Coming off a 21-win season and a second-place finish in the program’s first season in the NCAA Division II Pacific West Conference, Fresno Pacific has reloaded by adding 10 high-caliber newcomers, including two players who transferred from Alabama State.
“I absolutely love the recruiting class that we’ve signed,” said Fresno Pacific coach Chris Wright. “While we added a lot of talented basketball players, we also got a lot of quality young men. In my mind, it is the type of class that will continue to help us compete for a conference championship. A major goal of ours was to upgrade our overall depth and I think we accomplished that significantly.”
The class consists of four NCAA Division I transfers, four junior college transfers and two local freshmen. Among the newcomers are former ASU forward Jonathan Jefferson and point guard Josh Mason, a pair of reserve players who left Montgomery after the 2012-13 season .
Jefferson, originally at Tuscaloosa’s Northridge High, came to ASU from junior college. In two years at ASU, he appeared in 38 games and averaged 10.8 minutes, 1.7 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. He had five points and seven rebounds against Georgia Tech this past season.
“Jonathan is a high-character person and a very good student,” Wright said. “We really like his toughness and competitiveness. He is a good athlete that can play and defend multiple positions along with possessing the ability to score both inside and outside. He is the type of versatile athlete that is perfect for our style of play.”
Mason, originally from Roosevelt High in Minneapolis, Minn., came south to play junior college ball in Florida, landed at Alabama State for a season, then left as his minutes decreased. Last season he averaged 3.1 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game off the bench for the Hornets, with season highs of eight points, five rebounds and 22 minutes played against Troy. Prior to Alabama State, Mason played junior college basketball at State College of Florida, being named to the All-SunCoast Conference team his sophomore season after averaging 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists per game on a nationally-ranked team.
“Josh is a talented guard that can affect the game in a variety of ways,” Wright said. “He is extremely athletic and handles the ball exceptionally well. There is no doubt that he will be an impact player for us right away. He is a terrific person that has a lot of maturity both on and off the floor.”