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Marshall basketball lands two recruits

Apr. 18, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Justin Edmonds had his junior college basketball season shortened because of a knee injury, but said Wednesday he's recovered from ACL surgery and ready to go for the Marshall Thundering Herd.

Edmonds, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound guard for Owens Community College in Toledo, Ohio, and 6-9, 217-pound forward Cheikh Sane from Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, joined 6-6, 220-pound forward Shawn Smith from City College of San Francisco in the Marshall recruiting class Wednesday.

Marshall added Edmonds and Sane on the first day of the spring signing period that continues to May 15. Smith signed a National Letter of Intent in November.

Edmonds, who is from Albion, Mich., was injured during a game when he was fouled going for a layup.

"I have my muscle back and it's not a problem at all," he said.

The No. 76 player on the JucoRecruiting.com list of the Top 100 at junior colleges played in only 15 games as a sophomore for the Owens Express, who finished with a 26-10 record and a fourth-place finish in the NJCAA Division II tournament.

He averaged 18.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists while shooting 42.2 percent from the field, 36.1 percent on 3-point attempts and going 57-for-77 on free throws for 74.0 percent.

Edmonds had 20-plus points in eight of his games with 28 against Lansing Community College, 28 against Delta College, 26 against Mott Community College and 25 against Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.

"Justin is a great addition to our basketball program, he had a terrific career at Owens for coach (Dave) Clarke, before his knee injury," said Marshall head coach Tom Herrion. "He is a big, strong and versatile guard who we feel can make an impact for us right away."

As a freshman, Edmonds was an All-Ohio Community College Athletic Conference and All-Region 12 first team selection when he averaged 18.8 points.

Other schools recruiting Edmonds included Wright State, Kent State and Middle Tennessee State. He said some schools became hesitant when he was injured.

Edmonds visited Feb. 15-16 when Marshall played Memphis and was impressed with Herrion's coaching style.

"The head coach isn't one of the coaches who restricts you," Edmonds said. "He gives you the opportunity to play your game."

Edmonds said he's on schedule to receive an associate degree in May and will probably come to Huntington this summer.

Sane, whose name is pronounced "Shek SAH-nay," had averages of 10.4 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots while making 53.8 percent of his field goal attempts and 57.6 percent of his free throws for the Snow Badgers in a 22-10 season.

He was an All-Scenic West Athletic Conference and All-Region 18 pick.

Sane needs some summer school work to graduate, and said he might take the needed classes at Marshall.

"If I really work hard I can get ready for next year," he said. "I had a great year. I think I can get better."

Herrion said Sane's improvement from his freshman to sophomore years was dramatic and he's excited to add a talented and physical frontcourt player to the program.

Sane is a native of Dakar, Senegal, where he attended the SEEDS Academy that has produced numerous NCAA Division I players.

SEEDS is an acronym for Sports for Education and Economic Development in Senegal. The mission statement on its website (www.seedproject.org) says, "SEEDS uses sports as a vehicle to inspire, empower, and support a holistic development of promising African youth, preparing them to become global citizens and lead positive transformation in Senegal, Africa, and the world.

Other products of SEEDS playing college basketball include former Huntington Prep player Gorgui Dieng (Louisville), Baye Keita (Syracuse), Cheikh Mbodj (Cincinnati), Assane Sene (Virginia), Youssou Ndoye (St. Bonaventure) and Azia N'Diaye (Washington).

SMU graduate Papa Dia, the 2011 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year, also attended the college prep boarding school.

Other schools showing recruiting interest in Sane included Miami (Ohio), Montana, Montana State, Morehead State and Nevada, according to Rivals.com.

Smith, a 6-6, 220-pound forward from Sacramento, Calif., played two seasons for City College of San Francisco.

The No. 93 player on the JucoRecruiting.com Top 100 list put up 10.9 points and 4.7 points a game for the Rams who were 31-1 and ranked No. 1 in the state all season. After a 28-0 regular season, the Rams lost in the California Community College Athletic Association tournament semifinals.

He was a 52.9 percent field goal shooter and made 60.8 percent of his free throws.

"As you can see, Justin and Cheikh and Shawn all have similar qualities, they played at highly successful and winning programs and they are terrific people," Herrion said.

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