Johnson Announces Elite Signing Class
Communications Sr. Associate
BATON ROUGE -- LSU men’s basketball coach Trent Johnson announced a signing class of four outstanding players who will join the Tigers for the 2010-11 season after national letters-of-intent papers were signed and approved by the LSU Athletics Department on Wednesday.
Wednesday was the first day of the week-long early signing period in men’s basketball. ESPNU has LSU’s signing class presently listed as 10th in the country and Rivals.com also lists LSU in its top 20 signing classes for the fall period.
The Tigers received papers from Matt Derenbecker of Metairie, La., who is prepping at Metairie Park Country Day (SF, 6-7, 185); Andre Stringer, Jackson, Miss., Forest Park High School (PG, 5-9, 170); Jalen Courtney, Jackson, Miss., Provine High School (PF, 6-8, 210); and Ralston Turner, Muscle Shoals, Ala., Muscle Shoals High School (SG, 6-6, 193).
“LSU’s basketball future is bright,” said LSU Coach Trent Johnson. “We were able to get four quality student-athletes. They are all very, very good basketball players. Matt Derenbecker is the Louisiana payer of the year on a state championship team; Andre Stringer is a Mr. Basketball; Ralston Turner is arguably the best player in the state of Alabama and Jalen Courtney has played on teams that won state championships.
“These are the young men that we targeted whom we felt would fit our program and we look forward to having them here. All that being said, this recruiting class which is ranked 10th in the country by some polls should be judged at the end of their careers and not at the start of their careers and I think these players all understand that.”
Derenbecker was the Gatorade Player of the Year in the state who helped Country Day to the Class IA state championship. He averaged 20.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, six assists and three steals. He will be reunited with his Metairie Park Country Day teammate, Eddie Ludwig, who is a freshman with the 2009-10 Tiger basketball team. Derenbecker is ranked a four-star prospect by both Rivals.com and Scout.
Stringer was the 2009 Mississippi Mr. Basketball. His Forest Park team went 29-6 last year in reaching the championship game of the Class 4A state tournament. He averaged 25 points, seven assists and three steals. Rivals lists him as a four-star recruit.
Courtney played for another Jackson school (Provine) that was successful in Class 5A, winning two state championships and reaching the final this past year as he averaged 15 points and eight rebounds for the No. 4-ranked team in the classification. Courtney earned three stars from the recruiting services.
Turner has scored more than 1,800 points in his career and averaged 21 points and nine rebounds a season ago. Muscle Shoals was 22-6 last season with Turner leading the team in most statistical categories that also included 4.3 blocks and 4.0 steals. Turner was ranked the 11th-best shooting guard by ESPN.
Derenbecker, String and Turner were all ranked in ESPNU’s top 100 recruits for 2009-10.