Tide signs three in early period
by Marq Burnett
mburnett@annistonstar.com
Nov 13, 2013 | 1155 views |  0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama coach Anthony Grant signed three players Wednesday. (Photo by Mark Humphrey/Associated Press/File)
Alabama coach Anthony Grant signed three players Wednesday. (Photo by Mark Humphrey/Associated Press/File)
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TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama men’s basketball coach Anthony Grant was a happy man when he spoke with reporters Wednesday about his most recent signing class.

Grant and the Tide received three National Letters of Intent on Wednesday during the first day of the early signing period.

Guards Justin Coleman (Birmingham's Wenonah High) and Devin Mitchell (Collins Hills of Suwanee, Ga.) along with forward Riley Norris (Albertville) are each rated as top-100 recruits nationally and will join the Tide for the 2014-2015 season.

“We’re really excited about the three young men that we got signed today,” Grant said. “We feel like they’ll be great fits into our program. High character kids.”

The Tide’s 2014 class received national acclaim as 247Sports ranked the class No. 21 in the nation, followed by ESPN.com (22nd) and Scout.com (24th).

Coleman, a 5-foot-10, 160-pound point guard, led Wenonah to the 2013 Class 5A state championship. He averaged 20.3 points, 7.7 assists, four rebounds and 4.2 steals a game as a junior last season.

“When I watch him play, as a coach what you want is a guy at that position who can make the game easier for his teammates and who can really kind of run the show for you,” Grant said. “I think Justin will bring all that to us. He's got an ability to score. He’s got great speed, great vision. I think he’s a guy that will be able to impact our program from day one.”

Mitchell, a 6-4, 175-pound guard, averaged 20.2 points agame, grabbed six rebounds and shot 42 percent from 3-point range as a junior at Collins Hill. Mitchell is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 57 overall player in the nation, No. 13 shooting guard and No. 2 player in the state of Georgia.

“He’s a guy that will provide great options for our team in terms of his ability to score the ball,” Grant said. “Great size for the position. He’s a guy that has great leadership qualities and he’s got an unbelievable personality. From day one, he’ll be a media favorite. He has a very outgoing personality. He’s a guy that will have an infectious personality on our team.”

Norris, a 6-7, 190-pound forward, averaged 22.4 points and 12 rebounds as a junior at Albertville. Norris is listed as a four-star recruit by ESPN.com, 247Sports, Scout.com and Rivals.com and is rated as a top 100 prospect by all four outlets.

“He can play in or out, handles, passes and has a very high basketball IQ,” Grant said. “He plays for a tremendous high school coach in Patrick Harding up at Albertville. I think he’s been taught the game really well and was also taught by his dad, who also played collegiately. I think he brings a skill set and an IQ to our team walking in the door that will have a tremendous impact for us.”
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