National runner-up Lions sign five
Solid recruiting class; Bostwick expects to add more
SAGU introduces Davis, Dixon, Gumwell, Mills, Mitchell
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- Head Coach Donnie Bostwick wasted little time basking in the glow of back-to-back seasons of winning the most games in Southwestern Assemblies of God University men’s basketball history.
Resting on laurels? Forget about it!
The Lions went 27-11 in Bostwick’s first year and rose to 33-5 and a No. 2 national finish this past season.
Work on an encore started on the return bus ride from Kansas City, Missouri, where the Lions won four games before falling in the NAIA national championship game.
The Purple Pride have to fill the void left through attrition (see note below) while targeting the need for a deeper rotation.
Three starters from the national runner-up line-up will return: Dominique Rambo (Dallas, Tx / Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Trinity Christian-Cedar Hill, Tx), Caleb “Hondo” Gentry (Hondo, Tx / Oklahoma Wesleyan Univ., Hondo HS) and Jonathan Walter (Garland, Tx / Garland HS).
Rambo was the NAIA’s National Co-Player of the Year. He and Gentry, both guards, will be seniors in the fall.
Rambo averaged 19.5 ppg and led the nation in steals (3.5 spg). Feerless and peerless in the clutch, his high game was 43 against Texas Wesleyan University.
Gentry averaged 9.7 ppg, and, like Rambo, had more assists than turnovers. He reached double figures 21 times. His specialty is wood-surfing for loose balls.
The 6-foot-4 Walter, who plays at guard and small forward, will be a junior. Averaging nine points and six boards per outing. The defensive stalwart grabbed eight or more rebounds eleven times and had a 22-point game in the national tournament.
Coach Bostwick has announced the addition of five new players (listed below, alphabetically), with several yet to come.
A complete review of this year’s recruiting class (including photos when they are available) and how they figure into the mix will be posted at the end of the summer or early fall.
CHASE DAVIS (Garland Christian School / Garland, Tx)
Ht: 6’6. Pos: 3-4, Guard, Forward.
Stats: 27 ppg, 15.4 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 2.0 apg, 2.0 spg.
Honors: TAPPS 2A First Team All-State in 2011 and 2012. Academic All-State. District MVP two years. Christian Character Award.
Coach Bostwick: “Chase is a diamond in the rough. His statistics would not be as high if he were playing at a 5A school, but the fact is, Chase can play! He is a winner, leader, and hard worker.”
“I believe he will use hard work and intelligence to adapt quickly to the higher level of play. He is another guy that can play guard or forward for us and can go outside or inside to score."
"He is the president of his senior class and a born leader. We believe he will bring that and many more strong attributes to our program.”
MARCUS DIXON (L.D. Bell HS / Hurst, Tx)
Ht: 6’6. Pos: 4-5, Forward, Center.
Stats: 10.6 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.2 bpg, 1.2 apg, 1.3 spg, 59% FG.
Honors: First Team All-District 6 - 5A.
Coach Bostwick: “Marcus is a great addition to our program. He comes from an excellent program, has great size, timing, and hands for a big man.”
“He is already a remarkable defensive player who rebounds and blocks shots at a high level. He scores around the basket well as his 59% field goal percentage shows. I can’t wait to see his all around inside and outside abilities develop.”
KAROR GUMWELL (Southwest Christian College / Terrell, Tx)
Ht: 6’7. Pos: 3-4-5, Guard, Forward, Center.
Stats: 12 ppg, 7 rpg, 2 bpg. 44% FG.
Coach Bostwick: “Karor (pronounced KAH-roar) enjoyed a very successful season in Junior College this past season averaging 12 ppg and 7 rpg. He is a good passer and can play small forward or power forward.”
“He is originally from Sudan and his family now lives in Australia. He went to a Christian High School in the U.S. before playing the last two years at SWC. He should come in and help us immediately.”
DANIEL MILLS (Belton HS / Belton, Tx)
Ht: 6’5. Pos: 2-3-4, Guard, Forward.
Stats: 22 ppg, 8 rpg, 2.4 apg.
Honors: First Team All-District 12 – 5A in 2012 and 2013.
Coach Bostwick: “Daniel is an athletic, long 6’5, which means he plays bigger than many guy his size. He hit 60+ three-pointers this past season at 35% and shot 76% from the free throw line.”
“He can play the three or four position for us. His ability to score along with his size and strength should help him early in his career. His upside is huge.”
REMINGTON MITCHELL (Mansfield HS / Mansfield, Tx)
Ht: 6’8. Pos: 4-5, Forward, Center.
Stats: 10.0 ppg, 8 rpg, 80 blocks.
Honors: Honorable Mention All-District 2 – 6A.
Coach Bostwick: “Remington has incredible length with an amazing long wing-span. He is a shot blocker, runs the floor well, and plays extremely hard.”
“I love his upside. As his offensive game matures, I believe he will develop into a very good player for us. He is another impressive kid and will be a great fit for SAGU.”
The Lions 2013-14 schedule hasn’t been finalized. It will be released late this summer.
Details of the broadcast schedule of SAGU Sports Live, who air home games in HD (the only NAIA school to do so to-date), will be announced in the fall.
Key: PPG - Points Per Game. RPG - Rebounds Per Game. BPG - Blocked Shots Per Game. APG - Assists Per Game. SPG - Steals Per Game. % FG - Accuracy at Shooting Field Goals.
Three Key Losses
Nathaniel “Duce” Ward (Waco, Tx / Univ. of North Texas, Connally HS) and James “Truck” Ford (Victoria, Tx / Faith Academy), the only seniors on the team, while sophomore Mike Nwelue (Lewisville, Tx / Lewisville HS) transferred.
Ward and Nwelue (pronounced like DWELL-way) were starters at forward. Ward led the nation in rebounds as a sophomore. Nwelue, whose medical major is not currently offered at SAGU, has signed with Drury University (Springfield, Mo).
Drury (31-4) won the NCAA Division 2 national championship in March when they rallied from a 17-point deficit to edge Metro State University (Denver, Co), 74-73.
Ford played at guard and was known for his court savvy and three-point range.