Coastal Carolina

Butts, Robertson round out Chanticleer hoops recruiting class

Coastal Carolina University basketball coach Cliff Ellis leads his team off the court at halftime during a game earlier this season.
Coastal Carolina University basketball coach Cliff Ellis leads his team off the court at halftime during a game earlier this season. jblackmon@thesunnews.com

The Coastal Carolina men’s basketball program has finalized its 2016 recruiting class with two more additions, coach Cliff Ellis announced Wednesday.

The Chanticleers have signed 6-foot-1 junior college point guard Jaylan Robertson and 6-foot-7 incoming freshman forward Leroy Butts to round out a six-person class, as they join a pair of recent signees in 6-foot-8 junior college forward Demario Beck and 6-foot-4 incoming freshman guard Artur Labinowicz and two fall signees in 6-foot-8 incoming freshman forward Amidou Bamba and 6-foot-7 junior college forward Joseph Williams-Powell.

“I think it’s a good start for the Sun Belt. We’re going to another level. I think we’ve [ratcheted] it up, so to speak, another level,” Ellis said. “I’m excited about that. I think these guys are guys that can make a difference. Some are going to be young and learning the system and some we're going to expect some more immediate [contributions] from because we lost our entire front line.

“We’ve got an overhaul in the post position, and then at the guards I think we’ve added strength with regard to what we had.”

Robertson, who comes to Coastal Carolina from Highland (Ill.) Community College with two seasons of eligibility remaining, is a natural point guard who gives the Chants another option if suspended two-year starting point guard Shivaughn Wiggins does not return to the program.

I think it’s a good start for the Sun Belt. We’re going to another level. I think we’ve [ratcheted] it up, so to speak, another level.

Coastal Carolina men’s basketball coach Cliff Ellis

Although the six-player signing class potentially pushes the Chants to 14 players with an NCAA maximum of 13 scholarships to disperse – if Wiggins does return and senior forward Michel Enanga is granted a medical redshirt for last season – Ellis said no decision on Wiggins’ future has been made as the would-be senior point guard goes through the legal process after being arrested on March 26 and charged with third degree assault and battery.

“He has not been decided on. That is still in the process, so to speak,” Ellis said.

As for Robertson, who is from Clayton, N.C., he averaged 14.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game last season while shooting 46.8 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from 3-point range.

“I think he’s just a tremendous attacker to the rim,” Ellis said. “He’s real strong, solid, he’s very explosive is the best way to describe him. He’s got the ability to get the ball to the hole and with the way that we play I think he’s an asset.

“He’s a natural point guard, and I think he’s going to give us a presence at that position.”

Butts, meanwhile, averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds per game for Clinton Christian School in Upper Marlboro, Md., during the 2014-15 season and spent last year at a prep school, Elev8 Prep Academy in Delray Beach, Fla., where he averaged 15 points and eight rebounds.

“Leroy Butts is a guy that I think can come in and play a power forward type position and also can give you some time in the paint too,” Ellis said.

“I like them. I think it’s a good way to finish. I think it’s a good group to take us into the Sun Belt. I think we’re going to see the Sun Belt is going to be another notch [up from the Big South], and I feel good about the start. We started a little bit late because [the conference move came together in] late August, but at the same point in time I think we caught up.”

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