BALTIMORE- UMBC head men's basketball coach Aki Thomas is pleased to announce that four additional prospective student-athletes have signed National Letters-of-Intent with the Retrievers' program for the fall of 2013.
Coach Thomas and his staff have added guards Rodney Elliott, Jr. and Bryan Harris and posts Devarick Houston and David Kadiri to the roster. They will join fall 2012 signees Will Darley and Charles Taylor, Jr. and walk-on Ben Grace to give the Retrievers seven new faces for the 2013-14 season.
"It is a very large group," Thomas said. "We tried to fill every position and were successful in doing that. I think they should mesh well with the guys we have returning."
Rodney Elliott, Jr. is a 6'2", 175-lb. point guard who competed on the varsity squad for four years at John Carroll High School and resides in Baltimore, Md. He led the No. 7 Patriots with 16.6 points per game and also averaged 4.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.3 steals in his senior season.
Ellliott, Jr. closed out his high school career with 1,116 points, 287 assists and 171 steals and earned First Team All-Metro honors from The Baltimore Sun. His father, Rodney Elliott, Sr., earned four letters at the University of Maryland and competed for Gary Williams' Terrapins from 1994-98.
Harris, who stands at 6'2" and weighs in at 180 lbs., starred for Southern (Anne Arundel) High School and graduated in 2011. The Oxon Hill, Md. native earned First Team All-MIAA honors in his junior and senior campaigns. He was a two-time team captain and Most Valuable Player and averaged a career-best 20 points per game and six assists per game in his senior campaign.
Harris attended and competed at Massanutten Military Academy in 2011-12 and averaged 24.0 points per game. He earned a scholarship at Wofford University in the fall of 2012, but left after the fall semester due to health concerns and to be closer to home.
Junior college transfer Devarick Houston comes to UMBC after two campaigns at Chattahoochee Technical College in Marietta, Ga. A native of Jonesboro, Ga., the 6'7", 190-lb. power forward averaged 12.8 points per game and 8.4 rebounds per contest this past season. He also blocked 2.9 shots per outing and was ranked ninth in the nation in that category. His squad ended the 2012-13 campaign at No. 14 in the nation with a record of 26-4.
Houston prepped at Mays High School and averaged 14.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.2 steals a game as a senior. Houston was a key player for a top-notch Mays program and helped the Raiders reach the Class AAAA championship game in 2010.
Kadiri attended Coolidge High School in Washington, D.C. in his senior prep campaign. The 6'8", 190-lb. Beltsville, Md. native's squad finished 25-6 and won both the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association and D.C. State Athletic Association titles in 2013.
Kadiri averaged 13.7 points per game this winter and garnered 19 or more rebounds in three occasions. He earned DCIAA First Team honors and was tabbed to the Third Team All-Metro squad by The Washington Post.
Kadiri will become the first future Retriever to compete in the prestigious Capital Classic All-Star game. The 40th annual game is set for this Sunday, April 28 at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va.
Darley competed a post-graduate season at Fishburne (Va.) Military Academy, while Taylor did the same at Mount Zion in Baltimore.
The sharp-shooting Grace is a Catonsville native and the 5'10" guard competed at The Gilman School.
"I feel it is very important to have players from this area attend UMBC," Thomas said. "Local recruiting is something that I wanted to hone in on as soon as I took over. There are a lot of really good basketball players in the area."
We recruited some guys that go non-stop, love the game of basketball and are students of the game of basketball. We are happy with the outcome- we got all of our first choices. I am looking forward to working with them and getting them acclimated and moving forward."
NEW RETRIEVERS FOR 2013-14
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown/HS/Previous School
Will Darley G 6-8 200 Fr. Timonium,Md./Dulaney/Fishburne Acad.
Rodney Elliott, Jr. G 6-2 175 Fr. Baltimore, Md./John Carroll
Ben Grace* G 5-10 175 Fr. Catonsville, Md./The Gilman School
Bryan Harris G 6-2 180 Fr. Oxon Hill, Md./Southern/Massanutten Acad.
Devarick Houston F 6-7 190 Jr. Jonesboro, Ga./Mays/Chattahoochee Tech
David Kadiri F/C 6-8 190 Fr. Beltsville, Md./Coolidge
Charles Taylor, Jr. G 6-4 185 Fr. Haymarket, Va./Springbrook/Mount Zion