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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 www.milesplit.us.
     "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
Name Pos. Ht. Yr.* Hometown High School (College)
Denzell Erves F 6-7 Fr. Vicksburg, Miss. Vicksburg
Brandon Morris G 6-1 Fr. Sorrento, La. St. Amant
DeRonn Scott G 6-5 Fr. Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Etiwanda
* classification at Xavier in 2009-10.

 

 
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

The Xavier Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets compete in Division I of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) as a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Xavier fields men's and women's teams in basketball, cross country and tennis.

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