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Upstate Announces 2010 Recruiting Class

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Eddie Payne announces the completion of the 2010 signing class.

Eddie Payne announces the completion of the 2010 signing class.

May 27, 2010

Spartanburg, S.C. - After posting the second most A-Sun wins in school history last year and losing 7-3 center Nick Schneiders to graduation, USC Upstate head coach Eddie Payne and his staff spent the spring semester cementing the 2010 recruiting class for the Spartans. Payne officially announces the addition of eight players to join the program in the fall.

A pair of South Carolina prep standouts highlights the class as Greer's Chandler Hash and Great Falls' Torrey Craig signed to play for Coach Payne. In addition, Traveler's Rest's Phillip Brown, Atlanta Metropolitan College's Tony Dukes, East Mississippi CC's Rob Elam, Pinewood Prep's Bruce Haynes, North Carolina prep standout Will Saunders and Greenville High School's Marquis Sloan round out the class.

"This recruiting class reflects a great deal of hard work by our staff," said Upstate head coach Eddie Payne. "We feel that we have improved our size, skill and athletic ability at all positions with this group of players. We have players that will contribute at all positions on the floor from the point guard to the center position. Although we will be young, I think our overall talent and athletic ability will be improved. In addition to their athletic skills, all of these young men are quality people."

Hash (G, 6-1, 175/Greer, S.C./Greer HS) had a standout season in leading Greer to a 25-1 overall record and a 10-0 mark and Region III-3A championship as a senior in 2009-10. He was the eighth-leading scorer in the state at 24.2 points per game en route to being named the region player of the year. An all-state and all-region selection, he was named the MVP of the Greenville team in the FCA Challenge All-Star game as Greenville defeated the Spartanburg County squad. He was also named the WYFF/Channel 4 Impact Player of the Year and was a North-South All-Star honoree. He earned all-area honors from the Spartanburg Herald-Journal and Greer Citizen and was named the area player of the Year by the Citizen. He reached 20 points on 17 occasions, including a 42-point outburst against Union County on Feb. 11. He finished the season with 630 points to lead all area scorers and averaged 5.5 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 3.3 steals per game. He owns a 74 rating by ESPN.com/Scouts Inc., which classifies him has a major/mid-major prospect.

Craig (F, 6-5, 200/Rock Hill, S.C./Great Falls HS) averaged 24 points and 13 rebounds per game en route to earning 1A Player of the Year honors from the South Carolina Basketball Coaches Association. He also earned Region III-A Player of the Year honors after leading Great Falls to a 25-2 overall record and a 12-0 mark and region championship. He led the Red Devils to back-to-back state championship game appearances, finishing with 36 points and 15 rebounds in this year's title game loss to Hemingway. In the final three games of the state tournament, he averaged 29 points to lead Great Falls. An all-state, all-region and all-area selection, he earned a spot on the North-South All-Star team. He owns an 81 rating by ESPN.com/Scouts Inc. as a high-major/major prospect.

Dukes (G, 6-2, 175/Ellenwood, Ga./Atlanta Metropolitan College/Morrow HS) had a standout season as a freshman at Atlanta Metro College. He was the second-leading scorer in the conference at 18.6 points per game and led the league while hitting 77 percent of his free throws. He was a first-team all-conference selection and was a Region 17 All-America nominee. He scored 38 points on two occasions and tallied a career-high 41 against Middle Georgia College. He was also a standout in the classroom, earning honor roll honors. He also had a standout prep career at Morrow High School for head coach Jay Livingston. He led the Mustangs in scoring as a senior, averaging 20.4 points per game. He finished his career as Morrow's second all-time scorer with 985 points and holds the single-season scoring record with 511 as a senior. His 69 three-pointers as a senior are also a single-season school record, while the 139 treys in his career stands as the school's career record. He was named the Clayton County Player of the Year for 2008-09. In addition, he was an all-region and All-Clayton/Henry County selection, and earned team MVP honors. A standout in the classroom, he graduated with a 3.6 GPA as an honor roll student.

