(Catonsville, MD) — The University of Maryland-Baltimore County has signed forward Devarick Houston, a 6’7” junior college transfer from Chattahoochee Tech, for the 2013-2014 season. A combo-forward with great length and athleticism, Houston averaged 12.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game while shooting 50.4 percent from the floor over the past season.
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Houston is regarded as a classic late-bloomer and has grown almost four inches since graduating high school while transitioning from the guard to forward positions, and is reportedly just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential. Houston will have two-years of eligibility at UMBC.
The scouting report on Houston (from several different recruiters and coaches) is that he has plus-athleticism and length and terrific energy and effort on the court. He will is reportedly already a DI impact-level defender and rebounder (“relentless” is a word used to describe him on the glass) who should make an immediate impact for the Retrievers in both areas of the game – if true, a huge get for a UMBC squad which struggled greatly defending and rebounding the ball.
Offensively, the word on Houston is that he is still very rough around the edges, but can shoot the ball from behind the arc and is a highlight-reel waiting to happen in transition. He has drawn comparisons on offense to Boston University Terrier Malik Thomas, but with more physical strength.
With Houston, along with incoming freshmen Will Darley and Charles Taylor Jr., and transfer Bryan Harris (who played four games at Wofford), UMBC head coach Aki Thomas has now signed four players to his first recruiting class. Darley is being billed as the replacement for graduating senior-shooter Brian Neller, while Taylor is another high-end athlete and Harris a scoring guard.
While UMBC lost more than could ever be summed up by mere statistics with the graduation of leading scorer and Second Team All-Conference guard Ryan Cook (the team’s hardest worker and heart and soul), with their incoming recruiting class and the return of 6’10” center Brett Roseboro from injury, UMBC should already be much longer and more athletic next season.
Thomas has also granted a scholarship to senior point guard Quinton Jones, who spent the previous two seasons as a walk-on point guard. Jones has established himself as a heady and steady player at the point guard position, solid on-ball defender, and top-end locker room presence.
With the four players signed as well as the addition of Jones as a scholarship player, Thomas still has two more scholarships to use.