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Patrick Wright, a 5'11" guard from Davenport West High School, signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Southwestern Spartans next season. Wright, who helped lead West to 18 regular season wins, is a lightning quick perimeter player who will give Southwestern a legitimate dribble attack player, as well as a defender who can guard penetration players.
"Patrick's high-school coach (Mark Bigler) is an old friend of mine who really knows what we are trying to do here," Southwestern Head Coach Mike Holmes said. "Coach Bigler had high praise for Patrick and what he could do for us."
After seeing Wright play, Holmes agreed. "I realized Patrick could bring an element to our program that we really needed to compliment this recruiting class," Holmes explained.
Michael Kaufman, a senior guard at Orient-Macksburg High School, won't have to travel far to move into his dorm room next year. Orient-Macksburg High School is only ten miles north of Creston, so local basketball fans will be familiar with his exploits in high school. Kaufman, a 6'0" guard, led the Bulldogs deep into the 1A district tournament this year before bowing out to Guthrie Center. Head Coach Mike Holmes said, "I was really impressed with how Michael sees the floor, can pass off the urgent dribble, and can score in the lane while off balance. I think his set of skills is a good match for the stuff we are running." Assistant Coach Thad Tussey has ties to Orient-Macksburg, as his father, Steve, is the head coach for the Bulldogs.
It took a few years for Southwestern Head Coach Mike Holmes’ southeast Iowa connections to pay off, but the Spartans cashed in for the 2011-12 recruiting cycle by signing two prominent players from the region—Trevor Kayser of Cardinal and Kyle Graves of Davis County. Holmes, who spent six seasons at Ottumwa High School, was familiar with both programs and was no stranger to basketball at either school. Kayser, a 6-foot-6-inch smooth-shooting post player, who can play outside and inside, will be an effective tool in the Spartan’s high-post oriented attack. The 6-foot-2-inch Graves, who as a younger player attended Holmes’ summer camps, is extremely familiar with the systems at Southwestern, and will bring an intelligence and understanding for the schemes that few incoming freshmen have.
“Trevor and Kyle represent the solid work ethic and selflessness indicative in that part of the state,” Holmes said. “They will be excellent teammates for us next year, and will be able to make contributions within their roles. I am really excited about their addition to our program.”
Marcus Littleton of Norwalk has become the first signee for Southwestern’s class of 2011-12. Littleton, a hot-shooting guard, helped lead his team to the Class 3A Final Four this season. He will bring a valid scoring threat to the Spartan’s backcourt, and fundamentally has many skills to execute the complex Spartan offense.
"Marcus was a key guy in our recruiting efforts," Spartan Head Coach Mike Holmes said. "We need someone who can replace our scoring guards and who is ready to make contributions right away." Holmes is confident about his selection in Littleton. "Knowing Chris Larson (Littleton's high-school coach) like I do, I know Marcus will be sound mentally and physically," Holmes explained. "I like Marcus as much as a person as I do a player. This signing immediately makes us better."
Photo (L to R): Sitting – Marcus Littleton, Sr., Marcus' dad; Marcus Littleton, Jr.; Mike Holmes, SWCC head men's basketball coach; Nancy Pattee, Marcus' mom; and Steve Pattee, Marcus' stepdad. Standing – Chris Larson, Norwalk High School head boys basketball coach.