Bemidji State men's basketball program adds three for 2005-06 campaign
Tuesday, June 14, 2005

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Bemidji State University head men's basketball coach Patrick Smith has announced the signing of three players to scholarships for the 2005-06 season. Joining the Beavers are Derik Hollyfield, a 6-4 transfer from Eastern Illinois University, Xavier Powell, a 6-6, 225-pound transfer from Florida Memorial University and 6-6 wing Sherwin Johnson who played for BSU during its 2003-04 NSIC championship and NCAA Tournament run. All three players sat out as redshirts at BSU during the 2004-05 academic year.

"I am very excited about what this team can be next season," commented Smith announcing the intentions of Hollyfield, Powell and Johnson to return to the Beavers next season. "Hollyfield and Johnson really improve our athleticism, size, versatility and scoring from the wing positions while Powell brings an unbelievable relentlessness to our post and rebounding games."

Hollyfield will play all three perimeter positions and brings an impressive basketball resume to Bemidji State. He was a two-year starter at Lincoln College, along side former BSU players James Roberson and Amir Major, helping the Lynx to a 54-15 record. He averaged 16 points per game as a freshman while garnering team's MVP award and contributed 14 points per game as a sophomore. He was a part-time starter at NCAA Division I Eastern Illinois University during the 2003-04 season where he posted averages of seven points, four rebounds and three steals per game. He will be a senior in 2005-06.

Powell, a Miami, Fla. native, will add a physical presence in the paint this coming season. He transferred to BSU from Florida Memorial University, an NAIA institution, where he posted averages of 18 points and 10 rebounds per game two seasons ago. For his efforts he was named first team all-conference and offensive MVP within the league as well as his team. As a freshman, Powell played at Nova Southeastern University averaging 10 points and six boards per contest. He will be a junior for the Beavers in 2005-06.

Rejoining the Bemidji State Roster after an outstanding inaugural season in 2003-04 is Sherwin Johnson. His 11.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals per contest made him an integral component to the Beavers' best season in the program's history. In addition, he was heralded as one of the top defenders in the NSIC. Johnson transferred to BSU from Pratt Community College (Kan.) where posted numbers of 18 points, nine rebounds and three assists per game from 2001-03. He will play his senior season for the Beavers in 2005-06.

"Primarily I want to commend all three of these young men for the effort they made academically in terms of gaining eligibility,” commented Smith. "Hopefully this is the next step in all three players getting college degrees. There is no doubt that not only did our program get better in terms of overall talent, size and depth, which these three players give us, but it really helps that they were able to practice with us, gaining valuable experience within our system."