By Dave Wagner
PORTALES — Kennis Green, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound wing from Blinn (Texas) College, is the first of what Eastern New Mexico University men’s basketball coach Shawn Scanlan hopes is four players who will sign a national letter of intent with the Greyhounds this spring.
Green averaged 17.6 points and four rebounds a game last season for Blinn, and also compiled 42 steals and 48 assists.
A third-team Texas East Conference selection, Green ranked ninth in the TEC in both scoring and 3-point shooting (93 of 249, 37 percent). He had two games of at least 30 points during the season for the Brenham-based Buccaneers (18-12), including a 32-point outing against Kilgore in the quarterfinals of the Region 14 junior college tournament.
“Kennis gives us a legitimate shooter on the perimeter, and size as well,” Scanlan said. “He can score, but he can really shoot the ball with range and that’s something we’ve been inconsistent with in the past.”
Two other potential junior college transfers were on campus last weekend, Scanlan said, adding that one is one a shooting guard and the other more of a swing forward.
“We should know by the end of the week what direction they’re going to go,” he said. “I feel pretty good about these guys, but only time will tell.”
Assuming they sign those two, Scanlan said the Hounds may still try to add another inside player. They are expected to return five key players from last year’s 20-8 squad, plus three redshirts.
Zias add four players — ENMU women’s coach Dan Buzard has added four signees from Texas for next year, including 6-5 1/2 post Brittany Rogers of Eastland, the tallest player in the history of the program.
The others are 5-7 point guard Heather Brown of Hereford, a third-team all-state selection in Class 4A, and two transfers — 5-9 junior wing Mika Robertson of Levelland (via Midland College) and 5-8 1/2 guard Kristi McGuire of The Woodlands (via Division I Texas-Pan American). They join Muleshoe post Shani Rasco, whose signing was announced last month.
The Zias were 7-20 in Buzard’s first season as head coach after 13 years as an assistant to Wayne Moore. But they return a good nucleus of players and did win four of their final nine games, including three over Lone Star Conference tournament teams.
Buzard said Rogers is a good player, but “needs to learn the college game a little bit and be more physical” coming out of a Class 2A program. Eastland is located between Fort Worth and Abilene.
“I think they’re the quality of kids that we’re looking for,” said Buzard, adding that he may still try to add a post player. “They’re all good players, and they can help take us up another step.”
Klafka returns — After a one-year absence, Dustin Klafka has rejoined the ENMU women’s basketball program and will be Buzard’s primary assistant next season. Klafka spent four years (1998-2002) as a student and graduate assistant under Moore, then left for a fulltime position last year at Texas A&M-Kingsville.
His wife, the former Missy Frazier, played for the Zias under Moore. Both are natives of Levelland and, Klafka said, happy to be back in the area.
“It’s closer to home for us,” he said. “I think anytime you’re recruiting kids, you need to believe in the school you’re working for and I know I can do that here.
“A lot of people (at Kingsville) were good to me, but coming back to a place you believe in is important.”