Restocking Fayetteville State's basketball roster didn't require a lot of long recruiting trips this time around for coach Alphonza Kee.
Kee tapped Cumberland County's talent pool in a major way Wednesday by signing four locals, including the Mid-South 4-A Conference Player of the Year and All-Cape Fear region first-team pick Xavier Robinson from South View.
Joining Robinson in signing a binding national letter of intent with the Broncos were first-team All Mid-South selection Joshua Bryant from Seventy-First, second-team Mid-South member Isaiah Vinson from South View and Trinity Christian School's 6-foot-7 center Nykwaun Lucas.
"When I got the job here one thing I wanted to do was get respect for our program to where we'd be able to get top players from Cumberland County and Fayetteville,'' Kee said. "It took some time, obviously. But I think the chance to get these local guys says a lot about our program.''
Signing Robinson is a major coup for Kee, who loses his top three 3-point shooters from this year's 16-13 squad. Devin Thompson (54), Anthony Shelton (46) and Torian Showers (46) combined for 146 of FSU's 218 3-pointers during the 2014-15 season.
Kee is expecting Robinson to help fill the void caused by those personnel losses. The 6-foot-1 guard led the Mid-South Conference in 3-point baskets as a senior with 73, and was also the top scorer in Cumberland County with a 21.5-point average.
Robinson's South View teammate, Vinson, will also add offensive firepower for the Broncos. The 6-4 swing player was fifth in county scoring (17.5), was fifth in 3-point goals (41) and grabbed 5.3 rebounds per game.
"They can score the basketball,'' Kee said. "They are definitely we thought of with Shelton and Showers and Thompson leaving.''
Kee said his goal was to sign two players who can handle both backcourt positions. He achieved that with Robinson and Bryant, a 6-2 playmaker and scorer at Seventy-First. Bryant was seventh in county scoring (14.1) and sixth in assists (3.5) to earned second-team All-Cape Fear region honors.
"He's a guy with speed and the combo ability as far as decision making and scoring,'' Kee said.
Lucas is wild card signee for the Broncos. Playing on the same squad with junior Dennis Smith Jr., who is one of the nation's top recruits, Lucas averaged only three points in 29 games as a senior in helping Trinity Christian to a 24-10 record and the state private school championship. He's only play four years of organized basketball.
Despite his low offensive numbers, Lucas has a chance to fit in quickly with FSU, according to Kee.
"He can rebound and impact the game athletically right away,'' Kee said. "He's a perfect fit for how we press. I'm excited about him growing as an offensive player through his career here. But he's a quality young man, who just fits with us.''
The four signings Wednesday aren't expected to be the end of Kee's recruiting efforts. He hopes to two add at least two more to the recruiting class before the signing period ends.
"We're going to hopefully get two more junior college gentlemen as well to help us,'' he said. "But the core of our program is high school players, so we were excited to add these young men today.''
Source: Staff writer Sammy Batten can be reached at email@example.com or 486-3534.