BELLEVILLE — Known for a quick first step and long-range shooting touch, Alton senior Detae McMurray proved to be a matchup nightmare for many opposing coaches during the 2013-14 season.
Southwestern Illinois College basketball coach Jay Harrington hopes that trend continues at the college level.
A first team all-Southwestern Conference player this past year, McMurray is one of four players who have signed to attend SWIC beginning in August.
Also joining the Blue Storm program are Devon Sabo (Pleasant Plains High School), Dez Marshall (Impact Academy, Las Vegas, Nev.) and Justin Washington (Crane, Mo., High School).
"And we have six more kids coming in to visit this week. It's been a busy time, but we're excited about the four kids who have signed. We feel that each of them adds things that will help this basketball program continue to be successful,'' Harrington said. "But we've still got a lot of work to do.''
The 6-foot-2 McMurray averaged 13 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals while making over 43 percent of his 3-point shots for an Alton team that was ranked among the top 10 Class 4A teams in the state last season.
The 6-foot-8 Sabo averaged just 7 points and 7 rebounds for a Pleasant Plains squad that finished 28-2 before losing to Riverton in the Class 2A Sectional.
"He's a big, strong kid with a lot of potential,'' Harrington said of Sabo.
Both the 6-4 Marshall and 6-5 Washington are athletic players who thrive in the uptempo offense.
Marshall verbally committed to the Blue Storm earlier this month, but didn't sign until last week.
"His mom and uncle just wanted to make sure this was a good place for Dez,'' Harrington said. "Dez is a kid who scored more then 1,900 points in high school but what we like the most is that he's very good off the ball. A lot of kids need the basketball to be effective, but Dez just has a knack for getting things done. He'll play the small forward spot.
"Justin Washington is a terrific athlete who just does a little bit of everything. He can shoot, plays good defense, rebounds, runs the floor well and he can really jump."
Contact reporter Dean Criddle at 239-2661 or firstname.lastname@example.org