CSU basketball signs 5 prospects

CSU basketball signs 5 prospects
(Source: Bilodeau, Kevin)

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern men’s basketball announced the signing of five student-athletes to National Letters of Intent Thursday morning.

Kalib Clinton, Matt Davis, A.J. Hamrick, Claudell Harris Jr. and Tajé Kelly officially signed and will join the Buccaneers for the 2021-22 season.

“I’m very excited to welcome Claudell (MJ), Matt, Kalib, Tajé and A.J. to our Buccaneer basketball family,” said head coach Barclay Radebaugh. “We knew this was a very important recruiting class because of our talented senior class.  I am thankful that we’re able to fill all of our recruiting needs. This class has amazing size and athleticism and skill. God is good. Recruiting during Covid has been challenging but also rewarding.”

Radebaugh added, “Our staff did an amazing job of turning what was perceived as a negative into a positive. Our coaches worked very hard to build relationships the Covid way. We spent hours and hours on countless Zooms building relationships that led to this outstanding class. I have really enjoyed getting to know our recruits and their families. All five recruits and their families will be amazing additions to our Buccaneer family and culture. I am so thankful to Tee, Saah, Rick, Colton, Stephen, Damon, Betty and Nate for their hours of commitment and tireless work to put this class together.”

Matt Davis Profile Guard | 6′6 | Johns Creek, Ga. (The Skill Factory Prep)

A 6′6 guard from Johns Creek, Ga., Matt Davis was a two-sport athlete playing both basketball and running track & field in the 400M event at Northview HS before a postgraduate season at The Skill Factory Prep.

As a sophomore, Davis averaged 11 points and three rebounds per contest and was an Honor Roll student as well as being named an Arete Award recipient. In the AAU circuit, Davis averaged 8.7 points and 5.0 rebounds while shooting .446 from three-point range. Davis' sister Michaela is also a senior member of the cross country team at Georgia College.

Head coach Barclay Radebaugh on Matt Davis: We are very excited about Matt Davis becoming a Buccaneer. Matt has been a target of ours for two years because of the way he shoots the ball. He is an elite shooter with NBA range. Shooters are not born they are made and Matt has put in the countless hours on the court to become a great shooter. He will allow us to continue to be able to stretch the floor, which is so important in our offensive attack. Matt is a great student and an even better person and will fit into our culture perfectly.

Coach Butters on Matt Davis: Buccaneer fans will be excited for the addition of Matt. He is one of the best 3-point shooters in the Southeast and will be a perfect fit for our offense. Matt is a student of the game and also a tremendous student in the classroom! His work ethic will instantly impact our culture and we can’t wait to get him to campus.

Rob Johnson (The Skill Factory Prep Coach) on Matt Davis: Matt is the hardest worker in our program. He shows up to work every day and treats everything like a game. His development has been tremendous over the years. In addition to being a great shooter he uses his size to rebound and competes every possession on defense. He’s a strong finisher and knows how to move off the ball for easy scoring opportunities. I’m excited to watch his development at Charleston southern and know he will do everything it takes to be the best player he can be and help the team and program reach their goals. He’s embodied everything we expect of a student athlete at TSF and we will be following him and supporting him all the way though.

Kalib Clinton Profile Forward | 6′5 | Jefferson, Ga. (Jackson County HS)

Kalib Clinton enters his senior season at Jackson County HS averaging a double-double in his first three seasons headlined by a 27-point, 10-rebound junior season. During his varsity career, Clinton has been named the King of the Smokies MVP, a three-time All-Region athlete, an All-Area Team member and was a finalist for the Freshman of the Year.

A 6′5 forward that ranks as the No. 6 small forward in the state of Georgia, Clinton started his high school career with a 16-point, 10-rebound average as a freshman followed by a 21-point, 12-rebound sophomore season.

Head coach Barclay Radebaugh on Kalib Clinton: Like Matt, Kalib has been on our radar for a very long time. Kalib has Kelvin Martin athleticism and tremendous length. He finishes at the rim as well as anybody in the state of Georgia and is ranked as one of the top players in the state. Kalib scores at all three levels and will have the ability and size to be a terrific defender and rebounder. I love Kalib’s versatility, which will lead to him being able to play multiple positions. Kalib will be a great addition to our basketball family, our culture, and to CSU. I can’t wait to coach him.

Coach Nimley on Kalib Clinton: Kalib was one of the most naturally-talented players in Georgia’s 2021 class that I saw this year. He possesses a combination of length, athleticism, and skill that all coaches look for in a wing at this level. Kalib is our kind of guy and we are blessed to be the staff that gets to grow him as a player and person.

Bryan Parker (Jackson County HS Coach) on Kalib Clinton: Kalib is an amazing young man that will undoubtedly be remembered as the best athlete to ever graduate from Jackson County High School. He has a fire to continually improve and a drive to become the best basketball player and teammate he can be. Kalib is a fierce competitor with great size and a diverse skill set that allows him to succeed at multiple positions on the court.  It has been an honor to coach Kalib and watch him grow into a great young man on and off the court. Kalib has a bright future and I am excited to see what the next chapter holds for him at Charleston Southern.

A.J. Hamrick Profile Forward | 6′9 | Rock Hill, S.C. (Westminster Catawba Christian School)

Through three seasons of his high school career, A.J. Hamrick has averaged 14.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per contest showing off his versatility on both offense and defense, while shooting a blazing 41% from three-point range for Westminster Catawba Christian School. Hamrick comes to the Bucs via Rock Hill, S.C. giving the Bucs at least one Palmetto State native in each academic class joining Sadarius Bowser, Matt Kormylo and Emorie Knox.

