Posted: Sep 18, 2012 6:22 PM
Updated: Sep 18, 2012 7:43 PM
COLUMBIA -- Columbia College men's basketball coach Bob Burchard officially announced that he has signed five new players to play basketball for Columbia in the 2012-13 season.
Burchard lost three players to graduation, but returns 10 Cougars from a squad that finished 27-7 and advanced to the second round of the NAIA National Championships after winning the American Midwest Conference Regular Season and Tournament title.
Included in the 2012-13 recruiting class are freshmen Djordje Mraovic, Chantel Stanciel and Marcus Whitt, sophomore Eric Clark and junior Derrick Dilworth.
Whitt is a 5-10 guard from Columbia, Mo. Marcus averaged 15 points a game for the Hickman High School Kewpies in his senior year. He was named all-district under the guidance of coach David Johnson. Mraovic, a 6-2 guard, comes to Columbia from Sabac, Serbia. He was named one of the top 50 prospects in Serbia in 2012 while playing for the OKK Sabac.
Stanciel, a native of St. Louis, Mo., comes to Columbia after a successful career at McCluer High School. In his senior season the 5-10 guard helped his team to a 25-4 record, falling to rival and eventual state champion McCluer North High School in the district championships. He averaged 7.3 points and 3.3 assists per game and is no stranger to Columbia College as his step-father Ron Pearson played for Coach Burchard at Columbia.
The lone sophomore of the bunch, Eric Clark joins the Cougars after a season at Butler County Community College. The 6-4 forward had a 47 percent field goal percentage as a freshman. A graduate of Cardinal Ritter High School and former teammate of current Cougar Wendell Crowder, Clark was part of a team that won the state championship in 2010 and was named the AAA conference player of the year for his efforts. He averaged 20 points and 7.5 rebounds per game that season and was also named all-state, all-metro and all-conference.
Finally Derrick Dilworth, a 6-3 guard, will transfer from Moberly Area Community College in Moberly, Mo. Last season he led the Greyhounds to a 21-8 record, reaching the Region 16 Championship game while dropping in just over eight points and four rebounds per contest. A native of Webster Groves, Mo., Dilworth was part of a team that won the 2008 Missouri Class 5 State Championships and helped his squad to four straight conference championships. In 2010 he was named the Suburban South Player of the Year as well as being an all-state, all-metro and all-conference recipient. Off the court, Derrick helped his high school to a state championship in football as the quarterback.
"I am very excited about this year's recruiting class," said Burchard. "It is a deep class with a nice balance of freshman and transfers. These student-athletes are used to being highly successful and we look forward to having them join a solid group of returners."
Burchard enters his 25th season with the program and posts a 597-225 record (.726). He claimed conference coach of the year honors for the fifth time in his career last year and capped off the season by being inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in late March. The Cougars open up the 2012-13 season on November 2nd when they host Concordia Seminary (Mo.) College in a 7 p.m. matchup in the Arena of Southwell Complex.
Columbia will once again host the Quality Inn Thanksgiving Classic on November 23-24 and the Cougars vs. Cancer Classic on December 29-30. They will open up conference play on the road in Walnut Ridge, Ark. against Williams Baptist College on January 3rd.