ASU men's basketball team signs four players
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
Appalachian State’s men’s basketball team officially announced its four signees for the 2013-14 season.
Three of them are guards and one is a forward. Two of them, 6-foot-1 guard Devonte Graham and 6-8 forward Mike Kobani, are from North Carolina. Aaron Scott, a 6-4 guard, is from Columbia, S.C. and 6-2 guard Ty Toney is from Alpharetta, Ga.
Graham scored 14.8 points and dished out 4.3 assists per game at Raleigh Broughton last season. He also helped Broughton to a 19-6 record as a sophomore.
“Devonte’ is a multi-faceted point guard at 6-1 with long arms and a great handle,” Mountaineers head coach Jason Capel said. “He can score from anywhere on the court, shoot the three, lead a team, go off the bounce or change the complexity of a game with his ability to be disruptive on the defensive end. He is a very athletic player from the point guard position and loves to compete.”
Capel feels one of Graham’s strengths is making the players around him better, and plays well when his teammates need him to.
“Watching him throughout the summer, Devonte played his best when his team needed it the most, in whatever category necessary,” Capel said. “I believe Devonte is not only one the best point guards in the state of North Carolina, but in the country. I am looking forward to working with him and watching his continued growth as a player.”
Capel likes the athletic ability of Scott, who averaged 15 points, five rebounds and three assists for Richland (S.C.) Northeast High last season. Richland Northeast reached the second round of the S.C. state playoffs last season.
Capel also feels Scott can score, and that he can play good defense.
“Aaron is a kid who scores the ball naturally, with his quick first step and has the ability to make shots from the perimeter,” Capel said in a news release. “I think Aaron will become a very good defender while in college and use his athletic ability to be disruptive in passing lanes as well as on the offensive glass.
Toney is a point guard from Alpharetta High who averaged 31 points per game during the Raiders’ trip to the its first ever semifinals appearance in the 5-A Georgia state tournament.
He was a second-team 5-A all-state selection as a junior.
“Ty is a very talented kid, and a great young man,” Capel said. “He is strong, quick and explosive on both ends of the court. He is the type of player who can help a team in so many ways because of his competitiveness and versatility. In our system, it is important to have guards that can do multiple things especially off the bounce and Ty gives us a player that can do just that.”
Kobani, the lone forward of the class, played at High Point Christian Academy, where current ASU forward Michael Obacha played. Kobani earned all-state honors at Caldwell Academy before transferring to High Point Christian.
Kobani scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds against powerful Oak Hill Tuesday night. Capel likes Kobani’s size, and feels the incoming player could give the Mountaineers some muscle inside.
“He is a big boy, at 6-8, 250 pounds of muscle,” Capel said. “But he also knows who he is as a player and relishes that role. Mike is a player who loves contact, rebounds everything, and can finish through contact and above the rim. Mike will give us a presence inside with his physicality and will assist in us being a great rebounding team.”