Banks makes six recruits for Bucs hoops

Joe Avento • Aug 15, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Isaac Banks made a large recruiting class even larger for the East Tennessee State basketball team.Banks, a 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward from New Orleans, signed with ETSU on Thursday. He’s the sixth member of the Bucs’ current recruiting class and joins Devon Harris of Tampa, Darius Forrest of Jackson, Miss., Jaylen Riley of Racine, Wis., Leonard Smith of Hickman, Ky., and A.J. Merriweather of Jackson, Tenn.“When I visited it was like a family at ETSU and everyone was really welcoming,” Banks said. “It seemed like a place I could spend four years.”Banks averaged 19 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks a game as a senior at John Curtis High School. He was a two-time all-state selection and led his team to a Class 2A state championship as a junior.“He’s extremely long and plays much larger than his 6-7 height because of that length,” ETSU coach Murry Bartow said. “His best attribute is he’s a great rebounder, but he also has the ability to score and face up to the basket. If he continues to put on some weight and get stronger he can become a great contributor to our program.”The Bucs will certainly feature an overhauled roster this season. In addition to the six newcomers, two players who didn’t see any action last year will get playing time. Ron Giplaye becomes eligible to play after sitting out last year asa transfer from Providence and Lukas Poderis will rejoin the team after missing the entire season with a torn Achilles tendon.Banks says he will just try to fit in as a freshman.“The players on the team were great and I’m looking forward to learning from everyone in the program,” Banks said. “What I will bring to the team is a player who will work hard every day both on and off the court. I feel like I can rebound with anyone in the country and I just love playing the game with energy.” Smith, a 6-foor-5, 240-pounder, signed his papers on Wednesday. He comes to ETSU from Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Fla., where averaged 13 points and nine rebounds a game last season.ETSU is coming off a 10-22 season.

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