Kent State men's basketball signed two transfers today for next season in Cleveland native Derek Jackson and Devin Carter (Champaign, Ill.).
"We're excited about Derek and Devin coming and joining us," KSU coach Rob Senderoff said in a press release. "They (are) welcome additions to our program. We need to replace some of our perimeter scoring punch, production and versatility.
"We knew we had our core of post players coming back, but at the same time we knew we needed to bring some guys in that we felt could help us on the perimeter, especially in scoring and being able to do multiple things on the floor. We believe the guys we are bringing in should help us replace Chris (Evans) and Randal (Holt), although that's tough to do."
Jackson is familiar with the Mid-American Conference as the 6-foot-4 combo guard signed with Central Michigan out of high school and played for the Chippewas during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons before deciding to leave the program following a coaching change a year ago.
Jackson started 47 of 62 games at CMU, scoring 600 points in his two seasons in Mount Pleasant. In his final season for the Chippewas, he averaged 11.5 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. He also finished third in the MAC in steals (1.8), fifth in three-pointers (2.1) and minutes played (33.1) and 10th in three-point shooting (.382).
A former AAU teammate of current Kent State junior Mark Henniger, Jackson was named Second Team All-Ohio and shared District Player of the Year honors with teammate Cameron Wright during his senior season at Benedictine.
"Derek went to Benedictine High School and played with a number of Division I players," Senderoff said. "He contacted us through Randal Holt, actually. He's local, so he's going to have a great support system here at all the games. He's been down numerous times throughout the year because he knows people here. He's been in the rec center playing basketball and just been around a lot."
Carter, a 6-foot-4 junior college transfer, looks to bring the versatility Senderoff desires with his ability to play all three spots on the perimeter. Carter played at Illinois' Lake Land College last season, where he received First Team All-Region 24, First Team All-Great Rivers Athletic Conference and Region 24 Freshman of the Year accolades after averaging 17.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.
"We're really excited about Devin signing here at Kent State," Senderoff said. "He will have three years to play, which is a little unusual for some junior college players, because he qualified out of high school. Devin did not get the recruitment that he probably deserved. He went to Lake Land and played for Cedric Brown, who's a well-known coach in the area."
Jackson and Carter are the only two players Kent State has signed for next season to date. They join UNC Wilmington transfer K.K. Simmons, a 6-foot-4 sophomore guard who will be eligible to play after sitting out last season under NCAA transfer rules.