Wednesday was the start of the early signing period for college basketball teams to announce signings of high school and junior college recruits. The University of San Francisco announced the signing of four seniors for their 2012-2013 freshman class. The incoming class will include guard Joe Edmonds (Oklahoma City, OK), forward Matt Christiansen (Oklahoma City, OK), guard Tim Derksen (Tucson, AZ) and forward Frank Rogers (Salinas, CA).
San Francisco enters the 2011-12 season with three seniors that will need to be replaced. Those seniors include Rashad Green, Angelo Caloiaro and Jay Wey. Green and Caloiaro are two of the Dons top three scorers and rebounders returning from last season. Green averaged 12.5 points and 5.8 rebounds, while Caloiaro averaged 9.9 points and 7.3 rebounds.
Matt Christiansen and Joe Edmonds are currently teammates at Bishop McGuinness in Oklahoma City. Christiansen is ranked by ESPN as 45th nationally at his position and is coming off a 2010-11 campaign in which he averaged 15.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game. The Dons were second in rebounds per game last season, but were ranked last in blocks per game. Christiansen brings solid size to the Dons interior defense.
Edmonds is ranked 103rd nationally for his position by ESPN and will look to become a table-setter for the Dons. In 2010, Edmonds averaged 14.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game. At 6-5, Edmonds will bring some serious size to the guard position.
Tim Derksen comes in from Amphitheater HS in Tuscon, Arizona where this past season he averaged 17.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game. He ranks 61st nationally and his team has never lost at home since he arrived on campus. The Dons are still a young team learning how to win in a conference dominated by Gonzaga and Saint Mary's. Winning at any level breeds confidence and Derksen's success to date likely makes him a confident guard.
The final signing is junior college forward Frank Rogers from Cabrillo College. Rogers stands 6-8 and averaged 14.0 points, 14.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game as a prep senior before enrolling at Cabrillo College for the 2011-12 basketball season.
The Dons are coming off a strong 2010-11 season and will look to build on the momentum this year. However, long term success will come with solid recruiting year in and year out. Next year's class of freshman could bring a solid infusion of size and talent to build on moving forward. If BYU sticks around the WCC, most will view the WCC as a three-team race. However, with some time and patience, Rex Walters and the Dons could jump into the thick of things.
Coach Walters provided some comments on each of the incoming players:
On Joe Edmonds: "Joe is smart and tough with good feel for the game to go along with a nice stroke. Joe does a lot of things well and is all about helping his team find a way to get things done. He's a great student and young man that people will enjoy following and supporting."
On Matt Christiansen: "Matt brings size, skill and toughness that our team will need next year. He has a nose for the ball and a nice skill set in the low and high post. Our fans will really enjoy watching him work and get after it as well as get to know a very well spoken and funny young man."
On Tim Derksen: "Tim just finds a lot of ways to impact the game. All he has done is win on both the high school level and the AAU circuit. He will be able to play multiple positions for us and is that pass, handle, shoot kid that has a nose for the ball. Tim is also a very good student and will be fun to coach."
On Frank Rogers: "I have had a lot of fun watching Frank develop and become a player. He doesn't know how good he can be. He rebounds the ball and has a defensive presence inside along with good hands and touch around the rim and on the perimeter. He is getting great coaching this year at the Junior College level."