Smith Inks Three Transfers for 2005-06 Men's Basketball Season
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
BEMIDJI, Minn. – Bemidji State University Men's Basketball Coach Patrick Smith has announced the signing of three transfers to National Letters of Intent to play for the Beavers for the 2005-06 season. Joining BSU are Will Watson, a 5-10 point-guard (Tyler Junior College/Delta State University), Manuel Guzman, a 6-9 post player (Hutchinson Community College/Huron State University) and Willie McCloud a 6-7 power forward (Indian Hills Community College/Robert Morris University).

Watson averaged 18 points per game at Tyler JC and accepted an NCAA Division I scholarship with DePaul University when he finished his time in the junior college ranks. He then played at Division II Delta State (Miss.) where he averaged 15 points per game during the 2003-04 season. Watson is from Baton Rouge, La.

Guzman averaged eight points and six rebounds per game at Hutchinson CC (Kan.) after being named to the All-Jayhawk Conference Freshman Team at Miami Dade CC after posting averages of 16 points and nine rebounds. At Huron University, Guzman posted 12 points, seven rebounds and two blocks per game while shooting better than 55 percent from the field. He hails from the Dominican Republic and played at Miami Dade under the tutelage of current BSU assistant coach Gaston "Chachi" Rodriguez.

His arrival at BSU marks the second consecutive season in which a foreign player has started the season on the BSU men's basketball roster following Gustavo Rausch who came to Bemidji State from Patagones, Argentina.

McCloud is a 6-7, 205-pound versatile performer who possesses an outstanding ability to leap. He played for junior college powerhouse Indian Hills CC (Iowa) where the school won the national title during his freshman campaign (2000-2001). He then moved on to the NAIA's Robert Morris College (Ill.) where he averaged a double-double (12 points and 11 rebounds) in 2002-03. McCloud is from Quincy, Fla.

These three student-athletes will join a BSU roster featuring four returning double-figure scorers (Duane Fields, Alvin Muse, Spencer Carter and Derrick Beechum) from a 17-12 club, which after an impressive run at the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference regular season title, finished with a 10-4 mark versus league foes to place second. Fields was named as the 2005 NSIC Newcomer of the Year while Muse garnered Third Team All-NSIC honors. In addition, Carter finished his junior season as the league's leading rebounder at 8.1 boards per game.

Smith also reported that four players that sat out during the 2004-05 season attempting to gain NCAA eligibility will join the team in 2005-06.

"Obviously we are thrilled about the quality of players we have as returnees in our program," commented Smith. "Likewise, to sign the three outstanding players like Watson, McCloud and Guzman only increases our talent level and depth for next season. Also, all three players are valuable pieces to the puzzle in that Watson is a scoring point-guard, at 6-9 Guzman really solves our size problem inside and McCloud is a jumping and rebounding machine. These are all experienced players and should help us immediately."

Watson, Guzman and McCloud each have one year of eligibility remaining as transfers. All signings are contingent upon admission to BSU and compliance with NCAA rules, including certification by the NCAA Clearinghouse.