Three More Transfers Sign With Bemidji State Men’s Basketball
Tuesday, July 6, 2004
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Bemidji State Head Men’s Basketball Coach Patrick Smith announced the signing of Derrick Beechum (Davenport, Iowa), Spencer Carter (Dubuque, Iowa) and Sam Williams (West Memphis, Ark.) to NCAA National Letters of Intent today. The three players bring the 2004-05 signing class to four - the first signee for coach Smith was 6-6 junior forward Bobby Barrows (Grain Valley, Mo.) from State Fair (Mo.) Community College. • Derrick Beechum, 6-1, Guard, Davenport, Iowa (Marshalltown (Iowa) CC)
Last season at Marshalltown, Beechum tallied 9.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists per contest. Also, he ranked 10th in the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference with 1.4 steals per game. The 6’1”, 190 lb. guard is expected to play both guard spots for the Beavers in 2004-05.

“Derrick will fit in perfectly with our pressing and running style that we will employ this season,” said Smith. “I gained tremendous respect for him as a player watching him numerous times the past two years. He can really break you down off the dribble, is a good three-point shooter and possesses a lot of athleticism and versatility. We are pleased to add Derrick to our program.”

• Spencer Carter, 6-6, Forward, Dubuque, Iowa (Highland (Ill.) CC)
Along with BSU-product Sam Williams, Carter helped lead Highland to its first ever NJCAA National Tournament appearance with a 32-3 record in 2003-04. As a sophomore, Carter averaged 10 points, seven rebounds and shot at a 51 percent clip from the field. Carter maintained the second-best rebounding average on the team. His season-best rebounding output came in the regional championship game as he grabbed 19 boards. He was honored on the All-Region team as a second-year player.

“Carter was ranked between a low and mid-major NCAA Division I player by every scouting service,” said Smith. “He is a relentless defender and rebounder who has a tremendous upside in terms of potential.”

• Sam Williams, 5-8, Guard, West Memphis, Ark. (Highland (Ill.) CC)
Running the point guard position at Highland, Williams averaged four points, four assists and two rebounds last season. He was a 76 percent free-throw shooter and hit on 45 percent of his field goal attempts. He was part of a NJCAA Region IV Championship club in 2003-04 and, along with Carter, helped total 60 wins in two years at Highland.

“Williams is just a winner who possesses great mental toughness and can help be a leader for our team,” said Smith. “Both (Williams and Carter) played for one of the top junior college programs in the country and won 60 games over their two-year careers at Highland.”

Last season, the Beavers were crowned Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference champions after breezing through the league with a 14-2 mark. BSU appeared in the NCAA Regionals for the first time in school history.

Smith, who was appointed the 18th head coach on May 6, 2004, comes to BSU from Moberly Area Community College (Mo.) where he was head men’s basketball coach and athletic director for the past three seasons. The Somerset, Kentucky native expects to sign three to four more players to complete his recruiting efforts.

2004-05 Bemidji State Men’s Basketball Roster
Ian Atkins 6-7 F SR Detroit, Mich./Lamar (Colo.) CC
•Bobby Barrows 6-6 F JR Grain Valley, Mo./State Fair (Mo.) CC
•Derrick Beechum 6-1 G JR Davenport, Iowa/Marshalltown (Iowa) CC
•Spencer Carter 6-6 F JR Dubuque, Iowa/Highland (Ill.) CC
Duane Fields Redshirt at BSU in 2003-04
Amir Major 6-6 F SR Chicago, Ill./Lincoln (Ill.) CC
James Roberson 5-10 G SR Chicago, Ill./Lincoln (Ill.) CC
•Sam Williams 5-8 G JR West Memphis, Ark./Highland (Ill.) CC

•2004-05 Newcomers