Photo by Devin P. Grimes / MTSU Sidelines
Nov. 8 was a monumental day for three high school basketball stars, as well as the Middle Tennessee State basketball program. It was National Signing Day all across the country, and prospective student athletes decided where they would take their talents officially.
The Middle Tennessee basketball team got three players to sign their National Letters of Intent for the 2018-19 season, and the coaching staff is high on all three prospects.
This recruiting class adds a little more star power to a roster that will be losing one of the programs all-time great players in Giddy Potts, as well as three other starters in Ed Simpson, Nick King and Brandon Walters.
The all-Georgia recruiting class that includes K.J. Buffen, Tye Fagan and Carlos Curry.
One of the more heralded recruits in the state of Georgia, K.J. Buffen signed with MTSU as the number nine overall recruit in the state according to ESPN.com.
Buffen will look to come in and fill a power forward spot that has been a vital and versatile position for the Blue Raiders in the past several years.
“K.J. was a big target for us,” said head coach Kermit Davis. “He’s just very prototypical of the hybrid four men that we’ve had. He’s still only 17 years old and weighs 220 pounds. He’s very skilled, really tough and I think in college, he’s going to be able to make 17-footers and three-point shots for us.”
Davis also believes that his coaching background plays a major role in his development.
“He plays for an excellent high school coach right now in Benjie Wood at Gainesville and has a great foundation,” Davis said.
Seniors Giddy Potts and Ed Simpson will be graduating after this season, which leaves a void at both the guard position and in leadership roles as well.
Given Fagan’s career of winning at the high school level, Davis expects him to fill in nicely.
“Tye led his team to a state championship and shows all of the characteristics that make up a strong leader. He is a guy that can play multiple positions for us,” Davis said.
Coach Davis was also complimentary on the three-star guard’s ability to shoot and display toughness.
“He can shoot, is very good with the ball and is a tough player on the court,” Davis said.
Fagan also had offers from Arkansas State and Georgia State, according to 247sports.com.
Another expected departure for next year’s Blue Raider squad will be big man Brandon Walters. With his absence looming, Middle Tennessee will bring in a 6’10” big man from Albany, Georgia, to add some size and skill at the center position.
Carlos Curry may not have the rankings the other two recruits do, but his potential garnered offers from schools like Oklahoma, Florida State, Western Kentucky, Troy and Illinois State, according to 247sports.com.
“Carlos kind of burst onto the scene in the state of Georgia. We loved him in AAU … He had a lot of schools that offered him,” Davis said. “Carlos is a huge get, and I think he’s going to be a really great player.”
The 2017 recruiting class is seemingly loaded for the Blue Raiders. Not only did they acquire big time talent, but Davis and his staff have prepared for the future and the departures of players who have been cornerstones of the program for the last couple of seasons.
With a recruiting class of this caliber, MTSU basketball is furthering their brand and is proving to the rest of Conference USA that they do not rebuild — they reload.
Follow MTSU Sports Reporter Elijah Campbell on Twitter at @E_Campbell3.
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