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Bisons ink two guards, center for 2009-2010 season

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Lipscomb University head coach Scott Sanderson announced the signing of two guards and a center for the 2009-2010 season.

Brandon Barnes from Chapel Hill High School in Douglasville, Ga., and Zach Brown from William Mason High School in Mason, Ohio, will join the Bisons backcourt next year.  Serbian native Milos Kleut of North Cobb Christian in Kennesaw, Ga., will provide another big body in the Lipscomb post.

Barnes, 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, is a combo guard.  He averaged 12 points and 8 rebounds per game as a junior and was named All-Douglas County.  Barnes is the son of Rod Barnes, the men’s basketball head coach at Georgia State and former head coach and player at Ole Miss. 

“Brandon is a good athlete that can guard multiple positions, probably the one through four spots,” said Sanderson.  “He’s a very tough competitor and is a very good on-ball defender who can compete at that high level.”

As a former coach’s son himself, Sanderson felt a natural connection with Barnes’ basketball pedigree.

“He was raised in that same environment that I was,” Sanderson said. “He has been disciplined.  He wants to compete at a high level.  He understands, to the best of his ability, the big picture because of his family.”

Brown is a 6-foot-2 guard that can play both the point and two positions.  He averaged 16 points, four rebounds, and three assists as a junior.  He also shot 42 percent from the 3-point line.

“Zach has a very good knowledge of how to play,” said Sanderson.  “He has a very good court vision.  I look at him as an extension of the coach on the court because he understands what should be happening on the court.

“He’s probably one of the best passers that I’ve seen in a long time.  He understands where the ball should go.  He’s also versatile and a very good shooter.”

Brown is the second leading scorer on the highly-successful All Ohio Force AAU team.  He has also been selected to participate in Reebok’s Camp Next and Adidas’ Top 150 camp.

Kleut is a 6-foot-10 highly talented, but fairly raw, center.  He’s a European-style player that is long and can run the court.

“He’s an extremely hard worker who’s got a huge upside,” said Sanderson. “He hasn’t even scratched the surface of his ability.  He still has a lot to learn.  He’s willing and eager to learn as much as he possibly can and as quickly as he possibly can. He will do nothing but continue to get better throughout his career here.”

Sanderson is confident that the athletic Kleut will grow into the American basketball system after coming to America only last year.

“His knowledge is limited,” said Sanderson. “That is why his upside is so big because he doesn’t have the years under his belt.  He’s a bright and eager kid.  He wants to be as good as he possibly can.”

Kleut was a teammate of Lipscomb freshman Matt Shaw at North Cobb Christian in Kennesaw, Ga.  Last year North Cobb won the state championship with a perfect 32-0 record.

Kleut was also recruited by Eastern Kentucky, Wofford, Tennessee Tech, and Florida Atlantic.

“All three of these guys will have the opportunity to come in here and have an impact as freshmen,” said Sanderson.

Lipscomb’s 2009-10 roster is slated to have no seniors, five juniors, five sophomores, and five freshman.  Barnes, Brown, and Kleut will join redshirts Jacob Arnett and Shaw in the freshman class.

Story by Trevor Garrett of the Lipscomb Athletics Media Relations Department