Wayland Baptist men's basketball coach Ty Harrelson recently announced the signing of four players for his 2018-19 roster. All transfers, they are CJ Obinwa, a 6-foot-2 guard from Arlington; Spencer Lindsey, a 6-foot-9 forward from Norman, Okla.; Jeremy Betjol, a 6-foot-9 center from France; and Jack Nobles, a 6-foot-6 forward from Trophy Club, Texas.
Obinwa and Nobles both previously played at Collin College in Plano, where Harrelson played before transferring to WBU in the early 2000s. Lindsey comes to Wayland from Oklahoma Baptist University while Betjol is a transfer from Frank Phillips College in Borger.
"I am really excited about adding this recruiting class to the fantastic group we have coming back," said Harrelson, who returned about a dozen players (after graduating four) from last season's 25-10 team that advanced to the Sooner Athletic Conference Tournament championship game and then three rounds deep in the NAIA National Championships.
"Each team is always different, and each year is new in terms of record. We will really miss Tyrone (Davis), Ruben (Lopez), Sammy (Kalwanyi) and Marko (Zelic), and for different reasons they are irreplaceable. However, we did manage to keep Ruben on our coaching staff and looking ahead this is turning into a really exciting group of players to coach."
Obinwa, the 6-2 guard from Arlington by way of Collin College, was honorable mention all-conference in the NTJCAC where his team advanced to the semifinals and finished with 21 wins. He led Collin in 3-point shooting hitting 45 percent from beyond the arc. Obinwa, who also was academic all-conference, posted an impressive 85 percent from the charity stripe.
"I am really excited to have CJ in our program. He fills a void that we lost with Ruben graduating. He can flat-out shoot the ball," Harrelson said. "I believe his best basketball is still ahead of him and he is going to impress our fans. He is a high-IQ player with the ability to play point guard and still be a threat to knock down shots."
Before playing at OBU, Lindsey played at Redlands College in El Reno, Okla., where he averaged more than 8 points and 4 rebounds while shooting 78 percent from the free-throw line. After leading Redlands to 18 wins his sophomore year, the 6-9 forward transferred to Oklahoma Baptist where he played his junior season.
"Spencer is a high-character player who is hungry to prove that he can play at a high level," Harrelson said. "Culturally and competitively he is going to be a great addition. We love that he can go inside and make plays but also step out and knock down a 3. Any time you can add someone with his experience and size it is a win. Our players really liked him on his visit and he also competes in the classroom."
Harrelson called Betjol, a 6-9 center, "a true big man that averaged 8 points and 6 rebounds while shooting 52 percent from the field at Frank Phillips. The Frenchman injured his shoulder last season after playing in 17 games.
"He really won me over on his visit," Harrelson said. "Jeremy is very talented, smart and physical, but most importantly he fits what we are trying to do here at Wayland. He is just a great guy who wants an opportunity both academically and athletically. He has great hands and footwork around the basket."
Betjol was an academic all-conference selection and graduated from FPC in May with his associate's degree.
Nobles, was an All-NTJCAC First Team pick at Collin College after also making all-conference his freshman year. The 6-6 forward from Trophy Club led Collin to the regional tournament both years and averaged 20 wins per season.
Collin College coach Jim Sigona said of Nobles, "Jack comes from a great family. He is just tough and you win with guys like him."
Nobles averaged 11 points and six rebounds and hit 80 percent from the free throw line while knocking down 50 percent from the field.
"Jack is going to make an immediate impact," Harrelson said. "He is going to be able to replace the toughness and size we lost from our senior class this year. I think our fans will love watching how hard Jack plays night-in and night-out."
Nobles' mother, Shannon, grew up in Abernathy and his father, Patrick, is a high school basketball coach.
"It is always nice to sign a player who has some roots locally and comes from a basketball family," Harrelson said. "If he continues to work, Jack will be one of the most dominant players we have had during my tenure."
Harrelson went on to thank WBU assistant coaches Landon Hughey and Xavier Webb. "They did a great job recruiting all year long. They know what type of guys we want and were able to get some very talented players.
"We still have the ability to sign one more player. We also have some good JV players and incoming freshmen that we'll be evaluating over the next few months."