James Madison men’s basketball head coach Matt Brady announced on Tuesday the signing of two players to national letters of intent, with both joining the program as freshmen for the 2011-12 season.
JMU’s spring signees include guard Arman Marks of Louisville, Ky. as well as forward Keynan Pittman of Burgaw, N.C. They join forward Enoch Hood of Norfolk, Va., who signed with the Dukes in early December.
“I think we’ve gotten three really good kids and guys who have proven they can be successful on the court and successful in the classroom,” said Brady on the signings. “The class adds a lot of flexibility and athletic ability. It also adds three quality individuals that are excited about being at JMU.”
Marks is signing as a 6-foot, 4-inch guard. He averaged nine points, five rebounds and two steals with a team-best 51 three-pointers while leading Eastern High School to the state semifinals. The Eagles went 33-3 while ranking first in the state of Kentucky by the Associated Press. They were 14th in the nation by USAToday prior to the state semifinal loss and finished 38th in the nation according to MaxPreps. Marks was named All-District and honored as a Kentucky All-Star.
“He’s a left-handed shooting guard. More than anything else he’s a young guy who really knows how to win. He’s a terrific scorer and an outstanding long-range shooter as are most left-handed players. He also had a terrific academic year as a senior,” Brady said of Marks.
Pittman adds to the JMU frontcourt, standing 6-feet, 10-inches. He averaged 16 points and 12 boards in his senior scholastic season while leading Pender High School to a North Carolina 1A state runner-up finish. The team went 21-5 and 12-0 in league games with Pittman claiming All-District, All-Conference, and All-Area First Team honors.
“Keynan Pittman is a slightly longer version of Enoch Hood,” stated Brady. “He is coming off a good season and is really just scratching the surface of the type of player he can become. He played on a terrific AAU team and had some really good moments. Like a lot of terrific college players, he had some really good players on his AAU team.”
Hood signed with the Dukes in the fall just prior to his senior season with the Mighty Bookers of Booker T. Washington.
“I think he has all of the intangibles when you’re looking to find a good front-court player. He really wants to be a good player and recognizes that he needs to work at it to become a significantly better player than he is right now,” Brady said.