When the HBU Huskies basketball squad enters into the Southland Conference next year, they’ll have a little extra size to bring along with them.
In an announcement made on Monday, Houston Baptist University’s men’s basketball program added a pair of signees whose height will bolster the team’s front line.
Cody Stetler, a 6’9” forward from Hoisington, Kansas, and Alex Fountain, a 6’7” forward from Wartburg, Tennessee, were inked to National Letters of Intent by the Huskies, head coach Ron Cottrell announced.
And the coach stated that, in both cases, he felt that the process had netted HBU a pair of players who can become integral contributors to his future teams.
“We’re more than thrilled to have both of them join our program, because they are exactly the players we went after,” Cottrell said.
“We pinpointed these two young men early in the recruiting process last spring,” he stated, “and spent a large amount of our time recruiting them because we knew they both would fit into not only the needs for our roster, but for the future of our program and our university.”
Fountain has played all four years at Wartburg Central High School and is ranked among the top 20 recruits in Tennessee, according to ESPN, Rivals and multiple other outlets.
Last season, he averaged 23.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals to become a Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association (TSSAA) Mr. Basketball Finalist.
Stetler plays at Hoisington High School. He is a two-time Mid-Central Activities Association (MCAA) All-League first-team selection and earned honorable mention as a freshman.
Last season, he averaged 15.2 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.3 blocks and 1.8 assists per game, while shooting 53 percent from the field and 73 percent from the line.
He has been selected to the Keady All-Tournament Team all three years, including MVP as a junior and has been named to the Cardinal Winter Jam All-Tournament Team all three seasons as well.
Cottrell stated that each player brought specific skill sets that would help his team.
“Alex gives us another athletic, long player who can play the four and eventually play the three some for us,” Cottrell said of Fountain. “We feel he is going to be able to make a major contribution for our program.”
“Cody is a strong, really good athlete with terrific hands,” Cottrell said regarding Stetler. “He’s farther along defensively than he is offensively right now.”
“The fact that he was highly recruited as a tight end in football tells you that he has really good feet and really good hands—and those are tremendous assets for him on the basketball floor,” Cottrell added. “We expect him to come in and make an immediate contribution to our program.”
Despite being from different regions of the country, the two newcomers should be somewhat familiar with each other’s game, as both competed against each other in the AAU Elite Youth Basketball League.
Fountain played for the Tennessee Travelers in the EYBL and was coached by former University Tennessee and Denver Nuggets forward Vincent Yarbrough. Stetler played for MoKan Elite of Kansas City for three years under head coach Rodney Perry in the same league.
Both players mentioned the atmosphere that surrounds the men’s basketball program at HBU as the big contributing factor in their decisions to commit to play there.
“I visited several other colleges this past summer before and after my official visit to Houston Baptist,” Fountain said. “After my experiences with the coaches and players of the other schools, I knew HBU was right for me because of the family atmosphere and how I meshed with the team.”
Stetler was quoted as agreeing with Fountain’s assessment.
“The reason I chose HBU is because how much of a family it is,” Stetler said. “It really was what I was looking for in a school and a basketball team.”
“The coaches made me feel like I was at home when I went on my official visit and I got along with all the players and coaches very well,” he added. “I feel that I will get a great education at HBU, plus be able to play basketball for a great head coach.”
Both were signed during the NCAA early signing period for basketball, which went from November 14 through November 21. The regular signing period will begin April 17, 2013 and continue through May 15, 2013.