, he is a physical player who does not shy away from contact."
James Beckom, 6-3, guard, Bentonville/Ireland
Beschta on Beckom: "James is a unique recruit for us in that he didn't get to play during his senior year of high school after moving over to Bentonville from Ireland. James has a college-ready body and is extremely dangerous attacking the basket whether in the half-court or transition. He has the strength and quickness to be a lock-down defender guarding multiple positions. James is another player we would categorize as more of an overall basketball player than saying he is only capable of playing a certain position. He is capable of making plays on both ends of the court and is someone that will likely make us better whenever he is on the floor."
Kiree Hutchings, 5-11, guard, Santa Cruz, Calif. (Biola University)
Beschta on Hutchings: "Kiree may physically be our strongest guard and is one we are counting on to be an immediate impact player for us. He comes in with college experience and a strength that makes him ready to compete in the Sooner Athletic. Kiree is a tireless worker who is capable of making plays outside or at the basket. He will likely prove to be one of our toughest players and most dependable defenders as he uses both his strength and speed to frustrate opponents and set the tone for our own team. Along with his skills, Kiree will provide us with leadership that stems from his prior college experience."
Alex Kinsey, 6-2, guard, Fayetteville
Beschta on Kinsey: "Alex is another local player who didn't get an opportunity to play much during his senior year while battling back from an injury. He has worked extremely hard to get himself ready to play at the next level. Alex brings a toughness with him, and he is a tremendous competitor. Another strong addition to our team who will keep getting better and better over his collegiate career."
Sterling Morphis, 6-2, guard, Lincoln
Beschta on Morphis: "Sterling is a local player who has grown up coming to our summer camps and has turned himself into a real college basketball player. He can shoot the ball at a very high level. Sterling had a great high school career, and will be a great addition to our program for the next four years. I am excited to see how he develops and continues to improve."
Nemanja Obradovic, 6-9, KBZ St. Gallen (Switzerland)
Beschta on Obradovic: "Nemanja is a very skilled player for his size. He fits the mold of a prototypical European forward who can score around the basket, shoot the triple or score in a variety of other ways. He is athletic enough to drop step and dunk on someone in the post but versatile enough to hit a one-foot runner off the glass, similar to Dirk Nowitzki. Nemanja will have an opportunity to fight for minutes right away, but his best basketball is certainly in front of him."
Sports on 08/07/2019
Print Headline: Beschta excited about men's basketball signings