10 Sep McMillan’s ‘Dawgs field new cast with 4 returners
By MIKE MONTFORT
Head basketball coach Grant McMillan presented his 2019-2020 Navarro Bulldogs Tuesday on paper as the reality of daily practices has begun.
McMillan and assistants Cody Hopkins and D.J. Pavlovic welcome four returning sophomores from last year’s Region XIV Tournament finalist squad.
They’ve also signed 10 players, including some sophomore transfers and an array of quality freshman talents and skill sets.
Here is a thumbnail sketch of each member of McMillan’s first Navarro squad:
Tyrese Ross Patterson (6-2, 185, New York City) — Patterson played in 32 games as a true freshman, averaging 2.6 points, shooting 46.2 percent from the floor, and making 42 total steals. He has a 3.0 GPA and was a leader on and off the floor for the 2018 Region XIV Tournament Finalist Bulldogs. Before Navarro, Patterson played at Tennessee Prep in Memphis, Tn., for coach Harold Rayford.
Sherman “Nosey” Robinson (6-7, 185, Freeport, The Bahamas) – Robinson averaged 6.6 points and 3.5 rebounds while playing in 31 games as a true freshman. He shot 38 percent beyond the three-point line for the 25-7 Bulldogs. Robinson played high school basketball at Legacy Charter in South Carolina. He was invited to the All American Juco Showcase in Atlanta this summer and made the tournament’s all-star game.
Jakobe Dill (6-2, 170, Beaumont, Tx) — Dill came to the Bulldogs at the semester break and redshirted after transferring from UTEP where he played part of his freshman year. He played his Post Grad year at Heritage Prep Academy in Hilton Head S.C., for current Navarro Assistant Coach Cody Hopkins.
Li’John Smith (5-10, 160, Beaumont, Tx Westbrook HS) — Smith redshirted last season.
Dravon Clayborn (6-1, 170, Soph., Chicago, Ill.) — Clayborn transferred from Missouri State University West Plains where he averaged 9.2 points and 6.8 assists. He ranked ninth among NJCAA D-I players in assists (216) last season and had a 2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio. Clayborn, who started 28 of 32 games and totaled 293 points last year, played his high school ball at Niles North where he was touted as one of best point guards in Chicago. He was invited to the All American Juco Showcase in Atlanta and made the tournament’s all-star game.
Desmond ‘D.J.’ Little (6-2, 175, Soph., Charlotte, N.C.) — Little transferred from Palm Beach State, where he averaged 15 points, 3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.1 steals for the 21-9 Panthers. During his senior season at Butler High School in Matthews, NC, he averaged 17.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.7 steals for a 25-6 team.
Jesse Zarzuela (6-1, 170, Houston, TX Spring Woods HS) — Zarzuela transferred from UTEP. The 6-foot-3 playmaker from Spring Woods High School in Houston averaged 22.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.1 steals his senior season when he won District 17-6A MVP honors. He led the 26-8 Tigers in total points (591), assists (89) and steals (58). An 82 percent foul shooter, Zarzuela shot 53 percent from the floor, including 36 from beyond the arc. A four-year varsity letter winner, Zarzuela scored 1851 points in 116 career games (16.0 ppg). He produced double-figure scoring in 52 of his final 56 varsity games, with a personal-high 32 in a 63-46 win over Memorial on December 14, 2018.
Akol Mawein (6-9, 210, Australia) — Mawein signed with UC-Riverside out of Southwest Christian Academy in Little Rock, Ark. He is a native of South Sudan, but grew up in Sydney, Australia. Mawein fielded offers from TCU and Little Rock before signing with UC-Riverside last year.
Souleymane Doumbia (6-10, 225, Abidjan, Ivory Coast) – The ESPN three-star considered scholarship offers from TCU and Texas A&M. He played high school ball at Traill Academy in Thailand.
Brian Washington (6-8, 220, Las Vegas, NV) – Washington, originally from Kailua, Hi., relocated to Las Vegas, Nv., and played his junior and senior seasons at Cimarron-Memorial High School. He played last season for coach Kenneth Roy’s Nation Wide Academy Bengals in Oklahoma City, Ok. Washington averaged 16.1 points, 14.2 rebounds, 4 assists and 5.6 blocked shots during his senior season.
Edward Manuel (6-5, 165, Lake Charles, LA) – Manuel averaged about 10 points and five boards last season while playing at Sam Houston High School
German Ali Kasanzi Obama (6-5, 180, Madrid Spain) – He played at Scotland Prep — one of the best prep teams in the country last year. The combo guard has played with Real Madrid’s Junior Teams.
Ely Tom (6-1, 160, Australia) – Tom is a 6-1 guard from Australia via South Sudan. He averaged 16 points and five assists during his senior season at Frederick Price HS in Los Angeles, Ca., where he also maintained a 3.8 GPA.
Byron Schoby (5-11, 155, McKinney TX) – Schoby, an electric scorer, averaged 28 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals for the Lions his senior season. Schoby (pronounced ‘Scoo-bee’) totaled 895 points in 32 games, Twice during the first 10 games of his senior season, he scored 40-plus — 52 against Lake Highlands and 49 against Fort Bend Elkins.