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Nov. 20, 2009
Spartanburg, S.C. - Though just two games into the 2009-10 basketball season, USC Upstate hoops fans can catch a glimpse of the future as men's basketball head coach Eddie Payne has announced the signing of Georgia prep standouts Babatunde Olumuyiwa and Shane Porchea to national letters of intent to join the Spartans in the fall of 2010.
"Both Babatunde and Shane represent another step forward in terms of recruiting Division I-type athletes," said Payne. "They are a little bit bigger and more athletic type of players. We are on a procession of improving, in general, our recruiting. Both of these guys are really good students and people."
Olumuyiwa (6-7, F, Athens, Ga.) is a standout post player at Clarke Central High School for head coach Billy Wade. He is in his third season as a member of the varsity team and is expected to be a go-to player for the Gladiators this season. He led Clarke Central to a 17-10 overall record and a 12-6 mark and second-place finish in Region 8-4A. The Gladiators also went on to claim the Region 8-4A tournament title and advance to the second round of the 4A state tournament. He averaged 14.3 points, 12.1 rebounds and six blocked shots per game as a junior and was an honorable mention All-Northeast Georgia selection. He earned team honors as the Gladiators' top defensive player and led the squad in rebounding and blocked shots. In addition to his play at Clarke Central, he is a member of the Smyrna Stars AAU team coached by Gary Graham. A standout on the court, he is also strong in the classroom, carrying a GPA just over 3.0.
"Babatunde is raw in a lot of ways, but his is an athletic, tough guy," said Payne. "He has what I call a strong motor. He plays hard."
"Babatunde has a really nice touch around the basket and is an outstanding defensive player," said Clarke Central assistant coach Stephan Smith. "He rebounds the ball well and can block shots. He is a raw talent with a tremendous upside."
"We saw Shane in the summer and fall, and what I like about him is his size as a guard," said Payne. "We currently have small guards and his size can really help us. He has really good skills in terms of handling and passing the basketball. He sees the court well. That quality gives us a lot of versatility to use him at all of the perimeter positions."
"Overall, Shane is just a good all-around kid," said Griffin. "The biggest thing about him as a basketball player is his size at the position he plays. He is a crafty player who knows how to create his own shot. He's smart off the ball and knows how to play the game. His versatility will give Coach Payne and his staff some options."
"Shane has a tenacity about him and is a great shooter," said Stephens. "He shoots the ball well, rebounds well and is a natural scorer. When he is in his comfort zone, he can really stroke it. I love the kid and I definitely think he can help the program immediately."