Three high school seniors sign with Gold Rush
April 15, 2009
NEW ORLEANS — Three high school seniors —
Brandon Morris of Sorrento, La., and St. Amant High School, Denzell Erves of
Vicksburg, Miss., and Vicksburg High School and DeRonn Scott of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.,
and Etiwanda High School — have signed men's basketball scholarships with
Xavier University of Louisiana.
Dannton Jackson, who will return in 2009-10 for
his seventh season as Gold Rush head coach, announced the signings Wednesday.
Morris is a 6-foot-1 guard who averaged a team-leading
23 points per game this past season along with six rebounds and four assists for St. Amant.
He received honorable mention on the Class 5A All-State team this year and was
All-District 6-5A as a senior and a junior. He played in the Louisiana High School Coaches
Association All-Star Game.
St. Amant was 23-11 this year and reached the second round of
the state playoffs. Morris helped the Gators go 22-11 in 2006-07 and reach the
state quarterfinals for the first time since the 1960s.
Morris — a cousin of Xavier women's basketball sophomore
Johnna Williams and a nephew of former Tulane and NBA standout John "Hot Rod" Williams —
was the Class 5A state champion in the outdoor triple jump in 2008, and his best mark this
year of 48 feet, 5 inches is 11th in the nation and the best
in Louisiana this year, according to the Web site
"Brandon is a tremendous athlete and a tremendous competitior," Jackson said.
"He was a knack for scoring, and he can do it a lot of different ways."
Erves is a 6-7 forward who averaged 8.4 points and 9.9 rebounds in 2008-09
for Vicksburg, shot 53 percent from the floor and helped the Gators reach the Class 4A state tournament.
Erves played in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Game.
"Denzell is a long, lanky, athletic player who changes shots on the
defensive end of the floor," Jackson said. "He runs the floor and finishes around the basket really well.
He has good size and a shot-blocking presence. He's similar to our Dannie Woods.
Denzell comes from a very rich basketball area, is well-coached and knows how to win."
Scott is a 6-5 point guard who averaged 12 points, 4.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds this past season for
Etiwanda's Baseline League champions. He was All-Baseline League and was a second-team All-CIF-SS
Division I-AA selection. Scott was a nominee for the McDonald's All American Games, and he
helped Etiwanda's Eagles compile a 56-9 record his final two seasons.
"Deronn is very long, very crafty, smart and has a huge IQ for the
game. He knows how to win," Jackson said. "He is an unselfish and gifted player who sees the floor very well."
Xavier is an NAIA Division I member which finished 19-12 in 2008-09 and
tied for fourth place in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference. The Gold Rush's 25 seasons of 20 or more victories are the most in
the history of Louisiana men's collegiate basketball. Jackson's Xavier teams reached 20 victories in five of
his first six seasons.
2009-10 Xavier Men's Basketball Recruits
||High School (College)
||Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
|* classification at Xavier in 2009-10.