JONESBORO (4/30/07) - Arkansas State University head men’s basketball coach Dickey Nutt has announced that Michael Lance, a First Team All-Region XVI selection as just a freshman at Three Rivers (MO) Community College last season, has signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Indians next season.
“We are extremely excited about Michael Lance joining our Arkansas State family and basketball program,” said Nutt. “Michael is coming out a rising sophomore and that only enhances things for us because it gives us three good years with him.”
The 6-3, 185-pound guard will have three years of eligibility remaining at Arkansas State after helping lead Three Rivers CC to the Region XVI regular-season and tournament championship as a freshman in 2006-07. Lance started 36 games for a Raiders team that posted a 26-11 overall record and 8-0 mark in Region XVI while receiving votes in the final NJCAA Top-25 poll.
“I have said for many years as head coach at Arkansas State that we have the utmost respect for coach Gene Bess and his program,” said Nutt. “Anytime we can get a young man from his program, we feel like we are getting a winner and this is no different. Michael Lance knows how to win and has proven that everywhere he has been.”
The Poplar Bluff, Mo., native averaged 12.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals per game last season to rank sixth in scoring and 14th in rebounds, assists and steals among all Region XVI players. He also made 82 percent of his free throws and shot 45 percent from the field to rank third and sixth in the region, respectively.
“Michael brings a lot of intangibles with him,” said Nutt. “Many of the things that he does out on the floor do not get recorded on a stat sheet. He is going to get down on the floor and make a lot of hustle plays. He can also get to the basket, shoot the ball very well and defend the opponent’s best player.”
Lance attended Twin Rivers High School, where he was named to the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association All-State Team for Class 3A as both a junior and senior. He scored a team-high 16 points in Missouri’s large-school all-star game as a senior and also competed in the BA slam-dunk and three-point contest prior to the game.