CHARLESTON, S.C. - The College of Charleston men's basketball program has added two wing players to its 2012-13 signing class as announced by first-year head coach Doug Wojcik on Friday.
The Cougars will be joined next season by 6-foot-7 junior combination guard/forward Anthony Thomas (Winston-Salem, N.C.) out of Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College and 6-foot-6 freshman forward Theo Johnson (Elk Grove, Calif.) out of Franklin High School located near Sacramento, Calif.
Thomas, who went the JUCO route transferring after his freshman season at Appalachian State in 2010-11, turned in a stellar sophomore campaign being named an All-Jayhawk Conference First Team and a NJCAA All-Region VI selection. He helped the 20th-ranked Blue Dragons to a 25-7 overall record and to the quarterfinals of the Region VI Tournament under head coach Steve Eck.
"With our loss of leading scorer Antwaine Wiggins, Anthony brings size to the wing position and a lot of versatility," Wojcik said. "He was a kid where things might not have worked out at App State and he left home to develop his game in Hutchinson, Kansas. I respect him for that and he has really matured in that year away. He brings in a great attitude and work ethic. In addition to bringing size, athleticism and skill to our team in a position we needed to fill, he is a team player who will help us be successful."
Thomas played and started in all 32 games of the 2011-12 season averaging a team-leading 14.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Prior to HCC, he was a reserve freshman at Appalachian State and a former high school standout at Winston-Salem Prep under head coach Andre Gould. Thomas earned all-conference honors and was named to the North Carolina All-Star Team as a senior in 2010. He plans to major in business and chose CofC over Fresno State and UNC Wilmington.
Johnson, who is the first West Coast recruit since CofC's second all-time leading Division I rebounder Jermaine Johnson (2006-09) out of Los Angeles, is a triple threat on the basketball court. He averaged 19.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.2 blocks per game during his senior season for the Wildcats. The left-hander was rated the No. 13 overall prospect and No. 1 small forward from the Northern California area in the final top 40 rankings by NorCalPreps.com.
Johnson was named Delta Valley Conference Most Valuable Player, Franklin High School Male Athlete of the Year and an all-metro second team selection by The Sacramento Bee as a senior. He was invited to participate in the Sacramento Optimist All-Star Game and was named tournament MVP at the Arcata Invitational. Johnson was a first team All-DVC honoree his junior year and also played AAU Basketball for team Play Hard, Play Smart under head coach Brian Hamilton. He plans to major in business and chose CofC with interest from UC Davis, Santa Clara, Denver, Houston Baptist, Chattanooga and Southern Utah.
"In Theo's case, we were able to find a versatile prospect with size and athleticism," Wojcik said. "He has shown great maturity in choosing a school so far from home. Theo fell in love with the College of Charleston and is an excellent student and leader. He is a young senior who has a chance to grow physically in the future and become a versatile multi-task player."
Both are Wojcik's first recruits who will join early signee, 6-foot-5 combination guard/forward Canyon Barry, the youngest son of NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry, in the Cougars' incoming class this fall.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT ANTHONY THOMAS
"This was a huge get for Doug Wojcik to sign a kid like Anthony Thomas. He is a talented wing much like former Charleston star Antwaine Wiggins. He is versatile and can score the basketball in a variety of ways. This speaks to Coach Wojcik's ability to recruit several areas around the country to be able to pull a kid from the North Carolina area to Charleston is obviously a great start in his recruiting efforts." - CBSSports.com College Basketball Columnist Jeff Goodman
"Anthony has really improved his outside shot and his defensive intensity. He is a team player and a good young man who can see the whole picture now after spending a year at the junior college level. He has matured and is ready to take his game to the next level at the College of Charleston." - Hutchinson Community College Head Coach Steve Eck
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT THEO JOHNSON
"Bringing in a kid like Theo Johnson from the West Coast is another great find for Doug Wojcik. He is another type of player who will fit in well at Charleston due to his versatility and his toughness. Theo is a kid who played extremely well in the spring. Some of these players who come on late, they may be under the radar, but they end up panning out as much as the highly-touted guys we see everyone going after early on in the recruiting process." - CBSSports.com College Basketball Columnist Jeff Goodman
"Theo Johnson has been one of the greatest players to come through Franklin High School in the time that I've been here. We are extremely excited at the opportunity that he has to attend the College of Charleston, a historic school with a great academic and athletic tradition. We really look forward to seeing Theo grow and achieve success within the College of Charleston program under Coach Wojcik," - Franklin High School Varsity Boys Basketball Head Coach Jesse Formaker
2012-13 COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON MEN'S BASKETBALL SIGNEES
Canyon Barry, G/F, 6-5, 175, Cheyenne Mountain High School, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Theo Johnson, F, 6-6, 185, Franklin High School, Elk Grove, Calif.
Anthony Thomas, G/F, 6-7, 195, Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, Winston-Salem, N.C.