LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- Covenant men's basketball head coach Arte Culver has announced the 2017-18 recruiting class for the Scots. The class, Culver's first as head coach of the program, includes Will Crumly, Ryan Rhodes, Ben Moore, Jacob Thornton and Tony Pulice.
"One of my first priorities when I got here last year was to hit the road recruiting to find young men who would add value to Covenant College and our basketball program," Culver said. "Collectively and individually, I feel that this group checks both of those boxes in a variety of ways. Each of these young men are gifted students and talented basketball players who value being at a place like Covenant where they can also grow spiritually."
Added Culver, "I feel that this class adds some much needed depth at multiple positions. I owe a lot of credit to our players for their heavy involvement in the recruiting process. I make no secret about it, that they are our biggest selling point. Good players want to be around good players, and I think you'd be hard pressed to find a finer group of young men to call teammates than the group you'll find in our locker room. I am excited to see where the future of Covenant Basketball is going with the addition to this group."
Will Crumly - North Cobb Christian - Marietta, Ga.
Crumly, who plays forward, was a three-time first team all-region selection and a three-time all-state honorable mention team member during his high school career. He was the region player of the year as a sophomore. He led North Cobb Christian to 26 wins in his senior year and a regular season region championship. Crumly's teams won three straight regular season region titles and advanced to the state tournament's Elite Eight in three consecutive years. Crumly averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals and three blocks per games, while eclipsing 1,000 career points.
Academically, Crumly was a member of the National Honor Society and the National Latin Honor Society during high school. He is currently undecided on a major at Covenant.
Ryan Rhodes - Chattanooga Christian - Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.
One of two commitments from Chattanooga Christian in this year's class, Rhodes was a three-time all-district team member and was named to the Chattanooga Times Free Press Best of Preps third team. He helped CCS go 27-4 last season and advance to the regional tournament.
"I get to continue to strengthen my relationship with Christ by surrounding myself with fellow Christians," Rhodes said of his decision to attend Covenant. "I'm also looking forward to the academic rigor that the college is known for, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to continue my basketball career."
Rhodes graduated top five in his class and is currently undecided on a major to pursue at Covenant.
Ben Moore - Chattanooga Christian - Lookout Mountain, Tenn.
Moore is the other Chattanooga Christian product to join the Scots in this class. A forward, Moore was a two-sport standout at CCS in both basketball and track & field. On the court, Moore averaged a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds per game during his senior year and earned all-district honors as he helped CCS to a 27-4 record. As a track athlete, Moore set a school record in the high jump and was a part of the 4x200 team that also set a program record.
"I loved how close the team was and how welcomed I felt on my visit," said Moore about his decision to come to Covenant. "I really feel that this team is going to be special and I wanted to be a part of that. I'm really excited about the next four years."
Moore plans to major in sport administration and minor in psychology at Covenant.
Jacob Thornton - Lakeside Academy - Holly Springs, N.C.
Thornton is a forward/center that played with Lakeside Academy. As a senior, Thornton averaged 12 points, nine rebounds and three blocks per game while shooting 60 percent from the field. He was an all-region and all-conference honoree in each of the last two seasons and ended his high school career with 1,441 points, 1,014 rebounds and 250 blocks. He nearly averaged a double-double in each of his last three seasons, including posting 14 points and 10 rebounds as a sophomore.
"Covenant had everything that I was looking for in a school: a solid Christian base socially and in its academics, a well-rounded liberal arts education, a beautiful campus, and a great basketball program," Thornton said.
A homeschooler, Thornton has been a part of the Homeschool National Honor Society. He plans to major in computer science with a minor in physics at Covenant.
Tony Pulice - Dawson Christian Academy - Dawsonville, Ga.
Pulice was a 1,000 career point scorer for Dawson Christian Academy. The guard was a three-time all-state and all-region selection and played on two state championship teams during his high school career.
"I chose Covenant because of the Christian-based atmosphere and it just felt like home," Pulice said.
Academically, Pulice thrived as he was a honor graduate and a member of the National Honor Society. He plans to major in Biology at Covenant.
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