When Lonn Reisman announced the signing of Denison High School product Coleman Furst to a national letter of intent last spring, he summed Furst up very simply.

“This kid could be a special player for us,” he said.

But the 23rd year head coach could never have guessed the “kid” would develop so quickly.

The true freshman certainly looked like a special player on the defensive end in last week’s Lone Star Conference Championship. He even manned up against Midwestern State star Chris Hagan - the LSC South Player of the Year - and was a big reason he scored only two second-half points.

Even with the youngster’s quick development, Reisman says he knew what he was getting.

“Our staff knew we got a steal right when we signed him,” said Reisman. “He all but signed with The Citadel and that’s a mid-major. Their coaching staff left for Tulane so he came here.”

And Furst has no regrets.

“I knew it was going to be good,” he said of coming to Tarleton. “But I never thought it would be this exciting this soon. It’s definitely exceeded all my expectations.”

Furst said in addition to what he has learned from the Tarleton coaching staff, he has learned a lot from senior first-team all-region pick and LSC South Defensive Player of the Year Corin Henry.

“I’m just watching Corin,” Furst said of being a sponge. “I’m just learning from him and getting better by going against him in practice every day.

“With him out there with me, it’s like having another assistant coach,” Furst added. “He knows everything there is to know about our offense, and he sets a great example with his intensity on defense. I’m picking up everything I can from him while he’s here.”

As expected, Furst’s minutes and impact have picked up as his first collegiate season has gone on. Of the 16 times he has played 10 or more minutes off the bench, seven of them have come in the Texans’ last seven games.

That includes playing over half of all three of last week’s conference tournament games.

“He’s gaining confidence and we’re gaining confidence in him,” said Reisman. “His teammates have confidence in him, too. Everybody can see how he has bought into the program and the work and effort he’s willing to put in to help us continue to win.”

Furst averaged six points, two assists and a steal in 25 minutes per game in the LSC tourney, helping the No. 17 Texans to the championship game.

That’s where their 11-game win streak was snapped. But as Furst continues to progress and the Texans look to start a new streak, opportunity arises in the form of this weekend’s South Central Region tournament - the opening phase of the NCAA Division II playoffs.

Tarleton won the regional in 2005 and 2006, advancing to the Elite Eight.

Furst hopes to help the Texans - who tip off at 2:30 p.m. Saturday against Midwestern State - to a third regional title.

“Everything I’m experiencing is new at this point, so I’m just taking it all in,” he said. “I’m not ready (for my freshman season) to end. I’ll do whatever I can to help keep it going.”