HUNTINGTON — Marshall’s men’s basketball saw a decrease in numbers with the exits of three players due to transfer in the last month.
On Thursday, Thundering Herd coach Dan D’Antoni announced three additions to the 2021 signing class that make up for those losses.
Guard Kyle Braun joined Georgia forwards Wyatt Fricks and Chase McKey in signing letters of intent with Marshall.
Braun is a 6-foot-3 guard who comes to Marshall from Scotland Prep in Pennsylvania, where he played this season after de-committing from Navy.
The California-based guard is the son of touted musician Rick Braun and brings a talent in working in the up-tempo, NBA-style scheme that D’Antoni employs.
Braun has a solid shooting touch and can also facilitate. He averaged 15 points, five assists and five rebounds as a high school player in California before his decision to come east for prep school after committing to Navy.
“He’s athletic and has a quick release,” D’Antoni said. “He reminds me in some ways of Stevie Browning. He’s a competitor and a smart kid.”
While the Herd backcourt adds Braun to the mix to help compensate for the loss of Jarrod West, the frontcourt added a pair of lengthy versatile players on the inside as well.
Fricks is a 6-foot-9 talent from Winder-Barrow High School in Georgia who possesses the ability to protect the rim, as well as stepping out and knocking down shots to extend the defense.
Fricks averaged 19 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.4 blocks en route to Georgia All-State selection for 2020-21.
“He’s a Mikel Beyers type of player,” D’Antoni said. “He can handle the ball and run the floor. He’s very competitive. He’s athletic and can catch the ball above the rim. He can play anywhere and shoots 3s well.”
The final piece is also a Georgia product and one who committed to the Herd recently, 6-foot-10 Atlanta-based product Chase McKey.
McKey, the son of former NBA player Derrick McKey, averaged 13 points, eight rebounds and four assists at TSF (The Skill Factory), a prep program in Atlanta.
TSF coach Rob Johnson said McKey had “probably the highest ceiling of anyone in the program” and compared his skill set to Ben Simmons.
D’Antoni said McKey’s length and versatility allow him to play position-less basketball, which is critical in the Herd coach’s scheme.
“He has good lineage and he can play any position one through five,” D’Antoni said. “He’s a good ball-handler for someone who is 6-10. He has a developing shot, but he’s efficient with it.”