JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 19, 2008) - ETSU men's basketball head coach Murry Bartow announced Wednesday that the Buccaneers have received three national letters of intent for their 2009-2010 recruiting class.
Three high school seniors have signed the dotted line with the Bucs, a trio that includes 6-foot-3 guard Sheldon Cooley of Tampa, Fla., 6-foot-8 forward Lukas Poderis of Port Richey, Fla., and 6-foot-1 guard Bruce Grimm of Rochester, Ind.
"For an early class signing we've met a lot of our needs, and this puts us in a good position as we move into the spring and focus on filling one more scholarship," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. "All of these guys are talented on the floor, but they're also great student-athletes. Coming off a great recruiting class a year ago, we think this group simply adds to that."
Cooley, who averaged 22.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 7.0 blocks and 5.1 steals a game during his junior season at Plant High School, has been a four-year letter winner on the Panther squad. He was the Western Conference Player of the Year in 2007-08, a first team All-Suncoast and All-Tribune pick, and a third-team All-State Class 5A selection. Along with multiple other player of the year and all-star selections, Cooley will finish his senior season as his high school's all-time leading scorer.
"Sheldon is a very versatile guy that's a great rebounder and can really score the basketball," Bartow said. "He's a team guy who's from the same area as Adam Sollazzo. He's a winner with a great attitude."
While Poderis is originally from Lithuania, he currently plays at Ridgewood High School in Port Richey, Fla., the same school that produced former ETSU standout Andrew Reed. Poderis has helped his high school to three straight 20-wins seasons, and a year ago he averaged 18.3 points and 10.0 rebounds per game, while shooting 67 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3-point range. A 1,000-point scorer, Poderis was the Sunshine Athletic Conference Player of the Year last season, and a third-team All-State pick.
"Lukas is a very skilled player," Bartow said. "He's got good size and we believe he will be a solid post defender for us. Offensively, he averaged a double-double last year and can really score points. He can score in the post but also come out and face up to the basket."
Grimm has been a three-year starter at Rochester High School, was a first-team all-conference selection as a sophomore and junior, while also receiving his team's most valuable player award. He averaged 20 points a game, while dishing out five assists, three steals and three rebounds a contest as a junior.
"Bruce is just tough - gritty," Bartow said. "When you think about a prototypical Indiana point guard, he fits that mold. He's great at anticipating on defense and shoots the ball very well."
The Bucs are scheduled to have one more scholarship open for the 2009-2010 season.