Samford picked up a late 2014 commitment on Monday as the Bulldogs landed Paul VI (Va.) guard Evan Taylor.
Taylor announced the commitment on his Twitter and the 6-foot-4 guard was the only senior last season for Paul VI, which was one of the best high school basketball teams in the country last season. Paul VI finished the season 31-6 and won the WCAC championship, the VISAA D1 State championship, and the ACIT championship and was nationally ranked at the end of the year.
A do-it-all guard that can handle, pass and defend, Taylor is a nice late addition for Samford because he’s capable of stepping in and doing multiple things for the Bulldogs. He’s a bit of a late-bloomer as Taylor only averaged 3.5 points per game as a junior before stepping up his play to average nearly double-figures as a senior.
Samford finished 13-20 last season and could use an influx of talent next season. Getting a player from a winning program like Taylor should help a bit in that equation.
Taylor joins Wallace State Community College point guard Marcus Johnson, Barton Community College guard Darius Gibson and high school wings Gerald Smith and Jamal Shabazz in Samford’s 2014 class.
Former Samford forward Tim Williams has become highly sought-after since announcing he would transfer. A pair of visits have been set up for next week while several other programs remain in pursuit of the mid-major forward.
On June 16-17, Williams will visit New Mexico. A trip to Vanderbilt will immediately follow, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.
Williams, the SoCon Freshmen of the Year in 2013, averaged 17.3 points and 7.6 boards per game, shooting 60 percent from the field as a sophomore. In late May, he decided to leave the Bulldogs. Since then, Dayton and Marquette have both expressed interest in Williams, in addition to the Lobos and Commodores.
Vanderbilt finished under .500 for the second straight season, and could very well be in for another down year in 2014-2015. However, the Commodores have a talented recruiting class to work with along with rising sophomore big man Damian Jones. Vanderbilt already secured a commitment from Cornell transfer Nolan Cressler earlier this spring.
New Mexico focused on the front court with its 2014 recruiting class, needing to fill voids left by Cameron Bairstow and Alex Kirk. The 2015 recruiting class currently consists three guards, which does not include Butler transfer Elijah Brown.
Williams will have two years of eligibility after he sits out the 2014-2015 season, due to NCAA transfer rules.
Samford moved quickly in replacing former head coach Bennie Seltzer, as the program hired assistant coach and former Kentucky star Scott Padgett on Friday.
The school announced the hiring of Padgett in a release to replace Seltzer, who is out after two seasons at the helm.
“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to be the head coach at Samford University and to coach these outstanding young men,” said Padgett in the release. “This program is going to be all about our players; former, current and future. It’s going to be about promoting the mission of this great university and helping these young men in their academic, athletic and spiritual growth.”
Padgett helped Kentucky to a 1997 NCAA title game and a 1998 NCAA championship and he played for two very good coaches in Rick Pitino and Tubby Smith. Padgett was also a NBA first-round pick of the Utah Jazz in 1999. The 38-year-old Padgett has also worked at Kentucky under John Calipari and as an assistant coach under Steve Masiello at Manhattan.
“We’re going to play an exciting brand of basketball here at Samford, similar to the style I played under Rick Pitino and Tubby Smith at the University of Kentucky,” Padgett said in the release. “We are going to press, get up and down the court for 40 minutes and wear down the opposition. It’s going to be a playing style that recruits, current players and fans will love.”
Samford sounds like they at least have a plan in place, but it will be tough to replace recently departed transfer Tim Williams.
In two seasons as the head coach at Samford, Bennie Seltzer has put together a record of 24 wins and 41 losses. According to a report by Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com the school is ready to make a change, with the school expected to officially part ways with Seltzer next week.
While the 24-41 mark isn’t the most impressive, wins and losses aren’t seen as the reason why Samford will reportedly look to make a change. The problem: 14 players have left the Samford program in the last two years, including five of the top six scorers from the 2013-14 squad. Among the transfers at the end of the 2013-14 season was forward Tim Williams, who shot 60.1% from the field and posted averages of 17.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
For his efforts Williams was named first team All-SoCon by the league’s coaches. The program also lost guard and SoCon Freshman of the Year Isaiah Williams, as he decided to transfer as well.
At present time Samford’s leading returning scorer would be rising senior forward Tyler Hood, who averaged 7.8 points and 3.1 rebounds per game last season. Last month the program announced the signing of four players, three of whom are junior college transfers.
A new impact mid-major transfer emerged on the market on Monday as The Recruit Scoop‘s Alex Kline reported that Samford sophomore forward Tim Williams has asked for a release from the program.
The 6-foot-8 Williams was the SoCon Freshman of the Year in 2012-13 and in his sophomore year this past season averaged 17.6 points and 7.3 rebounds on 60 percent shooting from the field. A native of the Chicago suburbs, Williams also averaged 1.4 blocks per game and was 75 percent from the free-throw line.
Williams has been a highly productive player in two seasons for the Bulldogs but he was recruited by former Samford assistant coach Yasir Rosemond, who left for Georgia earlier this spring.
The forward has two years of eligibility remaining and could be a hot commodity because of his efficiency shooting the ball while remaining productive in other areas of the game.
According to On The Radar Hoops, Samford will be losing two players as freshmen Isaiah Williams and Jordan Capps have decided to transfer. Williams was a productive player during his one season under Bennie Seltzer, as he posted averages of 11.9 points and 3.4 assists per game.
Williams, a 6-foot-1 point guard, was a member of both the coaches’ and the media’s Southern Conference All-Freshman teams with the media also naming him their Freshman of the Year. The coaches chose UNCG guard Tevon Saddler for that particular individual honor.
Williams reached the 20-point mark in three games this past season, with the most recent effort being a 24-point outing in a loss at The Citadel in late-February. Williams reached double figures in scoring in 18 of the 30 games he played in, and his assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.6 ranked fourth in the SoCon.
Capps, a 6-foot-4 wing, averaged 5.3 points and 3.5 rebounds per game in his lone season as a Bulldog and started ten of the 33 games in which he played. Capps shot 52.4% from the field, with his best offensive performance of the season being a 14-point (7-for-10 FG) outing in Samford’s Southern Conference tournament loss to Davidson.
Capps’ high for rebounds in a game was nine, which he reached in a win over Kentucky State in December. Against Division I competition, his best rebounding output was an eight-rebound effort in an early-January loss to Chattanooga. Capps also scored 13 points in that game.