Nov. 15, 2010
University of Houston men's basketball head coach James Dickey and his staff announced the signing of four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on Monday afternoon.
The four-man signing class, which consists of three high school stars and one junior college transfer, will join the Cougars for the 2011-12 season. Junior forward Jonathon Simmons (Houston, Texas/Midland JC) joins freshmen Jherrod Stiggers (Terrell, Texas/Terrell High), TaShawn Thomas (Killeen, Texas/Killeen High) and Jevante Thompson (Irving, Texas/Irving High).
Thompson will challenge for playing time at point guard, while Simmons and Thomas will compete as forwards in the Cougar frontcourt. Stiggers will join Thompson as a guard in the backcourt.
The group joins guard and Yates High product Joseph Young, who is sitting out the 2010-11 campaign and will have four years of eligibility remaining.
"This is an outstanding class, and we are extremely pleased with the group our staff put together. We certainly wanted talented student-athletes that are winners," Dickey said. "Each of these young men have excellent skills on the court, and we are more thrilled about the quality individuals who are joining our program. They will be great additions to our Athletics Department and the University of Houston."
Junior college transfer Jonathon Simmons is the eldest player in the group, joining the Cougars out of Midland Junior College. Simmons signed with the Cougars during the spring period and will sit out the 2010-11 season to attend school.
As a sophomore during the 2009-10 season, the Houston native averaged 13.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per game on the way to being named to the WACJAC All-Conference and Region 5 All-Conference teams.
Simmons, who stands 6-6 and weighs 190 pounds, prepped at Smiley High were he was recognized as the District 21-4A Co-Most Valuable Player as a senior.
"Jonathan is a talented athlete who had tremendous success in junior college," Dickey said. "He can score, defend, rebound and will bring experience to our program."
Jherrod Stiggers signed with the Cougars during an award-winning career at Terrell High. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound guard was a 3-star recruit by Rivals.com, standing at No. 29 in that organization's Texas player rankings.
As a junior in 2009-10, Stiggers - whose first name is pronounced Juh-ROD - averaged 18.5 points per game, including 40 points in a win against Mabank High. The Terrell, Texas, native was an All-District 15-4A First-Team honoree on the basketball court and as a wide receiver for the football team.
"Jherrod is an impressive all-around athlete," Dickey said. "He is an explosive leaper, deep-range shooter and is a player that can score the ball but also defend."
Killeen High product TaShawn Thomas joins the Cougars as the No. 27 power forward nationally by Scout.com.
As a junior, he averaged 15.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 7.0 blocked shots per game on the way to District 24-5A Co-Most Valuable Player honors. In his first season with the varsity program, he helped lead the Runnin' Roos to the district crown.
Thomas - whose first name is pronounced Tay-Shawn - picked Houston over Alabama, Memphis, California, Colorado, Colorado State and Temple.
"TaShawn is a skilled player who has the ability to post up and also face up on the floor," Dickey said. "He brings size and versatility and is a good ball-handler, passer and shooter."
Point guard Jevante Thompson is another Rivals.com 3-star recruit out of Irving High in Texas. As a junior, Thompson - whose first name is pronounced Juh-VON-Tay - averaged 15.6 points per game and helped lead the team to a 24-10 record and berth in the state playoffs.
He scored 28 points with six assists, three rebounds and a pair of steals against Duncanville High and added 25 points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals in a win against Irving-MacArthur High.
"Jevante is a true point guard that can pass, handle the ball, score, defend and run the team," Dickey said.
UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON MEN'S BASKETBALL SIGNEES
as of 3:45 p.m., Nov. 15, 2010
Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl.-Exp. Hometown-High School (Last School)
Jonathon Simmons F 6-6 190 Jr.-JC Houston, Texas-Smiley (Midland JC)
Jherrod Stiggers G 6-5 200 Fr.-HS Terrell, Texas-Terrell
TaShawn Thomas F 6-8 215 Fr.-HS Killeen, Texas-Killeen
Jevante Thompson G 6-0 185 Fr.-HS Irving, Texas-Irving
UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON MEN'S BASKETBALL SIGNEES
F 6-6 190 Jr.-JC (RS '09-10)
Houston, Texas-Smiley HS (Midland JC)
Did not compete while attending school.
Sophomore (2009-10): Competed for head coach Ross Hodge... Named to the WACJAC All-Conference and Region 5 All-Conference teams... Averaged 13.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per game while shooting 55 percent from the field... Helped lead the Chaparrals to a 26-0 start and a berth in the Regional Finals... Ranked the No. 19 player in the country by JucoJunction.com... Named the Most Valuable Player of the Holiday Hoops Classic in Las Vegas. Freshman (2008-09): Competed at Paris Junior College.. Averaged 12.2 points and 3.0 rebounds per game while hitting 56 percent from the field... Nailed 45 percent of his shots from the 3-point arc... Member of the All-Conference Team... helped lead team to No. 6 national ranking, the Region 14 North championship and a berth in the Regional finals.
SMILEY HIGH SCHOOL
Played for head coach James Norman. Senior (2007-08): Honored as District 21-4A Co-Most Valuable Player. Junior (2006-07): Member of All-District 21-4A Second Team.
Born Sept. 14, 1989.
G 6-5 200 Fr.-HS
Terrell, Texas-Terrell HS
TERRELL HIGH SCHOOL
Competed for head coach Willie Coulter... Ranked No. 29 in Rivals.com Texas player rankings... 3-star recruit by Rivals.com... Played for Dallas Mustangs AAU team with Cougar teammate Jevante Thompson... Chose Houston over UTEP, Iowa, North Texas, Wichita State, San Jose State and Colorado. Junior (2009-10): Earned All-District 15-4A First-Team honors... Averaged 18.5 points per game... Scored 40 points in win against Mabank High... Competed for Tiger football team... Was an All-District First-Team wide receiver with 20 receptions for 426 yards and six touchdowns.
Born Oct. 15, 1992... First name is pronounced Juh-ROD.
F 6-8 215 Fr.-HS
Killeen, Texas-Killeen HS
KILLEEN HIGH SCHOOL
Competed for head coach Jason Fossett... Ranked as No. 27 power forward nationally by Scout.com... 3-star recruit by Rivals.com... Ranked No. 22 in Rivals.com Texas player rankings... Chose Houston over Alabama, Memphis, California, Colorado, Colorado State and Temple... Played for Houston Hoops AAU team. Junior (2009-10): Honored as District 24-5A Co-Most Valuable Player... Averaged 15.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 7.0 blocked shots per game... Helped lead the Runnin' Roos to the district championship during his first full season with the varsity.
Born Feb. 27, 1993... First name is pronounced Tay-SHAWN.
G 6-0 185 Fr.-HS
Irving, Texas-Irving HS
IRVING HIGH SCHOOL
3-star recruit by Rivals.com... Competed for head coach Steven Perry... Played for Dallas Mustangs AAU team with Cougar teammate Jherrod Stiggers... Ranked No. 18 in Rivals.com Texas player rankings... Is left-handed... Chose Houston over UTEP, Colorado, Nebraska, UNLV, Wichita State, Texas Tech and Iowa. <Junior (2009-10): Averaged 15.6 points... Helped lead team to a 24-10 record and a berth in the state playoffs... Scored 28 points with six assists, three rebounds and a pair of steals against Duncanville High... Tallied 25 points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals against Irving-MacArthur High.
Born Oct. 6, 1992... First name is pronounced Juh-VON-Tay.