Tarleton State announced the completion of its men's basketball recruiting class Monday with an NAIA transfer and two high school signees joining the defending Lone Star Conference regular season champions.
A'Darius Pegues, 24, was ranked No. 82 in the nation by Rivals in 2007 and signed with NCAA Division I Western Kentucky out of high school. The 6-foot-10, 260-pound center once played AAU ball with NBA veteran O.J. Mayo, according to a release from Tarleton's athletics media relations department.
An injury and a coaching change at Western Kentucky left Pegues looking for a new school, and he played in 16 games for NAIA Indiana University-Southeast in 2009-10, averaging 2.9 points and 3.7 rebounds.
"For people who love come-back stories, A'Darius is a great young man to root for," said Tarleton head coach Lonn Reisman, according to the university release. "He's been through a lot of adversity during his basketball career but we are optimistic about what he can achieve. A'Darius has a chip on his shoulder and is eager to prove he can be a very good collegiate basketball player. We are excited to give him the opportunity. He has a lot of hard work ahead of him in the preseason, but as he continues to get in shape and shake off the rust he could be a special player for us down the road."
The new high school signees are Curtis Woods, a 6-6, 215-pound froward from Dallas Samuell, and Kenny Ferguson, a 6-3 product of Keller. Both were first-team all-district picks last season, with Woods averaging 9.2 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1.3 blocks while Ferguson scored 12 points, dished out four assists and grabbed five boards per game.
"Curtis was the best player on his team in a tough district in Dallas," said Reisman, according to the release. "He played against great competition and basically averaged a double-double.
"I like (Ferguson's) competitive nature," the head coach and 500-game winner continued. "He's a very tough kid I think will really represent Tarleton (well) on and off the floor."
The Texans also announced the signing of Dublin center Jakob Damstra, who actually signed his national letter of intent on May 1.
"Many colleges missed out on (Damstra), period," said Reisman." Jakob possesses everything we look for in a student-athlete. He's a young man with the support of a great family and community who has a lot of people looking forward to seeing him succeed. Jakob is going to have a great career at Tarleton. He has a ton of potential and a great work ethic."
Damstra averaged 13.6 points, 14.2 rebounds and five blocks per contest, earning District 6-2A MVP honors while leading Dublin to its first regional tournament appearance since 1995.
Previously released additions to the roster include combo guard Chuck Guy, a Division I transfer from Arkansas-Little Rock, guard De'Andre Upchurch, a transfer from Highlands Community College, forward Jon Cathey-Macklin, a transfer from Wabash Valley College, guard Devin Mitchell, a transfer Murray State College (juco) and Michael Hardge, a high school guard from Georgetown.
Tarleton was 27-6 last season and reached the second round of the Division II playoffs.
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