CSU men's basketball signs five in 2017 class, including pair of local players

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Columbus State University head men's basketball coach Robert Moore has wrapped up the 2017 recruiting class with the announcement of five signees Monday.

Jesse Deloach, Ali Hill, Tyler McConnell, Cam Paulding and Jalen Thomas will join the Cougars for the upcoming 2017-18 season. The five join previously announced Anthony Johnson in the 2017 class.

Deloach comes to Columbus State from Division I Western Carolina University where he played in 42 games over two seasons for the Catamounts. The 6-foot-7 forward scored a career best seven points against The Citadel in January of 2016 and pulled down at least five rebounds in five contests.

"Jesse provides great size and athletic ability," Moore said. "He will give us a low-scoring option and strengthens our rebounding and shot blocking."

Hill spent last season at the IMG Academy after playing high school basketball at North Clayton High School. Hill was a two-sport standout in high school, playing football as well, and was one of 13 players in the state of Georgia to be nominated for the 2016 McDonald's All-American game.

"Ali is an athletic combo guard that finishes strong in the lane," Moore added. "He will really excel in our transition offense and has the ability to be one of the best defenders on the team."

McConnell starts his collegiate career with the Cougars after graduating from Lee County High School. McConnell helped the Trojans to consecutive second round appearances in the GHSA 6-A state tournament in his final two seasons.

"Tyler brings a strong presence on the perimeter," Moore commented. "We are looking for him to help us with our outside shooting."

It's a return home for Paulding, who played his high school basketball at Shaw High School. Paulding spent his freshman year at Trevecca Nazarene University where he averaged 4.5 points and was second on the team with 138 rebounds. While at Shaw, the 6-foot-7 forward was an All-Bi-City, All-Region and honorable mention All-State selection.

"We're really excited about bringing Cam back home," Moore said. "He runs the floor well and will immediately help us on the glass. With three years left to play, the sky is the limit for him."

Another local product, Thomas graduated from Glenwood School and played last season at South Georgia Tech. Thomas played in all 33 games for the Jets, averaging 12.0 points per game, shooting 36.9 percent from the 3-point line.

"Jalen brings size and shooting to the wing position," Moore added. "He is a strong shooter with range and finds ways to score that will help our offense the minute he steps on campus."

COURTESY CSU SPORTS INFORMATION

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