Mocs' basketball adds two big spring signees - WSMV Channel 4

Mocs' basketball adds two big spring signees

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CHATTANOOGA (UTC/WRCB) -- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's basketball program added two signees in the spring signing period this week when Eric Robertson and Casey Jones finalized their scholarship paperwork.

Both are athletic guards who could play a variety of positions.

"We had to go get athletic again. We needed perimeter players," said head coach John Shulman. "We're really excited because they're really excited about coming here.

"They're both really gifted athletically with a lot of basketball skill. Both are very different, but they give us some athleticism on the wing."

Robertson is a native of Huntsville, Ala., where he was a standout for perennial Class 5A power Lee High School. He averaged 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists per game shooting 42.3 percent from three-point range last year for the Generals.

He helped lead Greg Brown's charges to three consecutive Alabama State Championship games bringing home the title in 2010. He earned 2012 first team Class 5A All-State honors. Lee's record during Robertson's three-year career was 77-30.

"Eric is a winner on and off the floor," head coach John Shulman said. "He reminds you of a right-handed Ronrico White a little on the court and with that tremendous winning background.

"He can really shoot it, but he's a great team guy. Eric can handle it like a point guard and has the size of a wing.

Jones hails from New Orleans, La., where he prepped for Marshall Jackson at L.W. Higgins High School in Marrero. He averaged 18.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game as a senior after posting 22.0 points and 8.9 boards per contest as a junior.

Jones was 2012 second team Louisiana Class 5A All-State and Times-Picayune All-Metro. He earned New Orleans Prep Athlete of the Week on Feb. 3. As a junior he recorded a triple-double against Chalmette with 41 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocks. He chose Chattanooga over Tulane and Louisiana-Monroe among others.

"Casey is very athletic…VERY athletic," noted Shulman. "I am excited about what he is going to bring to the three for us. He can score it, rebound it and plays with a high motor. He can impact both ends of the floor."

Shulman said he did face a bit of negative recruiting from other programs pursuing the duo after the Mocs' disappointing 2011-12 season.

"If coaches are bashing us, they don't have enough good things to say about their own program," Shulman said. "We addressed it with the guys before they asked us about it. We told them we won three titles in four years and were hot, then had one down year.

"That doesn't mean you're bad, it just means you had a down year."

Both players were pursued late in the game by a host of schools, including some from larger conferences, and chose the Mocs over dozens of scholarship offers.

"Recruiting is still about relationships," Shulman said. "After Eric Robertson and I met in Huntsville, I don't know if Coach (John) Calipari and Kentucky could have come down there and got him. Sometimes you just click with a player, and sometimes you don't.

"Eric stayed very strong through the process, and so did Casey. A lot of people tried to get in their late, but they stayed true to their word. We were really excited to get both signatures on Wednesday."

Jones and Robertson join Cobb (West Palm Beach, Fla./Summit Christian), McGhee (Baton Rouge, La./Redemptorist) and forward Josh Warren (Marietta, Ga./Fishburne Military) as the members of the 2012 class.

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