July 11, 2012
BOCA RATON, FL - The Florida Atlantic University men's basketball program and head coach Mike Jarvis have announced the signing of five players to National Letters of Intent. Cavon Baker, Javier Lacunza, Justin Raffington, DeVonte Thornton and Jackson Trapp will all study at FAU and join the Owls in 2012-13.
The quintet adds to an already stellar recruiting class that includes Parade All-American Stefan Moody (Kissimmee/Poinciana High School) and former Florida 3A Player of the Year Chris Bryant (Tallahassee/Fishburne Military Academy), both of whom signed letters of intent in the fall.
"This is an outstanding class in terms of quality, size, length and diversity of skill sets. This group can do a lot of different things," said Jarvis. "I'm really excited about this class and couldn't have come at a better time."
Baker (Queens, New York) is a 6-foot-1-inch combination guard who will come to Boca Raton from New Hope Academy in Maryland. While at New Hope, Baker helped the team to a 30-4 record and will add depth to the Owls' backcourt.
"I hope he will be a prototypical New York point guard, which means he gets after it, competes and knows what it takes to win," said Jarvis. "He has that New York state of mind and toughness. He's a very athletic and versatile player that can play both guard positions but still has a lot of room for improvement."
Lacunza is a 6-foot-8-inch forward from Spain who averaged 13.7 points and 12 rebounds a game while playing at Hudson Falls (New York) high school as a foreign exchange student as a junior. He had a 31 point, 20 rebound performance while at Hudson Falls. He averaged 21 points, nine rebounds and four assists a game as a senior playing in Spain.
"Javier is a kid we got to know due to Jorge Sanz, our director of basketball operations. He's from Spain, but played a year high school basketball here in America. He brings a European style to the team," Jarvis said. "He can shoot, dribble and has the potential to be a very dangerous all-around player. He wants to get better and wants to win. He was to improve on the court in addition to getting a degree."
Thornton will join the Owls in the fall as a freshman. He averaged 19 points and six rebounds a game as a senior at Marietta-Osborne High School while helping the Cardinals to their first state playoff appearance in a decade.
"Devonte is Mr. Personality who wants to own his own company someday. He plays really hard and will cause a lot of problems for opponents with his length and height, while still having the ability to play guard," said Jarvis. "He's a very confident young man, who still needs to get a little stronger. Because there are so many talented kids in the Atlanta area, a lot of them go underrecruited and I think Devonte is one of those kids."
Trapp is a 6-foot-4-inch guard that originally signed with Winthrop, but was released after a coaching change. Trapp will be joining his Fishburne Military Academy teammate Chris Bryant on the Owls' 2012-13 roster. As a senior at Lake Highland Prep, Trapp averaged 12.5 points and 4.1 rebounds while making 37 percent of his three point shots.
"We were fortunate enough to find Jackson while he was playing in prep school alongside Chris [Bryant]. He's a very intriguing player in terms of talent," said Jarvis. "He can handle the ball but has made his name as a shooter in addition to being 6-foot-4. He can play multiple positions, and I think he'll show up ready to play. He's a very good student and we are very high on him."
Raffington appeared in 54 games in two seasons at the University of San Francisco, averaging 2.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in that time. He will be able to practice with the team, but will have to sit out the 2012-13 season due to NCAA transfer rules and then be able to join the team on the court for the 2013-14 season.
"Justin has a big body, rebounds well and has good skills. He played behind a couple of really good big guys at San Francisco in a system that really didn't fit his style. I saw him play internationally and with his club team, I believe he's going to pleasantly surprise a lot of people. He will be able to compete with and against our big men. He's also a very good student."
With the exception of Harrington, all signees will be eligible to play right away and are expected to compete for playing time on a team that will have to replace seven players off of the 2011-12 roster.