Southeast Missouri State men's basketball program lands touted point guard

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A pure point guard who at one time received interest from several Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference men's basketball programs is headed to Southeast Missouri State.

C.J. Reese, rated among the nation's top 100 high school point guards by ESPN, said Wednesday he signed a letter of intent with Southeast on the opening day of the NCAA's weeklong early signing period.

"I'm pretty excited," Reese said.

Reese, who is listed on various websites as 6 foot 2 and 195 pounds, said he actually is 6-3 and 215.

Reese, a native of Atlanta, is entering his second season at the McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tenn. He averaged 15 points, five assists and four rebounds per game in helping McCallie reach the Division II-AA state championship game last year. It was McCallie's first appearance in a state final.

Reese led Westlake, from the Atlanta area, to the Georgia Class AAAAA state final as a sophomore. He moved to Chattanooga after the school year.

ESPN rates Reese a two-star recruit and the ninth-best player in Tennessee.

Reese said he also was offered scholarships by Western Kentucky, Chattanooga, Tennessee Tech and Florida Atlantic. He said he was set to go on an official visit to Mississippi several weeks ago before canceling that in order to visit Southeast.

Reese said he was sold once he came to Cape Girardeau and gave Southeast coaches a verbal commitment.

"I just liked the surroundings, the town, the basketball team," Reese said. "I liked the team's dedication to turn the whole program around. I just liked everything about it when I came to visit."

Reese said he enjoys setting up his teammates but also is a capable scorer.

"I can create. I love to create for my big men," he said. "When it comes down to it, I can score."

Southeast's compliance department had not yet approved all the paperwork from Reese late Wednesday night. Southeast coach Dickey Nutt is prohibited by NCAA regulations from commenting until that happens, which should be today.

Southeast is expected to announce two more men's basketball signings today -- a pair of teammates from De Soto (Mo.) High School who verbally committed several weeks ago. Those two are 6-2, 200-pound combo guard Jared White and 6-10, 250-pound center Colin Ferguson.

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