Eight Texan basketball players sign with Div. I schools

Eight Texan basketball players sign with Div. I schools

LEVELLAND — After capturing the 2019 Region V title and advancing to the Final Four at the NJCAA Men's Basketball National Tournament, the South Plains College men's basketball program will send eight members from the 2018-2019 squad to four-year universities next season.

The Texans amassed a 28-6 record this past season including a 12-4 mark in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference, winning their second consecutive Region V crown and advanced to the NJCAA Final Four for the third straight season.

Under the tutelage of head coach Steve Green, who won his seventh regional title at the helm of the SPC program, the Texans were led by sophomore Gaige Prim, a 6-9 forward from Aurora, Colorado who was named an NJCAA First Team All-American, as well the Region V Player of the Year and the Most Valuable Player of the Western Junior College Athletic Conference.

Prim, who committed to Missouri State early in the year, went unmatched over the course of the season and proved to be the top interior post player in the NJCAA. Prim recorded 23 double-doubles and averaged 20.7 points per game. During the Texans' postseason run, Prim helped South Plains receive an automatic berth to the men's national tournament with a 27 point, 14 rebound performance in a 73-71 victory over Odessa College in the Region V title game in Abilene.

Shooting a 64.8 percent clip from the field on the year, Prim averaged 11.5 rebounds per game and shot over 72 percent from the free throw line. Prim ranked second in the NJCAA with 392 total rebounds, and third nationally in both offensive rebounds (145), and defensive boards (247). Prim's 11.5 rebounds per game ranked fourth nationally, and also ranked seventh in the country with 261 total field goals.

Continuing his career at Wichita State University next year, sophomore Trey Wade was the Texans' second-leading scoring, averaging over 13 points per game, earning All-Region and All-Conference honors. The 6-9 sophomore from Marietta, Georgia shot over 51 percent from the field, scoring in double figures 23 times, most notably, a 31-point performance in the Texans' 87-79 victory over Temple College at the Region V Tournament.

A 6-5 sophomore sharpshooter from Perth, Australia, Jonah Antonio will continue to career at UNLV next season. Antonio proved to be a consistent threat from the perimeter for South Plains, shooting a 40.9 percent clip from behind the arc and knocked down a team-high 97 3-pointers. A WJCAC All-Conference selection, Antonio scored in double figures in 16 games this season, including a 24-point outing in the Texans' 89-85 win over Salt Lake Community College on Dec. 28 at the Fiesta Bowl Junior College Shootout in Phoenix.

Continuing his career at McNeese State University next season, 6-7 forward Chris Orlina did it all for the Texans during his two seasons in Levelland. A native of Newport News, Virginia, Orlina averaged 8.9 points and 4.8 rebounds for the Texans during his freshman stint. Orlina played a pivotal role for the Texans down the stretch during their 2018 title run, recording double-digit scoring figures in 12 of the final 13 games, pouring in 19 against No. 12 Connors State and 17 against Southern Idaho.

Orlina continued to produce for the Texans during his sophomore stint, averaging 11 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. Orlina shot 48.6 percent from the field and 31.8 percent from the 3-point line, netting double figures in 23 games, including a career-high 25 points against Panola College on Nov. 4 in Lewisville.

A 6-5 redshirt freshman guard from Jamaica, New York, Christian Wilson will continue his career at Longwood University next season. Wilson provided the Texans with another scoring threat off the bench for the majority of the year and found himself in the starting five in six games this season. Wilson averaged 3.6 points and 1.6 boards per game, shooting a 44.8 percent clip from the floor. Wilson netted double figures twice, including a 14 point outing in the Texans' 103-52 win over New Mexico Military Institute on Feb. 11.

A fan favorite for the Texans during his two seasons in Levelland, sophomore big man Chris Efretuei will continue his career at Louisiana Monroe next season. Efretuei provided solid minutes off the bench for the Texans, averaging 1.8 points and 1.4 rebounds per game, scoring a season-high eight points on 4 of 5 shooting from the field in the Texans' win over NMMI on Feb. 11.

A 6-6 sophomore forward from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Dajour Joseph will join the New Mexico State Aggies next season. Joseph averaged 3.6 points and 1.6 rebounds per game for South Plains, shooting a 48.6 percent flip from the floor and shot 40.5 percent from the 3-point line. Joseph scored in double figures five times this season, including a 13 point performance against Coastal Bend College on Nov. 17.

Still deciding on where he will play next season, 5-10 point guard Deon Barrett will make his decision in the coming days. The Dallas native averaged 7.9 points and 3.4 assists per game this season while also shooting over 35 percent from the 3-point line. Barrett scored in double figures nine times this season, including a season-high 22 points in the Texans' 107-72 conference home win over Clarendon College on Feb. 25.