Northwestern State signs three hoops transfers from Show Me state

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NATCHITOCHES – Three college basketball transfers from the state of Missouri have signed with Northwestern State, announced new basketball coach Corey Gipson on Tuesday.

Missouri State guards Demarcus Sharp and Ja’Monta Black along Missouri center Jordan Wilmore will wear the NSU purple this coming season.

Gipson coached Sharp and Black at Missouri State, where both guards have vast amounts of starting experience in the Missouri Valley Conference.

“We’re excited to bring these three guys in, and one thing they all have in common is the ability to play defense the way we want,” Gipson said. “(Sharp and Black) understand the terminology, the expectation and the intensity we want to play with, and they can infuse that into the other guys.

“This is a great way to start the expedited chemistry within the program.”

Sharp, who was hampered by a leg injury this past season with just eight games played, was voted to the MVC All-Newcomer team in 2020-21 after averaging eight points and nearly four assists per game.

The 6-foot-3 point guard elevated to the starting role in the final 12 games of the 2020-21 season and started in five of his eight appearances this past season.

“Demarcus is the epitome of a lead guard, and he leads with his play and the example he sets,” Gipson said of the graduate transfer, who was an NJCAA All-American at Colby Community College (Kan.). “He’s an opportunistic passer and play maker who often doesn’t get credit for being an impeccable defensive rebounder.

“He’s one of the better defensive rebounding guards I’ve been around in a long time.”

Black was a three-year starter for the Bears, helping Missouri State win 70 percent of its games the past two seasons.

The sharpshooter drained 77 3-pointers on 39 percent shooting as he started in 33 of his 34 appearances this past season for a 23-win Missouri State team.

Black, who is eighth all-time in Missouri State history with 158 3-pointers, averaged 8.7 points and 3.1 rebounds this past season after averaging 9.6 points as a sophomore.

“Ja’Monta an unbelievable shooter, one of the best in the country,” Gipson said of the 6-foot-4 guard, who started a combined 75 games in his three seasons. “He made more than two 3-pointers per game, and he knows how to make reads with and without the ball.

“He is a great glue piece in that he keeps and holds everybody together. He’s an extension of the coaching staff.”

Wilmore is a 7-foot-3 center who played at Missouri for two seasons.

He appeared in 13 games with six starts as a sophomore this past season, averaging two points and two rebounds in eight minutes per game with six blocks.

Wilmore had a career-high 11 points, six rebounds and three blocks in a win against Northern Illinois.

“He has the size, stature, the ability and the athleticism to be an enforcer on both sides of the floor,” Gipson said.

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