May 3, 2012 10:45:15 AM
Matthew Stevens - firstname.lastname@example.org
STARKVILLE -- According to reports, Mississippi State University men's basketball coach Rick Ray is close to signing a fourth member of his first recruiting class.
Paul Jones of 247sports.com reported Wednesday that MSU is expected to sign Olney Central (Ill.) College point guard Trivante Bloodman today during his official campus visit.
The 6-foot-1 Bloodman averaged 15.4 points, 3.1 assists, and 2.6 rebounds per game last season at OCC.
Including the kept early signees before Ray took over for Rick Stansbury, who retired in March, MSU's 2012 class will grow to seven players if Bloodman signs with the Bulldogs.
St. John's Northwestern Military Academy point guard Jacoby Davis and Memphis Central combo guard Andre Applewhite signed last week.
East Mississippi Community College All-America forward Colin Borchert signed Tuesday with MSU.
Bloodman is a point guard out Wadleigh High School in Bronx, N.Y. He averaged 23.2 points, 1.7 assists, and 1.5 rebounds in his final prep season. OCC assistant coach Dan Matic used his New York City ties to help land Bloodman, a 2010-11 All-Manhattan first-team selection.
"Coach Matic did a great job finding some guys who were available late," OCC coach Mike Burris said last year when Bloodman signed with the school. "Trivante can play both guard spots and has the ability to get the ball to the rim. He can become a very good point guard."
During his only season at OCC, Bloodman was named freshman of the year in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference. He made 50 percent of his shots, 45 percent from beyond the 3-point arc and averaged nearly two steals per game.
Bloodman will have three years of eligibility with MSU if he signs.
Matic, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., spent the past two seasons as an assistant under Rob Jeter at University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. Bloodman also considered UWM, Seton Hall University, and Florida Atlantic University during spring visits. He held offers from the University of Nebraska and Duquesne University. Those schools also went through coaching changes, which altered his plans.
Last month, MSU announced the addition of former Auburn University All-Southeastern Conference standout Wes Flanigan to Ray's staff as an assistant coach. Flanigan spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach to Doc Sadler at Nebraska. Sadler was fired.