Woods Highlights Lee Basketball Signees

Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Led by a Tennessee Mr. Basketball finalist and some badly needed size, it appears that Lee head coach Tommy Brown and his staff has put together an impressive list of recruits for the 2014-15 season.

The freshmen list includes Levi Woods, a 6-foot-3 guard who was not only a Tennessee Mr. Basketball finalist, but directed the Meigs County Tigers to a runner-up spot in the TSSAA Class A State Tournament; Issac Merian, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound forward who also helped the Oak Ridge Wildcats to a second-place finish in the Class AAA State Tournament; and Blake Kenrick, a 6-foot-9 post player from David Lipscomb High School.

Four junior college transfers are slated to join the Flames. They should add needed size and beef to the inside attack. Lavontay Evans is 6-foot-6 and is from South Georgia State College; Cody Farley is 6-foot-9 and played for former Lee assistant John Meeks at Wallace State-Hanceville (Ala.); Denard Williams (6-foot-6) and Elgrin Wilson (6-foot-7) both were standouts at Walters State Community College.

"I think this class addresses our need of interior depth and athleticism, "said Brown. "Two of our four high school kids played in state championship games and three of the juco players took part in national tournaments, so they all come from winning programs"

Levi Woods is described as very long and athletic guard by the Lee staff. "He has all the tools to be a really good player, but needs to add weight before the season begins," noted assistant Ryan Ross.

Woods started all four years for Meigs coach Sammy Perkinson. He averaged 21 points, 11 rebounds and four assists in leading the Tigers to a 32-5 record this past season. He was named the MVP of the district and region tournaments and was a member of the all-state tournament team.

"I'm really excited about coming to Lee," said Woods during a phone conversation. "I can't wait for school to start." Woods said he liked the Lee staff and loved the Lee campus. "They are just good people to be around," he added.

Carrying a 3.1 GPA at Meigs, Woods plans on being an education major and has aspirations of becoming a coach someday. "Right now I just want to get started at Lee and do whatever it takes to help the team win," he allowed.

Issac Merian is described as key freshman recruit.  He earned a spot on the Class AAA All-State Tournament team. Merian also grabbed a position on the prestigious Arby's Classic All-Tournament team. "He comes from a very good program," said Ross. "He's a high-IQ player with really good athleticism."

Blake Kendrick averaged 15 points and seven rebounds for David Lipscomb in a very tough Nashville league. However, according to Ross, the Flames are going to redshirt Kendrick this year and allow time for his 6-foot-9 frame to get stronger. "He already has a very skilled all-around game," stressed the Lee assistant.

Lavontay Evans averaged almost 10 rebounds a game for South Georgia State College. "He is an absolute warrior," praised Ross. "He is a great rebounder with a relentless motor. Lavontay brings an element of toughness to our program. He can guard multiple positions and his toughness and energy will be very important to us this year."

Cody Farley will only be a sophomore when he joins the Flames from Wallace State-Hanceville (Ala.). He's 6-foot-9 but is identified as a long and crafty post player by the Lee staff. "Cody has good moves and great hands," added Ross. "He is very skilled and can step out and shoot. Cody is also a good passer from the post. He helped lead Wallace State-Hanceville to the Junior College National Tournament last year."

Denard Williams will be one of the most athletic guys the Flames have had at Lee, according to the current coaching staff.  "Denard is really bouncy and just hangs in the air. He joined Walters State teammate Elgrin Wilson in earning a berth in the Junior College National Tournament last season," pointed out Ross.

Elgrin Wilson averaged in double-figure scoring for a very good Walters State team. At 6-foot-7 he's a big, strong post player with good hands and feet. The staff notes that Elgrin has a real good skill set and can score on block and step out and shoot. He was a captain on last year's team. He averaged 14 points and eight rebounds as a freshman.

Coach Ross, who headed up the recruiting effort, said: "We brought in some much needed size and inside depth. We added athleticism and length and we will look a lot more like a Gulf South Conference team during warm ups this season. This has the makings of a strong class with some very versatile pieces."

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