April 19, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Two standout sophomore players from national tournament qualifier, John A. Logan College, have accepted scholarship offers to continue their basketball careers at the University of Missouri.

Russell Woods and Martavian Payne were instrumental in leading the Volunteers to a combined 47 wins the last two seasons, including two Great Rivers Athletic Conference and Region 24 championships; one district title; and a national tournament appearance this past season.

Woods is a 6-foot-8 post player out of Chicago. He played his prep ball at Simeon High School.

At Logan, he averaged 14.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game as a sophomore. He also converted 62 percent of his shots from inside the paint and made good on 61 percent of his free throws.

Payne is a 6-foot-2 shooting guard from St. Louis (Madison Prep School), who averaged 15.7 points per game, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.8 assists. He shot a respectable 37 percent from beyond the three-point arc and was a 73 percent free-throw shooter.

“I’m very happy for both of them,” said Logan head coach Kyle Smithpeters. “I think Missouri is a situation where they can both go in and make a quick and lasting impression. We’ve been fortunate to watch and enjoy these young men play the last two years and I think Mizzou fans will, too.”

Smithpeters said head MU coach, Kim Anderson, and assistant, Brad Loos, did a fine job of making both Woods and Payne feel welcome in the recruiting process.

“I think they’re getting two fine players,” Smithpeters said. “Russell has really developed his game with his back to the basket, while Tae is one of those rare guys who can score from anywhere on the floor. Hopefully, their success here will help carry over at Missouri.”

Woods said he’s glad Payne is joining him.

“We have a lot of chemistry. It takes a load off to know he’ll be around. I can’t wait to get started. I think Missouri’s going to be a good fit for both of us.”

Woods said he had several other choices (Kansas State, for example, made a strong pitch).

“I just felt in my heart that Missouri is where I was both wanted and needed the most. My time here at Logan has helped prepare me for this opportunity. I have so much to be thankful for these last two years. And I’m excited to be graduating this May, which was definitely a goal when I came here.”

Woods said he will someday be able to look back on the team and individual accomplishments at Logan.

“But what I will miss the most are the relationships with my teammates,” he said.

 

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Dr. Steve O’Keefe at 618-985-2828 ext. 8569 or email at steveokeefe@jalc.edu.