Missouri State head coach Paul Lusk announced on Monday (April 18) that 6-foot-1 guard Anthony Downing (6-1, 180, G, Atchison, Kan.) has officially signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball for the Bears.
Downing played the last two seasons at Independence (Kan.) Community College and is ranked No. 54 on the JucoJunction.com recruiting list for he class of 2011. He led the Pirates to a 23-9 record in 2010-11 with a team-high 161 assists and just 80 turnovers. He finished second on the club in scoring (18.0), rebounding (5.1) and steals (60), while knocking down a team-high 57 three-pointers.
“We are very excited for Anthony to join us at Missouri State,” Lusk said. “He is a player who can play well with the ball in his hands or without. He is a very good scorer, and physically he is ready for the Missouri Valley.”
Downing earned first-team All Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference and NJCAA Division I all-region honors in 2011 for coach Patrick Nee. He went on to claim all-regional tournament distinction as well for the Pirates who won 14 of their last 18 contests to close out the season.
He was part of a 19-12 program at Independence in 2009-10 his redshirt freshman year and led the squad in scoring at 15.5 points per contest. He also grabbed 3.9 rebounds and dished out 91 assists in 30 contests while connecting on 72 three-pointers and snagging 43 steals.
“Throughout the recruiting process, I have been impressed with his ability,” Lusk said. “But most importantly, I have been impressed with his family and the people around him. He is a quality person and will be a great addition to our family here.”
He earned Kansas Class 4A all-state honors as a senior in 2008 after averaging 23.6 points and 5.0 assists per game for coach George Ross, Jr., at Atchison High.
Downing joins fellow junior college signee Jarmar Gulley (6-4, 225, G/F, Beaumont, Texas, Highland [Kan.] CC) in Lusk’s first recruiting class along with high school commitments Christian Kirk (6-7, 220, F, Springfield, Mo., Kickapoo High), Dorrian Williams (6-1, 170, G, Oklahoma City, Okla., Douglass High) and Drew Wilson (6-7, 200, F, Tulsa, Okla., East Central High).