2006-07 Class Ranked Top 30 by HoopScoop.com
DENTON - North
Texas head men's basketball coach Johnny
Jones has announced that Howe (TX) High School's Collin Mangrum ,
Mineral Area (MO) College's Curtis Muse and Jonathan Jackson and San
Jacinto (TX) College's Ben Bell have all singed a National Letter of
Intent to play for the Mean Green next season.
"This is an exciting day for North Texas basketball and its fans,"
said Jones. "It gives me great pleasure to announce the signing of
four unique players that will make an impact on our program for years to
come. This is the first time that we have been able to complete our
recruiting class in the early signing period and it speaks volumes of
how hard this staff has worked leading up to this special day. All four
of these players come from successful programs and we welcome them and
their families to our Mean Green family."
Mangrum is a 6-4, 185 pound guard that helped lead Howe High School to
the Texas Class 2A State Semifinals last season and is a big part of its
No. 9 ranking in the TABC 2005-06 Preseason Poll. Howe finished the
2004-05 season ranked No. 3 in the final state rankings and Mangrum was
named an all-state selection as a junior after averaging 15.6 points,
6.7 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.7 steals per game. He was also named to
the Texas State All-Tournament Team, tabbed All-District 13-2A and a
first team all-region selection. He is ranked No. 38 out of the
state's top 100 seniors by TexasHoops.com and No. 123 by
PrepRoundBall.com in the class of 2006.
Mangrum, a preseason second team all-state selection among all
classifications by Texas Basketball Magazine, was also recruited by TCU,
SMU, Baylor, Tulsa and Stephen F. Austin. He will join former teammate
Justin Howerton, who signed with the Mean Green last year.
"Collin is the hardest working player I've had in 26 years," said
Howe head coach Tim Rose. "He has great talent and his work ethic is
North Texas will get a couple of big men in junior college transfer's
Muse and Jackson. Both players will have two year's of eligibility
remaining with the Mean Green. They helped lead Mineral Area College to
the 2004-05 MCCAC (Midwest Community College Athletic Conference)
championship and a 21-10 record. The Cardinals are ranked No. 19 in the
NJCAA I Preseason Poll and 18th nationally by Street & Smith's
Muse is a 6-10, 225 pound center that averaged 8.3 points and 4.8
rebounds as a freshman last season and was named to the MCCAC
All-Conference Team as a honorable mention selection. He was tabbed
preseason all-america by Street & Smtih's for the upcoming year. The
St. Louis, Missouri, native ranked second among all players in Region 16
last season in field goal percentage (62.2 percent), seventh in blocks
(0.9 bpg) and 13th in rebounds. Muse posted season highs of 18 points
and 11 rebounds. Before signing with MAC, Muse attended Vashon High
School and helped lead the basketball team to a state championship.
Vashon went undefeated Muse' senior season and he was an all-state
selection. Muse was also recruited by Wyoming, UNLV and Oklahoma.
"Curtis is a big guy that runs the floor well," said Mineral Area
College head coach Corey Tate. "He is very exciting to watch. He is
athletic and knows how to play the game."
Jackson is 6-8, 240 pounds and can play either forward or center. He
competed the second half of last season with the Cardinals and averaged
4.8 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. He ranked eighth in blocks among
all players in Region 16 last season. Jackson attended Jefferson High
School in Portland, Oregon. He was also recruited by teams such as Utah
State and UNLV.
"Jonathan will bring alot of leadership to our team this season
because he is real mature," said Tate. "He is exciting to watch
because he can play down low and step outside to shoot the three."
Ben Bell is a 6-3, 170 pound point guard that is competing for No. 8
San Jacinto College this season as a sophomore. Bell originally signed
with Weatherford College after a successful high school career at
MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas. He was named the NTJCAC (North
Texas Junior College Athletic Conference) Freshman of the Year last
season and was a NTJCAC All-Conference selection. As a freshman with
the Coyotes, Bell averaged 15 points and seven assists per game for the
entire season. In conference games only, he averaged 12.4 points, 5.1
rebounds, 6.6 assists and 2.5 steals per game. His 6.6 assists per game
were the fourth most among all players in the league. Bell was also
named the NTJCAC Player of the Week after recording 20 points, 11
assists, nine rebounds and three steals in a victory. Through three
games with San Jacinto College this season, he is averaging 12 assists
Bell completed his high school career by being named first team
all-district, district MVP and First Team All-Region V as a senior.
"Ben is a player who will run a team and distribute the ball well,"
said San Jacinto College head coach Scott Gernander. "He is quick and
strong enough to get in the lane and does a good job of getting the ball
out. He is also a solid defender who can get his hands on the ball.
Ben is a true point guard."
The four early signings will join Arizona State transfer Keith Wooden
as newcomers on next year's team and wraps up North Texas' 2005-06
signing class. A 6-9, 245 pound center, Wooden is practicing with the
Mean Green this year, but will not be eligible to compete in a game
until the 2006-07 season due to NCAA transferring rules. Out of Free
State High School in Lawrence, Kansas, Wooden originally signed with
Arizona State as one of the top 100 national high school players
according to several publications and websites, including Basketball
Times, Athlon's, CBS Sportsline and HoopScoop.