Demons round out signing class with three more additions

A whirlwind of roster building is complete for the Northwestern State men’s basketball team.

First-year head coach Rick Cabrera announced Monday the addition of the final three scholarship signees of his first recruiting class, adding three transfer student-athletes – two of which have prior Division I experience.

Anthony Thomas, a 6-foot-7, 195-pound guard, comes to Natchitoches after redshirting at Kansas State during the 2022-23 season. Prior to his time with the Wildcats, Thomas played for Cabrera during the new Demon coach’s first season at Tallahassee Community College.

While at TCC, Thomas averaged 11 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. He scored in double figures in 15 of his 25 games, highlighted by a pair of 25-point efforts against Florida Coastal Prep and Pensacola State.

Thomas spent his true freshman season at UT Martin, appearing in 22 games and starting four for the Skyhawks. In his lone Division I season, Thomas averaged nine points and 2.8 rebounds in 24 minutes per game. Martin’s 23 3-pointers ranked second on the team, and he became the first true freshman to start UT Martin’s season opener since Nov. 8, 2013.

A three-star high school recruit from Olympus Prep in New Jersey, Thomas was rated the 50th best player at his position nationally and earned all-state honors.

“Anthony brings high-level talent to the Southland Conference,” Cabrera said. “He has the versatility to play one through four with his shooting and passing along with attacking the basket. Anthony has a strong ability to rebound at a high level and displays toughness around the rim.”

Duane Posey gives Cabrera a second Division I transfer, having spent the 2022-23 season at Alabama State where he averaged 7.4 points and five rebounds a game while appearing in all 31 of the Hornets’ games.

A 6-7, 215-pound forward, Posey posted a pair of double-doubles – setting career highs in points (17) and rebounds (13) against Lane College and a 10-point, 10-rebound performance against Prairie View A&M. That was the third of four straight 10-point performances for Posey, who scored in double figures in nine times and grabbed double-figure rebounds three times in his lone season with Alabama State.

A Memphis, Tennessee, native, Posey spent two seasons at Kilgore College. As a sophomore, Posey averaged 6.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, shooting 67.5 percent from the field in 34 games. That followed a freshman season in which Posey averaged 3.3 points and 2.6 rebounds per game while shooting 54.4 percent from the field.

“Duane is an experienced forward who has a motor and toughness that is unmatched,” Cabrera said. “He displays elite athleticism around the rim along with an inside and outside skill set. With his Division I experience, Duane should be an impactful piece to what we are building here at NSU.”

John “Manzie” Wilson rounds out the final trio of signees of Cabera’s first signing class, which totaled 12 new players.

Wilson, a 6-foot, 175-pound point guard from Brooklyn, New York, spent the past season at Panola College in Carthage, Texas. In his lone season with the Ponies, Wilson averaged 11.9 points and 4.7 assists per game, grabbing 3.3 rebounds per game as well.

He earned first-team All-Region 14 North Zone honors as well as first-team All-Region 14 honors and was a member of the Region 14 All-Conference team while maintaining a 3.6 grade point average.

Wilson played one season at Chipola College, averaging 4.5 points and 3.1 assists per game in 31 games during the 2021-22 season.

“John is a prototypical pass-first point guard with elite speed and the ability to finish at the rim,” Cabrera said. “He has played for winning programs at the junior college level. John displays great leadership qualities as a floor general. His toughness on the defensive end set him apart in the recruiting process.”