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Pair of Archers Head to Division I Basketball Programs

May 27, 2014

Randy Reed II  
Randy Reed II

An eighth-place finish in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Tournament should help St. Louis Community College men’s basketball coach Randy Reed fill a few roster spots for his second season at the helm.

But a program that now can boast of two NCAA Division I signees may prove even more attractive to prospective players.

Cortez Conners and Randy Reed II signed letters of intent to attend California State University-Bakersfield and the University of Nebraska-Omaha, respectively.

“I’m very proud to have put two guys into Division I programs,” Coach Reed said. “That should really help with our recruiting. I can tell players that what Randy and Cortez did, you can do, too, if you keep your grades up and play well. Division I teams are looking at St. Louis Community College.”

Reed II, a 6-6, 200-pound guard, was named to the NJCAA All-America third team in 2013-14, averaging 21.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game while shooting 49.1 percent from the field. The Region XVI Player of the Year, Reed helped lead the Archers (22-12) to the Region XVI and District XIII championships and a berth in the NJCAA Division II tourney.

“The coaches seem like they have my best interests at heart,” Reed II said. “They recruited me from a game that I didn’t really play well. If they saw me at my worst, then they will love me at my best.”

At 6-6, Reed has played multiple positions and will bring versatility to Coach Derrin Hansen’s squad, which finished 17-15 overall and 5-9 (sixth place) in the Summit League.

"We’re excited about the addition of Randy to our program," Hansen said. "He had a great year at St. Louis Community College playing for his father last year, and he will now put us closer to where we want to be with our wing position in the coming season. Randy is a great kid and student, and we’re looking forward to him being here this summer for class and workouts."

Cortez Conners  
Cortez Conners

Conners had established himself as a potential NCAA Division I prospect while playing at Webster High School, and validated that promise in one season at STLCC. One week into the season, Conners committed to play at CSU-Bakersfield.

With the pressure of deciding where to continue his career off his shoulders, Conners flourished for the Archers. The slender guard averaged 16.5 points and 2.8 assists per game. He shot 43.5 percent from the field and 85.1 percent from the free-throw line.

“It was huge,” Conners said of the ability to simply play with his future already determined. “I just played and didn’t worry about who’s watching me. I didn’t have to think if I’m doing this right, if I’ll get an offer.”

Reed noted that Conners attracted Division I suitors after a solid performance at a basketball jamboree in Decatur, Ill., prior to the start of last season.

“It was Cortez’s dream to play Division I basketball without going through a long, drawn-out process,” Reed said. “That’s exactly what he did. Cortez was one of the leading 3-point shooters in the country.”

The CSU-Bakersfield Roadrunners finished 13-19 overall and 5-11 (tied for seventh place) in the Western Athletic Conference.