BATON ROUGE, LA — With expectations rising in the aftermath of the Jaguars surprising 17-14 record and second place finish in 2011, head coach Roman Banks continues to add key pieces to his 2012 class with the signing of Aaron Alston and Michael Harrell.
Alston joins a Jaguar squad looking to improve its overall team depth and athleticism with the departures of seniors Quinton Doggett and Fredrick Coleman.
"(Alston) brings length and versatility to our programs," said Bank, who earned Louisiana Sports Writer Association's 2012 Coach of the Year honor in his first season at Southern.
"We needed some guys with some athleticism that can play above the rim. Obviously, with three years (of eligibility remaining), we will be able to work with him a little bit differently than we would be able to work with other junior college transfers."
The 6-7 forward was named the Northwest Athletic Association Community College Freshman of the Year. The Hesperia, Calif. native averaged 16.6 points and 8 rebounds as a freshman at Lower Columbia College in Longview, Wash.
"Aaron learned a lot in his time and we're proud he was able to earn a scholarship at Southern," said LCC head coach Jim Roffler. "He should have a great time in the Bayou."
After two seasons on the Southeastern La. basketball squad, Harrell returns to Baton Rouge where he prepped at Southern Lab High School. The Beaumont, Texas native played in 30 games for the Lions before transferring to Southern last spring.
"Anytime you are able to get a quality student-athlete from the area its great for our basketball program," said Banks. "He is very tenacious on defense and he definitely has a quick, fast-paced tempo to his game and we like to play fast."
Before signing with Southeastern in 2010, Harrell, a 5-10 guard, averaged 24 points, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals and was voted the District 6-1A MVP as a senior. Harrell helped the Kittens to a pair of district titles and was named to the Baton Rouge Advocate All-Metro Team.
"We're excited about having him join our basketball program," said Banks. "He can help us quicker because he's played in the system (at Southeastern) where I coached before and we do some of the same things. His understanding will far surpass that of a first-year player in our program."