Saturday, August 29, 2009

GU recruits: Junior transfers Sanders, Brannen and Dexter

Junior transfers have a big impact on their new team, one way or another. Either they post big numbers and make key plays, or the fans gripe loudly that they're not contributing enough. GU will have 4 junior transfers on the roster this season, headlined by Loyola transfer Isaac Reid who we profiled on Aug. 2. Here's the skinny on the other 3 junior transfers:

Jerrell Sanders F 6-6 jr.

  • Recent details on Sanders are sketchy because Columbus State (Ohio) CC, where Sanders was a two-year starter, believes that a couple photos and broken links qualifies as a decent website. Don't believe me? Click here:
  • Was a key player for 29-4 Columbus State, who qualified for the NJCAA DII tournament. Averaged 10.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.7 steals.
  • Named to the All-OCCAC honorable-mention team, ranking 4th among OCCAC players in field goal percentage (57.9%).
  • GU coach John Reilly tells, "Comes from a winning program. Very, very solid player."
  • Columbus State coach Pat Carlisle told GoErie, "Jerrell has a Division I body and is a D-1 athlete who should do very well at Gannon."
  • Was a two-sport athlete at Creston (Mich.) H.S., participating in basketball and football. A Michigan basketball recruiting website rated him as the #16 small forward in the state during his senior year.
  • Here's how described Sanders: "The hidden gem was Jerrell Sanders, a talented 6-6 and 220 pound dunker deluxe. Nice body. Would like to see him more skilled offensively in the half court to play a mid D-1 level. With some hard work and dedication, he’s capable."
  • Two high school era photos of Sanders: and
  • Creston High's nickname? The Polar Bears. Can you name the last Gannon recruit whose high school team was "Polar Bears"? Read the rest of this blog entry for the answer.
Travis Brannen F 6-5 jr.

  • Transfer from Alfred State JC (N.Y.) where he averaged 14.9 points and 8.6 rebounds in 28 games last season and was named to the All-NJCAA All-Region 3 second team.
  • Listed at 230 pounds on the Alfred website. This photo of him in action would back up that claim.
  • Reilly described him on as, “Very versatile. He’s 6-6. He can play inside. He can play outside.”
  • Ranked 6th among NJCAA Region 3 Division II players in points and seventh in rebounding average.
  • Scored a career high 42 points in a win at Mercyhurst-North East. (If any local fans were in attendance for that game, I'd love to hear your thoughts.)
  • Was named NJCAA Division II national player of the week on Feb. 11. That same week was named Region 3 Athlete of the Week. Brannen scored 55 points, grabbed 27 rebounds, blocked 10 shots, passed out 10 assists, and was credited with five steals in Alfred's three victories that week. He had 13 points, 8 rebounds, four blocks, three assists, and two steals vs. Ithaca JV; 23 points, 8 rebounds, three blocks, and four assists vs. Genesee; and 16 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks, four assists, and three steals vs. Niagara CC.
  • Alfred State finished the year 17-14.
  • Was team MVP and all-conference first team at Elmira (N.Y.) Free Academy. Made the All-Star team at Pittsburgh Five Star basketball camp in 2005.

Daren Dexter G 6-6 jr.

  • Transfer from Pasco Hernando (Fla.) Community College where he averaged 13.3 points, a team-high 5.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.5 steals. Was named to the All-Suncoast Conference first team.
  • Head-and-shoulders photo courtesy of my good friend Duane Rankin's blog.
  • Reilly is quoted by GoErie as saying, “He’s a guy that reminds me a little bit of Pierre Howard. Pierre was pretty special, but (Dexter) has some of the same mannerisms. He is long. He’s a good defender. He’s got a nice mid-range game. He’s very competitive and he scores on the college level.”
  • Played in the Florida-Georgia Juco All-Star Showcase
  • Side note: PHCC's nickname is the "Conquistadors." No details if Dexter wants to be addressed as "El Conquistador." If you don't understand that reference, click here for a classic prank phone call:
  • Was named honorable mention all-state in the 6A classification at Sarasota (Fla.) Riverview High School. Riverview was ranked as high as #4 in the state his senior season.

Trivia question: Josh Yanke played scholastically for the Jackson (Oh.) Polar Bears.


  1. Hopefully the similarities between Sanders and Yanke end with the high school team nickname.

  2. Two more things ...

    I don't like your chances of finding someone who saw Bannen at the Alfred / MCNE game ... The attendance for the game was not listed, but MCNE's attendance for their other two home games what week was listed as 87.

    You didn't mention the nickname of Bannen's High School. As a service to your readers, I looked it up and Elmira Free Academy's nickname is the "Blue Devils."

    Seriously ... great posts. Hopefully the recent success will breed more success. And September is the last full basketball-free month! Practice starts in just 1 1/2 months. With the weather today, I would think that it has already started.

  3. Golden - I understand what you mean about the similarities between Sanders and Yanke ending with the team nickname... but look at what Yanke did after he transferred. Look what he did against Gannon! If Sanders can be like Yanke AFTER he transferred, I'll take it!

  4. GU Alum -- You can have him. Please see my comments on Josh Yanke in this post:

  5. I would have taken Yanke over Mosley any day and I still would! I saw Yanke play against Mercyhurst at Hurst.. and he was not the same player as he was in either of the games vs. Gannon (I really think it was more of a "old school vs. new school" thing considering he was let go by Gannon).

    Don't get me wrong... I agree with your comments 200%, but Yanke still turned into a solid player with Clarion.

  6. Also, saw the team practice a little earlier today (well "pickup" practice), but Sanders is not totally similar to Yanke, so I think we're safe there. However, Sanders is not a defensive player...yet! We all know John Reilly will turn him into one or turn him away from Gannon, but he put no effort forth on defense in their scrimmages today. Most Impressive Players: 1) George Johnson (looked like a whole new player.. keeps it up he'll go from above average to extremely talented!) and 2) Anthony Simmons... this kid can PLAY!