Courtesy of Tarleton Sports Information

Tarleton head men’s basketball coach Lonn Reisman has announced the addition of Matt Akins to the 2007-08 basketball squad.

Akins, a 6-9, 225-pound center from St. Louis, Mo., will transfer to Tarleton from Western Nebraska Community College.

“Matt Akins brings us an exceptional athlete with tremendous endurance to run the floor, block shots and shoot the ball,” Reisman said.

“Matt is a very versatile player who has the ability to go out and hit the jump shots while also being able to post up effectively. He is a very active player that I feel can be an outstanding rebounder for us next year.”

Akins averaged 10.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game as a sophomore at WNCC while shooting .470 from the field and .330 from the 3-point arc. He scored 24 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and had five steals against Otero College in the regional tournament to highlight his sophomore season. He also added a double-double in the regional quarterfinal against Northwest College with 16 points and 12 rebounds.

He split time this season with 6-10, 250-pound Texas Tech-signee Ricardo De Bern, who averaged 16.8 points per game. Akins was also a member of the 2007 Region IX All-Tournament Team.

“I have no doubt in my mind that Matt will be an impact player, but what excites me most is that he still has his best basketball in front of him,” Reisman said.

Akins is a graduate of Jennings High School in St. Louis where he played for Randy Carter. He was an all-conference selection all four seasons and was the conference’s Player of the Year and All-Metro First Team as a senior. He averaged 10 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks per game in his final season in high school.

Akins, who originally signed with Big XII member Nebraska out of high school, was one of 10 Missouri high school student-athletes to be nominated for McDonald’s All-American in 2005. He led this year’s team to an 18-10 record and the regional quarterfinals. Akins was named an All-Nebraska Junior College Honorable Mention selection. He was being recruited by NCAA Division I schools Arkansas-Little Rock, Denver, Drake, East Tennessee State, Cal State-Fullerton, Southeast Missouri State, Sacramento State and San Jose State. Tarleton was the only Division II university Akins visited.

“Matt was very highly recruited, and we feel very fortunate he has decided to join our basketball family,” Reisman said. “He will have two years left, and he will help put us in a position to compete nationally and make a return trip to the Elite Eight.”