Head coach Barclay Radebaugh on A.J. Hamrick: A.J. was the final piece of the puzzle for this 2021 recruiting class. We watched AJ play with great interest all summer during his streamed AAU events. A.J. just got better and better and better and better. We feel like he’s just scratched the surface of his ability. A.J. is a 6′9 multi -positional forward with three point range and is still growing. He has over a 7-foot wingspan which will allow him to be an excellent rebounder and defender in the future. We are very thankful that A.J. is a Buccaneer and I can’t wait to get them here this summer.

Coach Butters on A.J. Hamrick: Our staff is extremely excited to add A.J. to the Buccaneer family. A.J. brings size and length to help defensively along with the ability to stretch the floor. His potential is through the roof and A.J.'s best basketball is ahead of him. We are excited to help develop AJ on and off the floor!

Ed Addie (Westminster Catawba Christian HS coach) on A.J. Hamrick: It has been a great pleasure to coach AJ Hamrick. He is one of the most respectable young men I have ever coached. He’s a gym rat that lives in the gym and works hard to get better every day. Although he’s a terrific basketball player right now, I think his best basketball is ahead of him. He has been a great asset to my program at Westminster Catawba Christian School and I think he will be just as much of an asset to Charleston Southern University.

Claudell ‘MJ’ Harris Jr. Profile Guard | 6′3 | Hahnville, La. (Hahnville HS)

Entering his final season at Hahnville high school, Claudell ‘MJ’ Harris Jr. has enjoyed an illustrious career through three full seasons. Harris began with a 10-point, 1-assist, 1-rebound freshman season then followed with a 15-point, 3-assist, 3-rebound and 2-steal sophomore campaign before a junior season that saw a 17-point, 5-rebound, 4-assist and 2-steal average.

Harris set a Hahnville record of 22 points in a single quarter, made 11 three-point baskets in a single contest and went a perfect 12-for-12 at the free throw line in a playoff game. Harris is also a two-time First Team All-Conference, two-time All-New Orleans Metro Area and two-time Hahnville Invitational Tournament Team member. He ended his junior season as the Hahnville Invitational MVP and earned All-State honors.

His father, Claudell Harris Sr., was a basketball student-athlete at Southeastern Louisiana University from 1991-93.

Head coach Barclay Radebaugh on Claudell ‘MJ’ Harris Jr.: MJ is one of the top 10 players in the state of Louisiana. He is a highly recruited 6′3 guard that is an explosive scorer. MJ has a great basketball IQ and really knows how to play the game. Saah watched MJ play in a streamed AAU tournament and we immediately moved MJ to the top of our 2021 guard wish list. I am so impressed with MJ as a player and even more as a young student athlete. He has the character and commitment to excellence that we are looking for in our program and will be a tremendous addition to CSU in every way. I can’t wait to get him here this summer.

Coach Nimley on Claudell ‘MJ’ Harris Jr.: I knew the moment I saw MJ play that he would be a kid that we would be lucky to have. He’s a big time offensive-minded guard that reminds me a lot of successful guards we’ve had in the past. I’m looking forward to getting him to campus and seeing his development through.

Yusef Jasmine (Hahnville HS coach) on Claudell ‘MJ’ Harris Jr.: Claudell is the epitome of the word process. I’ve expected him to be better than he was at his best, EVERY PLAY regardless if it was practice or the game with no regards to opponents and he’s superseded my expectations.  It’s been a joy to coach and watch him grow into the young man that he is today.

Tajé Kelly Profile Forward | 6′8 | Atlanta, Ga. (Grayson HS)

Tajé Kelly reunites with two former high school teammates in Travis Anderson and Terence Porter Jr. as he comes to CSU via Grayson in Atlanta, Ga. Through his junior season, Kelly has averaged 11 points, 10 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 2.7 assists per contest.

Head coach Barclay Radebaugh on Tajé Kelly: “We are also excited to add Tajé to our basketball family. He is a 6′8 forward that can play multiple positions and plays above the rim. Finding skilled post players is very difficult but a requirement for our system. Tajé checks off all the boxes. He’s athletic and has the size and length to be a good defender and also skilled enough to be effective in our offensive attack. Tajé is our third recruit from Grayson High School and we are very thankful for all three of them - Greyson has one of the best high school programs in the country. Tajé knows how to win. He’s a terrific student and like the other four recruits in the 2021 class, will fit in perfectly with our culture.”

Coach Nimley on Tajé Kelly: Tajé comes from an extremely talented and well coaches program in Grayson High School. He showed me flashes of what he could do during his junior year, in a limited role. He was able to display his full skill set in AAUs this summer and I knew then that we had to have him. He’s a great kid and also a great student and will be a great addition to our program.

Geoffrey Pierce (Grayson HS coach) on Tajé Kelly: It has been a blessing to coach Tajé Kelly over the past 4 years. He is truly a “Team First” type of player and a player that any coach would want representing their program. Last year he willingly accepted a back-up role that was vital in our run to the State Championship game when he probably could have gone to just about any other team in the county and been a starter. He never complained. He is always on time, and his grades and behavior have NEVER been an issue at any point in time over the last 4 years. Over the summer we challenged him to be a leader for this year’s team and he responded. Right now he has the highest GPA on the team, and has consistently been one of the ones working the hardest at practices and workouts. I’m really looking forward to watching his continued development as a player, leader, and young man and I truly believe that Charleston Southern was able to secure not only a special player, but a special human being. The sky is the limit for Tajé.