May 10, 2013
Albuquerque, N.M. --- Say this about Craig Nealas the new head coach of the Lobos ... he not only aims high, he hits a bulls-eye, seemingly every time. Neal announced that Deshawn Delaney, the nation's highest ranked unsigned JC recruit, has signed a letter of intent to play for New Mexico next season. Delaney will be a junior with two years of eligibility.
It marks the third recruit signed since Neal became the 20th head coach in Lobo history, and all three ranked in the top 100. It started with Cullen Neal, Craig'sson, who is ranked as the No. 87 high school recruit by ESPN's Top 100. Neal then picked up a commitment from Arthur Edwards out of Northwest Florida State Junior College. Edwards was ranked No. 60 by JucoRecruiting.com. Now comes perhaps the crown jewel of the class in Delaney, ranked No. 12 by JucoRecruiting.com, and entering with a host of accolades and offensive numbers.
"Deshawn is another student-athlete that comes from a winning program," said head coach Craig Neal. "He is a two-time All-American at Vincennes, traditionally one of the top junior colleges in the nation. He scored well over 1,000 points, and received great coaching from Todd Franklin at VU. I think Deshawn will be able to contribute right away, and I think he fits in very well here."
Delaney, a 6-5, 190 pound native of Chicago, played his prep ball at Chicago Carver before setting out on a remarkable two-year career at Vincennes, one of the premiere JC programs in the country. At Vincennes, he led the Trailblazers into the 2013 NJCAA National Tournament, finishing in fourth place and earning All-Tournament honors. He is a two-time NJCAA All-American, getting selected to the Third Team in both 2012 and 2013.
As a freshman, he started all 31 games for the Trailblazers, scoring 581 points, an 18.7 average, and averaging 9.2 rebounds per game. He shot .575 from the field and added 44 assists and 58 blocked shots. Last year he started all 37 games, scoring 585 points, a 15.8 scoring average, and he averaged 8.1 rebound per game. He shot .516 from the field with 90 assists, 62 blocks, and 48 steals. He also led his team in scoring 15 times and in rebounding 14 times.
Ironically, he faced off against now teammate Arthur Edwards in the NJCAA semifinals, where his double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds wasn't enough in a 76-69 loss to NWFJC.
His career totals at Vincennes as 1,166 points (17.1 ppg), an 8.6 rebounding average with 134 assists (only 107 turnovers), 120 blocks, and 62 steals. For his career he was a .544 shooter from the field, getting to the line 323 times, shooting 65% from the line. He also had 23 double-doubles in his career, and he scored in double-figures in 60 of 68 games, including 26 games of 20 or more with a high of 33.
The signing of Delaney rounds out a class that also includes early signees Tim Myles of Etiwanda, a 6-7, 220 pound forward who went 28-3 last year as a senior, and Obij Aget, a 7-footer who sat out last year after originally signing in 2011 due to a knee injury.
"We have had some very good recruiting classes in my six years here, but I think this class is outstanding," said Neal. "Cullen is a top 100 high school recruit, you add a top 60 JC recruit in Arthur and a top 10 or 15 recruit in Deshawn to what we already had coming and it could be a very special group."
"Obij was a 4-star recruit coming out of high school, and Tim I think is the real sleeper in this class because of his size and athleticism. Also, we have two redshirts in Merv Lindsay and Devin Williamswho both have good size to them, and have a year in our program and understand how we do thing. Put all of that with the guys that we have returning, and I think we can continue the path that we are on and be successful."
NOTES: Delaney will wear number 33 with the Lobos, the same number he wore at Vincennes. Other numbers that have been assigned to the new players are 4 5 for Arthur Edwards, 11 for Obij Aget, and 13 for Cullen Neal. Tim Myles will wear 24 ... UNM now has accounted for all 13 scholarships for next season ... any incoming players that are enrolled in summer school will be eligible to travel and play in Australia for New Mexico's foreign tour August 2-11 ... UNM's game with Marquette will now be on Saturday, December 21 in the evening. The Gildan New Mexico Bowl, played at UNM's Branch Field at University Stadium, is that same day but at noon.
Edit: Two of the numbers for the incoming players were incorrect. We regret that error --- Frank