The Times West Virginian

Sports

June 11, 2014

FSU lands versatile D-I forward

FAIRMONT — It didn’t take long for Fairmont State to add another player to the roster less than a week after its top scorer, Stevie Browning, announced that he’d be transferring in the fall.

FSU coach Jerrod Calhoun went back to a familiar recruiting area and has announced the signing of Division I transfer Nick Harney from Akron.

“Harney is a versatile player who is extremely athletic and can play multiple positions for us,” Calhoun said. “He’s probably the most talented guy that we’ve signed in my three years here.”

At Akron, the 6-foot-8, 210-pound forward averaged 8.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game while shooting 48.5 percent from the field. He started in 21 of the 30 games in which he appeared in last season.

While FSU will be without Browning’s 16.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, Calhoun believes that the immediate impact of Harney will exceed expectations for next season.

“I expect him to be on the best players in the league, if not the best,” Calhoun noted. “With the type of talent he’s got, if he can come in and have a good offseason and mesh with the guys, the sky is the limit for this kid. He’s got tremendous potential.”

Transferring from a top mid-major team like Akron also gives the Falcons the presence of a veteran, something Calhoun has sought after this offseason, signing another DI transfer, Brandon Vega, to play the point.

When the Falcons go on the road to play top teams such as West Liberty, Calhoun doesn’t have to worry if the pressure will get to Harney, who has an NCAA Tournament appearance under his belt.

“He’s played teams like West Virginia and Mississippi State,” Calhoun said. “When we get into those big situations, he’s been there before.”

Harney, a senior with one year of eligibility remaining, will likely play the three position for the Falcons, but with the numerous types of players that can come off the bench for the Falcons he could play any forward position.

“I don’t know yet which type of lineup we’ll come out with,” Calhoun said, “but with this guy, we have a lot of options. What I like most about this team now is that we have a lot of athletes.”

Harney and Vega, coupled with Jamel Morris - who averaged 19.0 points per game at Glenville State before coming to FSU - Thomas Wimbush and Trevor Andrews-Evans, Calhoun believes his team can become one of the dominant lineups in the Mountain East Conference.

Throw in players like Caleb Davis, Shammgod Wells and Chase Morgan?

“It’s the most athletic team in Division II basketball,” Calhoun said.

Email Matt Welch at mwelch@timeswv.com or follow on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.

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