BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Darian Hooker of Washington, D.C., and Reco McCarter of Goldsboro, N.C., have signed athletics grants-in-aid with Campbell University, head men's basketball coach Robbie Laing announced.
"I am truly elated about our 2012 recruiting class," said Laing, who is entering his 10th year in charge of the program. "This is the most comfortable I have been in my CU tenure going into a season. Along with our eight returnees, this recruiting class makes this team the most balanced of any I have coached at Campbell. I can't wait to get started in the fall."
A 6-foot guard, Hooker joins the Camels from Mineral Area College in Park Hills, Mo. McCarter comes from Virginia Commonwealth, where he was a member of the Rams' 2011 Final Four squad. The red-shirt sophomore will have three years of eligibility in a Camel uniform. Both are enrolled in summer school and are engaged in summer workouts with the team.
Hooker and McCarter form the 2012 recruiting class with early signees Jordan Faciane of Ellenwood, Ga., and D.J. Mason of Clarkton, N.C.
A combo guard, Hooker averaged 17.9 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game as a sophomore at Mineral Area College in Park Hills, Mo. He was an all-region and all-conference selection, who shot 80 percent (97-122) from the free throw line, 48 percent from the field (136-286) and 46 percent (61-134) from 3-point distance.
During his sophomore year, Hooker scored 30 points (11-16 FG, 4-7 threes) vs. Parkland College and 29 (10-12 FG, 4-5 threes) against St. Louis Community College.
As a freshman, he averaged 9.8 points1.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.0 steals per contest, while hitting 84 percent (38-45) of his foul shots, 44 percent (95-216) from the floor and 38 percent (26-69) from 3-point territory.
Hooker earned All-Mid-Atlantic Conference and honorable mention All-Metro D.C. recognition during his senior year (2010) at Maret High School, where he averaged 25 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists per contest. He ranked among the top 10 scorers in D.C., Maryland and Virginia and was named MVP at the Sidwell tournament.
"Darian is going to endear himself to Campbell fans, much like (2012 Big South freshman of the year) Trey Freeman did last season," said Laing. "He's an explosive scorer, shoots it really deep, has a great mid-range game and finishes at the rim. He's also perhaps the best on-ball defender we've had in the decade since I've been here."
A 6-foot-6 guard-forward, McCarter sat out as a red-shirt, but practiced with the VCU team that won the 2011 Colonial Athletic Association and NCAA Southwest Region championships en route to the Final Four. As a freshman last season, he appeared in 10 games and averaged 0.6 points for the CAA champs that advanced to the third round of the NCAA tourney.
He was granted a transfer waiver by the NCAA and will be eligible to participate immediately for the Camels.
"Reco obviously comes from a very successful program at VCU where he has been well-coached and we are really looking forward to having him on our team," said Laing. "At 6-6, he plays both the two and three positions, is highly-skilled, an excellent shooter with 3-point range and a very good defender. Both Reco and Darian bring dribble-pass-shoot abilities."
McCarter was a two-time all-state selection at Wayne Country Day School, where he averaged 20 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals and 4 assists per game as a senior. He was named MVP of the Cary Christmas Tournament and played for the highly-regarded Carolina Flight AAU team.
Hooker and McCarter join a Fighting Camel program that has defeated BCS conference member schools in each of the past two years. Last season, the Fighting Camels finished 17-15 overall (including a 77-61 win at Iowa) and placed third in the Big South Conference (11-7).
In four years since moving into the John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center / Gilbert Craig Gore Arena, the Camels have produced a 40-16 (.714) record at the building, including an 11-2 mark in 2011-12.
The returning lineup includes 2012 Big South Conference freshman of the year Trey Freeman and rising senior Darren White, a second-team all-conference selection.
