Basketball adds another recruit to the arsenal

Zachary Holden
Staff Writer

On Tuesday, the VCU men’s basketball team added its fourth recruit of the class of 2013. Douglas Brooks is the third three-star recruit the Rams have added this season.

The 6-foot-3 shooting guard hails from Lake Wales, Fla. where he – as a junior – led the Lake Wales High School Highlanders to the Florida Class 5A state championship in 2012. This was when Shaka Smart first noticed him.

This season, he led the Highlanders to a 74-65 victory over nationally ranked No. 17 Paul VI Catholic High School at the City of Palms Tournament, the prestigious pre-Christmas high school tournament held in Fort Meyers, Fla. Brooks finished with 23 points, seven rebounds and five steals.

One-upping himself in the next game, Brooks tallied a tournament-high 32 points while adding five steals. He dropped a tournament-high 15 3-pointers over the three game span, while averaging 23 points and 5.3 steals per game.

Lake Wales High School is known for their man-to-man trapping, giving Brooks the kind of experience that should allow him to thrive in the HAVOC defensive scheme Smart has mastered and brought into the national spotlight.

Last season, when Smart began recruiting him, Brooks was having academic problems. But in his senior year, he achieved honor roll and extinguished any doubts Smart may have had.

Brooks brings smothering defensive play, seemingly limitless amounts of energy, a great basketball IQ and the ability to drain a three-pointer when needed – something VCU fans should look forward to with the departure of Troy Daniels.

In Dave Telap’s Top 10 Under the Radar High School players of the 2012-13 season, Brooks came in at 10th and was the only member not ranked in the top 100, according to ESPN. Telap praised his defensive abilities and deep shooting range.

He joins a stellar 2013 class that includes fellow three-star recruits JeQuan Lewis and Jarius Lyles, as well as 6-foot-9 two-star recruit Antravious Simmons.

Four-star recruits Jordan Burgess and Mo Alie-Cox will also join the team next season following their academic ineligibility this season.

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