Elam (F, 6-6, 210/Batesburg, S.C./East Mississippi College/Pioneer Christian Academy/Batesburg-Leesville HS) sat out the 2009-10 season at East Mississippi College after a solid freshman season in 2008-09. After originally signing with Austin Peay out of prep school, he averaged five points and 3.6 rebounds as a freshman in 27 games and 22 starts. He shot 52 percent from the field and finished the year with 22 blocked shots. He spent one season playing basketball in prep school at Pioneer Christian Academy in Nashville, Tenn. He averaged 13 points and nine rebounds. Prior to his one-year at Pioneer Christian, he was a standout at Batesburg-Leesville High School. Playing as a combination forward, he averaged 14.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.2 blocks and 2.5 steals per game as a senior, leading the team to a 36-4 record. He averaged 10.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 5.3 blocks per game as a junior and led the Panthers to a 34-6 record and the 2006 region championship. He was named the team's Defensive Player of the Year and was an A-B Honor Roll student. Rivals.com ranks him as a two-star recruit coming out of junior college.

Saunders (F, 6-7, 190/Greensboro, N.C./Caldwell Academy) spent one year as an exchange student from London, England at Caldwell Academy for head coach Tony Slagle. He averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds while earning Triad Athletic Conference all-conference and NCISAA All-State honors as a senior. He also averaged three assists, 3.5 blocks and 1.8 steals per game in leading Caldwell to a 19-9 overall record and an 8-2 conference mark. He had season highs of 34 points against Surry, 16 rebounds against East Forsyth, five assists against Westchester and four blocks on five occasions. He attended the adidas 150 Phenom Camp where he was a standout player.

Brown (F, 6-7, 205/Travelers Rest, S.C./Travelers Rest HS) was a standout player for head coach Josh Mills at Travelers Rest. He led the Devildogs to 13 wins on the season and a spot in the Region II-3A tournament. He was a member of the West team in the Greenville County All-Star game and was named the MVP after scoring 23 points in leading the West to the win.

Haynes (G, 6-2, 175/Summerville, S.C./Pinewood Prep/Summerville HS) was a solid player for head coach Pat Eidson at Pinewood Prep. He was the Region III Player of the Year and an all-region and second team all-lowcountry selection. He was a SCISA 3A All-Star selection and was named MVP of the SCISA vs. GISA (Georgia) All-Star game with 34 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and five steals. He helped lead Pinewood Prep to the 2010 SCISA 3A state championship, the fifth-straight state title for the Panthers, and was a three-time state champion as part of the team. He finished his career with over 1,000 points.

Sloan (G, 6-1, 185/Greenville, S.C./Greenville HS) was the starting point guard at Greenville High for head coach Dondi McGowan. He was a WYFF Channel 4 honorable mention all-area selection after helping lead the Red Raiders into the third round of the 3A state tournament. He sank a halfcourt shot at the buzzer to defeat fellow recruit Chandler Hash's Greer team in the second round of the tournament. He was three-time all-region selection. He was an all-state selection as a sophomore in 2008 in helping lead Greenville to the 3A state championship game and a second team all-state pick as a senior. A three-time team MVP, he was a participant in the FCA Challenge All-Star game, helping the Greenville squad defeat the Spartanburg team.

The eight newcomers join early signing period fall signees Shane Porchea (G, 6-4, 205/Dunwoody, Ga./Dunwoody HS) and Babatunde Olumuwiya (P, 6-7, 230/Athens, Ga./Clarke Central HS) in the 2010 recruiting class. Porchea averaged 11.5 points per game in leading Dunwoody to a 19-5 overall record and a second-place finish in Region 5A-AAA with a 9-2 mark. ESPN.com/Scouts Inc. rates him with a 76 as a major/mid-major prospect. Olumuwiya was the Region 8-AAAA Player of the Year after averaging 15 points and 12.9 rebounds per game. He led Clarke Central to 18-7 overall record and a 13-5 mark and third place in the region standings. He also was a standout in track, winning the high jump and finishing third in the triple jump in the 4A state meet. ESPN.com/Scouts Inc. rates him with a 74 as a major/mid-major prospect.

 
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