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SFA men’s basketball sees roster changes after first WAC season

SFA basketball
SFA basketball(SFA Athletics)
Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 10:35 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - SFA men’s basketball will look different next season following the ‘Jacks shared regular season championship with Seattle University and New Mexico State.

Gone after their senior seasons will be forward Gavin Kensmil, guard David Kachelries and guard Diego Willis. The team is also losing three players as of now to the transfer portal, freshman guard Jimel Coffer, sophomore forward Jonathan Aku and sophomore forward Calvin Solomon.

Keller did receive good news. Guard Roti Ware is coming back for a final season. The team took a hit when Ware was injured against Liberty in December and never played again.

“For us character is first,” head coach Kyle Keller said. “Then you build around it. Putting together a team can be a challenge. When you just place guys on a roster you get in trouble. When you can set guys that best fit with personality and skill set that is when you have a true team.”

Keller recently signed four new players to his team. All through the transfer portal.

From SFA Athletics:

Montavious Murphy | 6-9 | F | Spring, Texas

“What a fantastic way to get the Spring 2022 class started for the Lumberjacks. Montavious is someone I have known for five years and is not only a quality student-athlete, but a fantastic person as well and fits the brotherhood of our SFA Program,” Keller said. “For a player of his size, he can score at many levels. His versatility in being able to shoot 3′s, handle the basketball, and score in the paint will be something our staff, players and fans will enjoy watching. His knack for making winning plays and rebounding was something that our staff felt we needed as we continue competing for conference championships.”

Out of high school Murphy signed with Kansas State and played two seasons for the Wildcats. As a sophomore, Murphy elected to take a medical redshirt. Prior towards the redshirt, Murphy saw action in games versus Colorado, Kansas City and Drake. Murphy’s freshmen campaign at K State showcased why he was a perennial top-ranked recruit. Saw action in 19 games with 16 starts – which was the most by a true freshman. In Big 12 play, Murphy averaged 5.4 points on 42.3 percent shooting (22-of-52), and hit 11 three-pointers, with 3.7 rebounds in 25.6 minutes per games. Murphy connected on a team-best 78.3 percent (18-of-23) from the free throw line. A consensus Top 175 prospect by most recruiting services, ranking No. 141 in the 2019 Rivals150 and No. 173 by 247Sport.

He was also among the top power forward prospects nationally, placing No. 30 by Rivals and No. 33 by 247Sports and ESPN. One of 10 finalists for the Guy V. Lewis Award, which is awarded annually to the Houston area’s best high school basketball players. Was ranked as the No. 1 player in the city of Houston and surrounding areas as a senior by several outlets. A four-year lettermen, who played his senior season (2018-19) at Concordia Lutheran in Tomball, Texas after playing three years (2015-18) at Klein Collins High School in Spring, Texas. Led the Crusaders to a 36-3 overall record, a 6A District 3 Championship and a trip to the Final Four of the TAPPS (Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools) Class 6A State Tournament as a senior in 2018-19 for head coach Bill Honeck. Scored more than 1,500 career points in his high school career to go with more than 900 rebounds, 230 assists, 123 steals and 150 blocks.

AJ Cajuste | 6-1 | G | Boco Raton, Fla.

”We feel very fortunate to have a guy like AJ joining our program,” Keller said. “Ge comes to SFA with a ton of accolades, the most important that he is a winner! His ability to impact the game on both ends of the floor is going to be a big key got us next season with the loss of senior David Kachelries.”

Cajuste was honored as the Men’s National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I All-American First Team. Cajuste lead Indian River State College (IRSC) Men’s Basketball Team to one of their finest seasons in school history. The team compiled a 28-5 overall record, a third straight Southern Conference Title, and back-to-back trips the NJCAA National Tournament. Scoring was one area Cajuste made big improvements as he averaged 19.5 points per game which ranked him second in the state of Florida. He scored over 30 points in four contests with a career high 36 points on January 29th against Florida Southwestern State College. Cajuste also led the state in assists dishing out 7.1 per game. In his three years as a Pioneer, he scored 1,039 points and handed out 455 assists while helping his team to an overall 70-17 record.

Kyle Hayman | 6-5 | G | Hinds Community College

Hayman is a 6-foot-5 guard out of Hinds Community College.

“Adding length and shooting was a priority for us with this class,” Keller said. “Kyle brings both of those to SFA. We feel like his best basketball is still ahead of him and excited about him joining the program. ”Hayman was a veteran presence for Hinds this past season. The Monroe, Louisiana native played in 25 games, averaged 15.8 points per game and shot 45.1 percent from the field. Hayman scored a season-high 27 points on 11-for-21 shooting from the field at Southwest Mississippi Community College. Hayman was also named to the All-MACCC Second-Team.

Robbie Armbrester | 6-4 | G | Houston

Armbrester is a 6-4 guard out of the University of Houston.

”The staff has continued to do an amazing job not only filling needs on our roster, but signing high-quality championship character to our program,” Keller said. “Robbie fits what we try to do in the Lumberjack system to perfection. He is a rugged, strongly built athlete who understands how to make winning plays for championship ball clubs. He has been coached by elite coaches at the high school, prep and Division I levels. We are excited about the tenacity he will bring to our program for years to come.”

This past season at UH, Armbrester played in 16 games. Coming out of high school he was a 3-star recruit by 247Sports and Rivals, he considered Georgia Tech, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, Xavier, Clemson, Mississippi and Georgia.Armbrester competed for three years at Therrell High School in Atlanta before transferring to play at Wasatch Academy for Head Coach Paul Peterson in Mt. Pleasant, Utah, as a senior for the 2020-21 season. As a junior at Therrell High in 2019-20, he missed much of the season with a wrist injury as the Panthers advanced to the state championship game. Armbrester was named to the Class AA All-State First Team and was the only sophomore to earn that distinction in 2018-19. A member of the All-Metro Team, he also scored 10 points in the Class AA state championship game to help lead the Panthers to the title.

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