Lone Star Conference champ Tarleton State released the first three members of its men's basketball recruiting class Thursday afternoon, two of them ranked among the state's top 100 high school prospects by TexasHoops.com.
Point guard Deshawn Riddick is ranked 60th by Texas Hoops after averaging 18 points, eight assists and four steals to lead Pflugerville Connally to the 5A regional quarterfinals. Guard Charles Beuregard is 84th on the list after collecting 15.8 points, 3.7 boards and 3.2 assists to pace Garland Lake View Centennial to the same round of the playoffs.
The other national letter of intent signee is guard Nosa Ebomwonyi, who scored 14.9 points and grabbed 7.1 boards for Pflugerville High. Riddick and Ebomwonyi competed for crosstown rivals at Pflugerville and Connally, and Riddick scored 30 points, snared eight boards and dealt eight assists in one of their head's up battles. He had a similar line of 30 points, eight rebounds and nine helpers against Houston C.E. King.
Ebomwonyi helped Pflugerville to the area finals. They were 24-8 on the season, while Riddick and Connally were 26-16 and Beuregard and Lake View Centennial were 22-8.
At 6-5, Ebomwonyi gives Tarleton a big guard who was a solid rebounder at the prep level.
"Nosa is a big-time get for our program. He has the potential to become a top player in the Lone Star Conference," said Tarleton head coach Lonn Reisman. "He has great size, length and athleticism, he shoots and handles the ball well and he's a great student. I'm excited to get him implanted into our strength and conditioning program where he can begin to develop and get college ready."
Ebomwonyi, who once scored 28 points while hitting the glass 11 times against Schertz Clemens, was named to the All-Central Texas team and voted first-team all-district. He played AAU ball for the Texas Ambassadors.
"Even before the high school season ended, one thing always on my mind was where I would be at in college," said Ebomwonyi, a heralded student who plans to major in engineering, during a Thursday phone interview. "When I went to Tarleton, it was such a family atmosphere that at the end of my visit I knew that's where I wanted to be."
That wasn't the only draw for the Pflugerville standout.
"The winning tradition there is huge. They aren't known for losing many games, and that starts with the coaches and the players they recruit," Ebomwonyi said. "They recruit players who come to win, and I'm glad to be a part of that."
Riddick, 6-1, was a three-time first-team all-district selection, and as a senior was third-team all-region. He was voted his team's MVP and named to all-tournament teams at events in Georgetown and Seguin. Riddick competed in AAU for Texas Thunder Blue.
"Deshawn was a highly recruited player and really impressed our entire coaching staff with his ability," Reisman said. "He's an athletic, scoring point guard who really stuffed the stat sheet in high school. He elevates well and is able to create his own shot or get his teammates open."
Beuregard, 6-3, was a first-team all-district and all-region selection. Reisman believes he is a steal at the Division II level.
"Charles is a diamond in the rough. Many people are going to be excited to see how much he progresses during his time at Tarleton. He's a great kid with a contagious smile," the coach said. "He has a great motor on the floor and just finds a way to get things done. He's instinctive, knows how to score, is a great passer and a clutch shot maker."
Just as with Ebomwonyi, it was a sense of belonging that led Beuregard to choosing Tarleton. And it began when Reisman and his son, associate head coach Chris Reisman, began recruiting him in January.
"Deciding to go to Tarleton was a big step in my life. Coach Chris and Coach Reisman recruited me in January, and I did my best to show them something," Beuregard said. "Then on my visit, Tarleton just felt like home. Coach Reisman made me feel like a son the first day I walked in. All the coaches did; it was like I was already a part of their family.
"I plan to come in, work my butt off, give it my all and win," Beuregard added. "I want to come in and make a big positive impact on the team."
Tarleton rolled to a 28-3 record this past season, setting its modern era record for win percentage at .903. The Texans won their second straight LSC tournament title and were league co-champs in the regular season. They reached the Division II national playoffs for the 11th time in 13 years.