In this early offseason, many have put their attention on who is coming to the Furman men’s basketball team after graduating Clay Mounce and Noah Gurley transferred to Alabama. The Paladins finished 16-9 this past season and went 10-5 in conference. There is clear excitement from the coaching staff to what this upcoming class has in store and we’re about to cover each player and how they can contribute to the team. While some may think Furman will be rebuilding depth, it is likely that Furman can maintain SoCon favorite contingency.
GUARD TRANSFER- Conley Garrison (Drury University)
We have to first mention that Furman has picked up a grad transfer from Drury University. While the Paladins aren’t known to look into the transfer portal, Conley Garrison seems to be a promising pick in a time where the transfer portal is virtually unrestricted. Garrison is a 6-1 guard that averaged 17 points per game. Garrison shot almost 44% from the floor and about 40% from outside the arc. Although having known contact with Loyola-Chicago, Drake, Bradley, SIU, Lipscomb, Chattanooga, Akron, UMKC, William & Mary, and SEMO; Furman was able to land this potential weapon to the guard position. Since Hunter is staying for his last year of eligibility, I predict Garrison being a substantial gain of depth to follow Hunter off the bench.
CENTER- James Repass (Providence, Florida)
James Repass brings an “element of size that we haven’t had here” according to coach Richey. Repass stands tall at 6’10 and 250 pounds which is rare to find on previous Furman rosters. Repass was ranked as the #31st prospect to come out of the state of Florida and a 3-star prospect according to 247 Sports. Repass was able to lead his high school team to be district champions and coach Richey stated that he values James’s leadership skills. Repass is highly efficient with utilizing his size to attack the basket and force the defensive to watch him in the paint.
SMALL FORWARD- Alex Williams (Moeller, Ohio)
Alex Williams is a dynamic addition to the Paladins roster shooting 40% outside the arc, and resembling the potential game plan Clay Mounce was utilized for. Williams is currently at a strong frame being 6’5 and 220 pounds. Williams was part of a highly competitive team in high school and has contributed to 20+ win seasons. In his time at Moeller, Williams was part of their state championship season in 2019. Moeller was the second leading scorer on a team that has five division 1 offers. From the tape available, Williams is highly athletic and able to find openings to attack the basket and shoot at a high level as well.
FORWARD- Tyrese Hughey (Worthington, Ohio)
It seems that Furman’s coaching staff has picked up Tyrese Hughey to resemble players like Slawson or Gurley when it comes to play style. Coach Richey remarks that Hughey is “the perfect fit at the time” being 6’7 and able to cover the floor, pass effectively, and also rebound at a high level. Hughey is the #8 player coming out of Ohio according to Prep Hoops and a 3-star recruit by 247 Sports. Hughey and Williams have previously played on the same AAU team together and this caught the attention of Furman for their chemistry on the court. The fact that these two recruits are former teammates will serve as a major factor coming into Furman. Hughey also comes from a successful team in his time in high school, leading his team to their first district title since 2001, and a 21-5 season before the pandemic.
POINT GUARD- Jaylen Pegues (Hillsboro, Tennessee)
Jaylen Pegues had a lot of eyes on him as he landed #2 PG out of Tennessee per Prep Hoops. Jaylen Pegues made All-State during his time in high school and notably performed especially under clutch situations. He has proven that he loves to have the ball late and the game and knows how to execute to win big games. Pegues is 6’1 and averaged 18 points, 4 assists, and 5 rebounds. Pegues had plenty of offers but eventually stuck to Furman due to the style of play and character development that has flourished here. Coach Richey has compared Pegues to previous Paladins such as Devin Sibley for his ability to strive in the half-court offense and ultimately play to Furman’s system. It seems that the coaching staff is very excited for the potential Pegues has as a Paladin.
After looking at the clear athleticism and past success from these recruits, Furman fans should be very excited for the upcoming season. If the current roster sustains itself through the offseason, then Furman will be a serious threat returning players like Hunter, Slawson, Bothwell and many more. The Paladins have the ability to reload this season and maintain SoCon favorites with the goal of a successful regular season with hope to win a SoCon tournament championship. Fans have been looking for a consistent starting five, depth off the bench, increased size, and mental toughness, and this season has a high potential to achieve all those goals. Only time will tell what happens, but fans should certainly be excited about the future for these Paladins.