November 14, 2012

Men’s Basketball Inks Five Players in Murphy’s Second Class

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Northern Arizona Men's Basketball Coach Jack Murphy signed five student-athletes Wednesday to form the foundation of his second class since taking over the program last April.

"They are an athletic and explosive group that has won both on the high school and AAU level," said Murphy. "I am excited because they are a group that is focused on winning and bringing NAU to a different level. My staff, especially Matt Dunn and Vic Sfera, did a great job of identifying players that share our passion for the game and NAU. It is a testament to these five young men that they bought into our vision early on."

The 2012-13 class includes guard Travis Meeker (Mesa Red Mountain HS), guard Christopher Miller (Greenway HS), forward Zachary Reynolds (Mt. Zion Academy/Gulf Coast CC), forward Terry Winn (Melrose HS) and guard Kris Yanku (Taft HS).

The class includes a pair of in-state products in Meeker and Miller. Murphy credits the signing of Arizona products and current Lumberjack freshmen Dewayne Russell and Bryce Gosar in his first class with building momentum for the program.

"They made it cool again to come to NAU," said Murphy. "It really helped in-state and we were fortunate to get Chris and Travis, two outstanding players from the Valley. They come from winning programs and coaches."

Meeker is a 6-4 guard from Mesa Red Mountain where he played for Coach Greg Sessions. He averaged 6.0 points per game off the bench last season, helping his team to a 23-10 record and an 11th-place finish in state. He is ranked No. 9 on the ESPN100 Arizona recruits in the class of 2013.

"Travis is a very good shooter from Red Mountain High School," said Sfera. "He played for Coach Sessions, a very well respected coach in the Valley. He brings shooting and athleticism. He fills a need with the void left by Gabe Rogers, who is graduating this year. He is ready to step in."

Miller averaged 20.7 points and 5.0 rebounds last season on a team that went 13-8 at Greenway. He played AAU basketball this past summer for Team Zona.

"Chris Miller comes from a very well-coached program at Greenway with Coach Howard Mueller," said Sfera. "Chris has his best basketball ahead of him. He was a late bloomer in high school and was very under the radar. He has great athleticism and can be a great a defender. We are fortunate to have him in this class."

Reynolds, who is originally from Tampa, Fla., is a 6-7 forward from Gulf Coast CC in Panama City, Fla. He averaged 5.1 rebounds last season, recording five games with 10 or more boards, while posting a single-game high 17 rebounds. He had offers from North Carolina State, Cincinnati and Temple.  He originally committed to NAU in June.

"Zach is a combo forward who is a hard-nosed kid and a really good rebounder," said Dunn. "He should be able to come in the Big Sky Conference and do really well and be a big-time rebounder for us. He plays on a really good team that should be ranked in the top 25 most of the season."

Winn, who lived in Monroe, La., until moving to Memphis for his senior season, plays at respected Melrose High School. He was an all-district second-team selection at Ouachita High School and was selected to play in the Under Armour Grind Session last summer.

 "Winn is a power forward who is under the radar since moving from Monroe," said Dunn. "He is a good player and will be one of the best players at one of the best high schools in Memphis."

Yanku has helped Taft High School win back-to-back city titles, earning all-league and all-city honors. He also is a starter on the volleyball team. He was born in Istanbul, Turkey.

"Kris Yanku plays for a very good coach in C.J. Williams at Taft," said Sfera. "He played against the top AAU talent in the Nike EYBL circuit over the summer with California Supreme. The things we love about Kris are he keeps guys out of the paint defensively and can get in the paint and helps distribute for others. He is a huge addition to this class."

ESPN Senior College Basketball Recruiting Analyst Dave Telep tweeted about Yanku, "Kris Yanku picked N. Arizona. That kid is tough, smart and a strong piece to build with. Under radar mid-level pickup. Respect his game."

2012-13 Northern Arizona Recruiting Class

Name, Pos., Ht.,   Wt., Hometown (High School/Last School)

Travis Meeker, G, 6-4, 185, Mesa, Ariz. (Red Mountain HS)

Christopher Miller, G, 6-3, 175, Peoria, Ariz. (Greenway HS)

Zach Reynolds, F, 6-7, 240, Tampa, Fla. (Mt. Zion Academy/Gulf Coast CC)

Terry Winn, F, 6-7, 205, Memphis, Tenn. (Ouachita HS/Melrose HS)

Kris Yanku, G, 6-4, 183, Chatsworth, Calif. (Taft HS)