2012 Campbell University Men's Basketball Recruiting Class
Jordan Faciane / 6-4, 218 / Guard / Ellenwood, Ga. / Morrow High School
2011-12: Averaged 18.3 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals per game as a senior… Named to Clayton County North All-Star team… Finished career with 966 points and a school-record 638 assists… 2010-11: Averaged 17 points per game as a junior… Career: Four-year team MVP… Also offensive MVP of football team as a junior and senior… National Honor Society student who earned A-B Honor Roll status all four years… Member of Griffin Grasshoppers AAU team, where he was coached by Alan Richards… Coached by James Livingston at Morrow High… Full name is Jordan Jude Faciane… Son of Christina Faciane-Battle and Bakeamiorocio Battle… Born March 7, 1994 in Covington, La.
Darian Hooker / 6-0, 165 / Guard / Washington, D.C. / Mineral Area (Mo.) College / Maret High School
2011-12: Averaged 17.9 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game as a sophomore… All-region and all-conference selection… Shot 80 percent (97-122) from the free throw line, 48 percent from the field (136-286) and 46 percent (61-134) from 3-point distance… Scored 30 points (11-16 FG, 4-7 threes) vs. Parkland College and 29 (10-12 FG, 4-5 threes) against St. Louis Community College…2010-11: Averaged 9.8 points1.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.0 steals per contest, while hitting 84 percent (38-45) of his foul shots, 44 percent (95-216) from the floor and 38 percent (26-69) from 3-point territory… Prep: Earned All-Mid-Atlantic Conference and honorable mention All-Metro D.C. recognition during his senior year (2010) at Maret High School, where he averaged 25 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists per contest… Ranked among the top 10 scorers in D.C., Maryland and Virginia and was named MVP at the Sidwell tournament… Also played at Kent (Conn.) School, where he led his team to a New England Championship and earned all-league honors… Career: Earned all-conference honors in football at Maret… Coached by Corey Tate at Mineral Area College…. Coached by Kalin Taylor and Thomas Carrington at Maret School… Full name is Darian Vernard Hooker… Son of Franklin and Jennifer Hooker… Has three siblings, Sankara Drabo, Vernard Hooker and Demetri Hooker… Born Jan. 28, 1991 in Minot, N.D.
D.J. Mason / 6-6, 210 / Forward / Clarkton, N.C. / West Bladen High School
2011-12: Selected to participate North Carolina Coaches Association East-West All-Star Game… Averaged 19 points and 12 rebounds for Waccamaw Conference champions… 2010-11: Named second-team all-state as a junior when he was selected Waccamaw Conference player of the year… Averaged 20 points and 11 rebounds per outing… Career: Coached by Travis Pait at West Bladen… Coached by Nathan Faulk on the Wilmington-based Flight 22 Blizzard Athletics AAU squad…Also participated in track & field as a senior… N.C. Scholar, Principle's List… A-B Honor Roll all four years… Full name is DeAndre' Javon Mason… Son of Denise Mason and Ponce Jones… Has one sister, Takayla… Born Feb. 11, 1994 in Whiteville, N.C.
Reco McCarter / 6-6, 190 / Guard-Forward / Goldsboro, N.C. / VCU / Wayne Country Day School
2011-12: Averaged 0.6 points and 0.2 rebounds in 10 games for CAA champion Virginia Commonwealth, which advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament… 2010-11: Did not see game action, but practiced with team as red-shirt at Virginia Commonwealth, which won the CAA and NCAA Southwest Regional championships and advanced to the Final Four… Prep: Two-time all-state selection at Wayne Country Day School, where he averaged 20 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals and 4 assists per game as a senior… Named MVP of the Cary Christmas Tournament… Career: Played for Carolina Flight AAU Team… Coached by Terry Jones at Wayne Country Day… Full name is Reco Rashad McCarter… Son of Shelia Lane and Clearence McCarter… Grandson of Brenda and Clearence McCarter… Has three siblings, Tremayne Lane, Brandon McCarter and Victoria McCarter… Born Dec. 9, 1990 in Goldsboro, N.C.