The Southern University men’s basketball team bolstered its rebounding ability by signing Skyler Baggs of South Georgia State College to a national letter of intent this week.
Baggs, a 6-foot-5 forward, averaged 14.2 points and 11.2 rebounds per game for the Hawks, who went 23-9 this season.
Baggs ranked fifth in the nation in rebounding and fills a huge need, Jaguars coach Sean Woods said.
“No doubt about it,” Woods said. “Every team I’ve had, we’ve been tops in the country in defense and rebounding. We weren’t near that this year and he fills that. He’s relentless going after the basketball and he’s a sneaky scorer. He’s an undersized four man who can get it done, especially at our level.”
Baggs is the fifth addition to the Southern roster for 2019-20, which lost all but three scholarship players and returns one starter, point guard Jayden Saddler. Woods added a midyear transfer Ahsante Shivers, a 6-foot-3 wing who has already enrolled, and signed three players in the fall signing period.
“He’s a combo guard and scorer at all three levels,” Woods said of Shivers. “He knows how to play basketball on both ends of the floor. He’s a big-time scorer and competitor. We feel pretty good about what we have coming in so far.”
Shivers averaged 8.3 points per game for Siena in the 2017-18 season, starting 21 of 32 games. He had surgery to repair a stress fracture in a tibia last April. He will have two seasons of eligibility.
Fall signees include post player Damiree “D.J.” Burns of Sophie B. Wright in New Orleans, Delor Johnson of Cypress Ranch High School in Houston and Kirk Parker of Pearl River Community College by way of Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Burns, a 6-6 forward, was a Class 3A All-State selection who averaged 18.4 points per game and was one of the top five recruits in Louisiana, according to USA Today. He had 27 points and 10 rebounds in an 80-77 victory over Scotlandville in January.
Johnson, a 6-4 guard, was rated one of the top 25 players out of Houston, averaging 13.2 points and 5.3 rebounds.
Woods called Parker a “big brute” who averaged 2.7 points and 5.4 rebounds for 26-4 Pearl River as a sophomore.
“He’s a good rebounder and defender who gives us some character down there,” Woods said.
Woods said he’s far from finished and expects to sign as many as five more players.
F Skyler Baggs, 6-5, South Georgia State College
G Ahsante Shivers, 6-3, Siena College
G Delor Johnson, 6-4, Houston (Cypress Ranch)
F Damiree “DJ” Burns, 6-6, New Orleans (Sophie B. Wright)
F Kirk Parker, 6-7, Vicksburg, Miss. (Pearl River JC)