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Clayton State signs JUCO All-American

From staff reports

Clayton State University men's basketball has added another jewel to its 2005-06 recruiting class, signing a junior college All-America guard for the first time in school history.

Head coach Gordon Gibbons has announced the signing of Robert "Todd" McLaurin, a National Junior College Athletic Association All-America guard at Lenoir Community College in Clinton, NC.

McLaurin scored over 1,500 points in the last two seasons and was voted the NJCAA Region X Player of the Year last season, averaging 24 points and six assists per contest, while shooting 44 percent from behind the three-point arc.

"Todd is a strong addition to our recruiting class," said head coach Gordon Gibbons, one of the winningest coaches at the Division II level.

"He is a complete guard, who can score, as well as, keep his teammates involved from the lead position."

At Lenoir, McLaurin was a two-time All-Region player and led his club to a 20-10 season as a sophomore. He had nine 30-point games last season and scored a season high 48 points versus Spartanburg Methodist. He also had 40 points and nine assists against Region X champion Brunswick (NC).

McLaurin was a three-sport star in high school at Hobbton High School in Newton Grove, NC. He signed a NCAA Division I football scholarship before later transferring back to Lenoir to play collegiate basketball. In high school, McLaurin was a four-year starter, finishing with over 2,000 points, which included 25 points per game as a senior. He will join five other recent signees, giving the Lakers another national-caliber recruiting class for next season. Along with McLaurin, Clayton State has signed Brandon Kelley, a junior college standout from Sante Fe Community College in Gainesville, FL, high school senior Marshez Truitt, out of Heard County High School in Franklin, GA; John Beugnot, from Abraham Baldwin College, in Tifton, GA; and Cedrick Kalombo, from Fresno City Community College in California.

Kelley, a 5-foot-10 from Leesburg, FL, sparked Sante Fe to a 26-4 season last year, including the school's best start in school history, as the Saints raced out a 22-1 record last year and was ranked sixth in the nation. He was a selection to the Region VIII All-Star game.

A 6-6 swingman, Truitt recently put the finishing touches on a sensational prep career, ending his career with over 1,500 points and 1,000 rebounds. The squad was ranked among the top 10 teams in the state each of his four years.

Truitt averaged 22 points, eight rebounds and almost three blocks per game as a senior.

Beugnot, a native of Lyon, France, helped lead his ABAC team to an 18-12 record last season, averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds per game. A 6-7 forward, he was an All-Region selection after leading the squad in both scoring and rebounding. He ranked third in the region in rebounding.

Kalombo, a 6-11 center, joins the Lakers after playing one season at Fresno City and helping the squad to a 34-0 record and a California junior college state championship.

He averaged 10 points, eight rebounds. He was one of the nation's top shot blockers last year, averaging over three blocks per game.

Clayton State finished the 2004-05 season with an 18-13 overall record and the second best mark in the Peach Belt at 11-5 on the season.

The Lakers have averaged 19 wins over the last four seasons, which includes winning a Peach Belt Conference Championship.