Utah State men’s basketball announces Fall signing class

LOGAN, Utah   Utah State men’s basketball coach Stew Morrill announced Tuesday three players who have signed National Letters of Intent to compete for the Aggies beginning in the fall of 2010. Among the group are one junior college transfer in Brockeith Pane, and two high school standouts in Ben Clifford and James Walker. Pane, a 6-2, 195-pound guard, is currently a sophomore at Midland Junior College in Midland, Texas. Midland JC is 5-0 thus far this year and ranked No. 2 in the country by The Sporting News. Through five games, Pane is averaging 8.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists, while shooting 50.0 percent from both the field and three-point range. Pane spent his freshman season (2007-08) at the University of Houston as he averaged 6.3 points and 2.0 rebounds, while shooting 39.9 percent from the field, 34.8 percent from three-point range and 72.9 percent from the free throw line. He scored in double-figures in seven straight games to start the season for the Cougars, including a season-high 26 points vs. Grambling State. Following his performance against GSU, he was named the Conference USA Player of the Week as he averaged 23.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals during a two-game stretch. “Brockeith is an explosive, athletic guard who can make plays for himself as well as his teammates,” said Morrill. “He will be coming to us from an exceptional junior college program that will prepare him for the WAC. We expect big things from Brockeith in his two years as an Aggie.” Clifford, a 6-8, 215-pound forward, is currently a senior at Bingham High School in South Jordan, Utah. During his junior season, he earned first-team all-state honors from the Salt Lake Tribune and second-team all-state honors from the Deseret News as he averaged 13.4 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, while shooting 60.1 percent from the field and 70.0 percent from the free throw line. During his junior season, he helped the Miners to a 17-7 record as they advanced to the semifinals of the state tournament. “Ben will be an outstanding student-athlete at Utah State,” Morrill said. “He is a skilled and active player who, with added strength, will be another big-man from the state of Utah to have a great career at Utah State. We are very excited about his potential.” Walker, a 6-2, 180-pound guard, is currently a senior at Los Alamitos High School in Los Alamitos, Calif., and was named a preseason third-team all-state selection this fall. During his junior campaign, Walker averaged 14.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game and was named the Sunset League Player of the Year, along with earning first-team all-CIF honors. During the season, he shot 46.2 percent from the field, 36.3 percent from three-point range and 72.7 percent from the free throw line, and scored in double-figures 22 times including a season-high 27 points against Ocean View High School. “James has an exciting future with his exceptional speed and quickness,” said Morrill. “As he adapts to being a Division I guard, we see him becoming a very good player. James has all the tools necessary to have success on and off the court at Utah State.” -USU-

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