Nov. 20, 2007
AUBURN - Frankie Sullivan, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound guard from Uniontown, Ala.; Tay Waller, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound guard from Manchester, Ga.; Kenny Gabriel, a 6-foot-8, 200-pound small forward from Charlotte, N.C.; and Johnnie Lett, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound power forward from Mobile, Ala.; have signed national letters of intent to attend Auburn University and play basketball in 2008-09, head coach Jeff Lebo announced Tuesday.
"We think we have addressed our needs that we had with our team," said Lebo. "Especially in the backcourt with scoring ability and also with a small forward, who potentially down the road could be a matchup problem for our people in this league when he gets bigger and stronger."
Waller averaged 18.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists and shot 45 percent from the field and 40 percent (117-of-296) from 3-point range as a freshman at Okaloosa-Walton College in 2006-07 in helping the team to a 23-5 record. Scoring 39 points vs. Gulf Coast in the season finale, he became the best free throw shooter in OWC history is second in school history with 117 three-pointers made. Waller set the school free throw record by shooting 92 percent (55-of-61) from the foul line.
Waller is averaging 16.4 points while shooting 41 percent from 3-point range in four games this year as a sophomore. A former high school teammate of Auburn junior Korvotney Barber, Waller averaged 24 points per game as a senior at Manchester (Ga.) High School. Waller, who was a junior when Barber was a senior at Manchester High, set a school record for 3-pointers made.
"Tay Waller is probably one of the best junior college shooters we think in the country," said Lebo. "He played with Korvotney Barber at Manchester High School and played under Coach Bruce Stewart, who has had a history of developing shooting guards at
Sullivan averaged 18 points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals per game as a junior at R.C. Hatch High School in 2007-08 and averaged 22 points per game as a sophomore.
"We are excited about Frankie Sullivan, who is an all-state player in Alabama and has won four state championships already and is going for his fifth," said Lebo. "He has the ability to score, and he is a winner. He is tough."
Gabriel is averaging 28.5 points, 11 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game as a senior this year for Charlotte United Faith Academy. He averaged 17 points, eight rebounds and two blocks per game as a junior.
"Kenny Gabriel"s upside at the small forward/power forward spots is terrific," said Lebo.
Lett is averaging 8.8 points and 7.5 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the field in four games for Okaloosa-Walton College this year. He averaged 2.9 points and 4.2 rebounds a game as a freshman at OWC in 2006-07. At B.C. Rain High School in Mobile, Lett averaged double-digit rebounds per game during his senior season.
"Johnnie Lett, a power forward who is a junior college player, is from Mobile and has improved as much as anybody I have seen in a long time in a short period of time at Okaloosa-Walton," said Lebo. He can play inside and out and is extremely athletic."