Trenkle: 'Recruiting has been a lot of fun'
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
The Garden City Community College men's basketball team had 12 players receive meaningful minutes during games in the 2013-14 season. Those 12 led the Busters to a 22-9 record (8-6 in the KJCCC West).
Only four return this season.
And only one starter, point guard Jalen Variste, returns, along with reserve guards John Bell and Tidell Pierre and center Miles Banks.
That leaves a lot for head coach Brady Trenkle to replace heading into his second season at the helm of the Broncbusters.
But since Trenkle signed transfer Davon Anderson on Wednesday afternoon, he now believes his staff has put together a 13-man recruiting class that can lessen the impact of losing eight sophomores, including six players who signed at four-year colleges, from last year's team.
"Our recruiting has been a lot of fun this year," Trenkle said in a telephone interview Thursday afternoon.
Anderson, a sophomore transfer from Jacksonville (Texas) College, was the latest fun endeavor.
"He's a perfect JUCO player," Trenkle said of the 6-foot-7, 200-pound forward, "just because he's so versatile. He fits exactly what I've been wanting."
The left-handed Anderson scored 9.1 points per game and hauled in 5.2 rebounds per game off the bench for Jacksonville in 2012-13, before transferring to GCCC at the semester of this academic year.
However, Anderson had to become academically eligible before Trenkle could sign him, and he did, prompting the signing on Wednesday just after the spring semester ended.
"He's what every JUCO coach looks for," Trenkle said.
Anderson adds to an already deep list of signees for Trenkle, with 12 others signing in early April to early May, including five in-state players.
"We'll be a different looking team next year," Trenkle said. "I think this year we looked like a football team, physically."
With former K-State wide receiver recruit Jade Cathey leading the way, Trenkle's comparison was not far off.
Talan Whitaker, Jeremy Wilson, D'Shon Taylor and Cathey were all imposing figures with physical strength to bang in the paint.
Trenkle says he has some of that with his signees, but has more length and height to make up for some deficiences.
"We do have a few guys bulit like Jade, Jeremy and Talan, but not six of them like we did this year," Trenkle said. "We've got some good strength, but we're a little bit longer this year."
And that begins with the five in-state recruits:
The 6-8 post originally signed with Northwestern Oklahoma State University, NCAA Division II, out of Conway Springs High School in 2013, and redshirted his freshman season.
Because of the redshirt, Echelberry will transfer with two years of eligibility at GCCC.
"We're real excited about him," Trenkle said about Echelberry, who was a second team all-state selection his junior season. "He can post and he can play on the perimeter a little bit."
Beard was a Class 6A All-State honorable mention for Wichita North in 2013-14, leading North to a 12-10 record and a state tournament berth.
Trenkle said the 5-9 combo guard can be prolific from the outside.
"I think that's the one thing that Zach can really do," Trenkle said. "In high school, he didn't have to live on it, where in college, Zach's good enough to get his shot off and quick enough to get by you."
A second team All-Stater for Wichita Heights in 2014, Bell is a left-handed wing who Trenkle believes can be a lockdown defender.
"His window to be great is huge," Trenkle said. "I think he's got huge upside."
At 6-2, Bell led Heights to third place in the Class 5A state tournament.
Beard's teammate at Wichita North, Loy is a 6-9 post who Trenkle believes can still stretch the defense from the outside.
"He's got huge upside," Trenkle said. "I think he can be 6-10 by the time he leaves us."
Jeremee "JT" Bennett Jr.
The 6-2 shooting guard out of Kansas City-Washington averaged 21.8 points per game as a senior, leading Washington to a state berth.
"He can really shoot the ball, really strong," Trenkle said. "For us to get him, that's huge."
Springer is also a transfer from Jacksonville, and played alongside Anderson in 2012-13.
The Springfield, Mass., native scored 10.1 points per game and grabbed 2.4 rebounds per game at guard in 31 games for Jacksonville. He also had 2.2 assists per game.
Trenkle said Springer, like many guards in the class, can play point through small forward positions.
"We're extremely versatile right now," he Trenkle said.
Another example of the type of guard that can play multiple positions, Frazier sat out a year of basketball and attended a junior college near his native Buffalo, N.Y.
But he wanted to get back into the sport and will play under Trenkle as a freshman.
"He fit the same mold as some of the guys that played against us this year," Trenkle said, noting he likes to find certain types of players that he sees on other teams.
The 6-foot-6 Robinson was high school teammates with former Buster Whitaker — who will play at the University of Texas-Pan American in 2014-15 — at Denver East High School.
"We were excited to get him," Trenkle said of Robinson, noting that the forward, according to his high school coach, is the all-time leader in blocked shots for the state of Colorado. "He's going to be good here."
The 6-1 guard is a transfer from Division I mid-major Florida A M College, where he averaged 2.5 points and one assist in 11 minutes per game.
However, his best game did come against the University of Southern Florida, scoring nine points and hauling in four boards in just 18 minutes.
Fowlkes is a 6-4 small forward that's "tough as nails, strong, just my kind of guy," Trenkle said.
The Baltimore, Md., native played at Action Sports Academy prep school in Georgia in 2013-14 and will come in as a freshman.
The 6-9, 210-pounder is coming off a torn ACL in July of 2013, but Trenkle said he believes that's going to motivate the "extremely talented" post player.
"He's coming hungry," Trenkle said. "He's a dunk everything, block shots, skill level high guy. Everything about him fits the mold of what we were looking for."
Moore played high school ball at Hillsboro High School in Nashville, Tenn.
Arthur is a 6-8, 220-pound big who Trenkle called the "highest touted" recruit in Trenkle's class. Arthur is listed as a two-star power forward by ESPN.com for the 2013 high school class, with interest from George Mason, Miami (Fla.) and Pitt, among others.
Arthur played at a prep school for one year out of high school before signing with GCCC.
"I recruited him last year, he told me he was going prep for a year, and I told (my assistants) to stay on him," Trenkle said.
Notes: Trenkle said he still has one more slot left for a potential signee, noting that he needs to find the right fit to complete his 2014 signing class.