Oklahoma Baptist University added a little muscle to its men's basketball team with three recent signings.
The Benson brothers - Frank and Justin - from Navarro College and the University of New Mexico, respectively, and freshman Jason Grohman of San Antonio Christian High School join the Bison for 2004-05. All three are imports from Texas.
Frank Benson, a 6-5 forward from Houston's Gulf Shores Academy, averaged 22.5 points per game at Navarro as a sophomore, making him the second-leading scorer in the conference. He shot 53 percent from the field and also was a three-point shooting threat.
His brother, Justin, is 6-8 and checks in at 250 pounds. At Gulf Shores Academy, he was rated the 13th-best power forward in the country and the 46th-best player overall by RivalsHoops.com. He averaged 21 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks as a high school senior and shot 42 percent from three-point range and 84 percent from the free throw line.
Justin played in 24 games at UNM and averaged 1.3 points and 1.8 rebounds as a freshman. He had a nine-rebound performance in the season opener against San Francisco State while playing 15 minutes.
Grohman, at 6-6, averaged 18 points and 13 rebounds at San Antonio Christian High School. The muscular forward will compete for playing time with a front court that is completely new for 2004-05.
OBU also earlier signed Mike Fraser, a starter on San Jacinto's NJCAA national finalist squad. The 6-7 forward averaged 7 points and 6.5 rebounds his sophomore year after leading the team in blocked shots as a freshman.
Andrew Bryant transferred to OBU last spring from Boston College and will be eligible this fall. The 6-7, 232-pound junior averaged 7.1 points and 3.2 rebounds for the Eagles in 2002-03, playing in 30 of 31 games and averaging more than 20 minutes per game. He averaged 7.6 points against the Big East and led the Eagles in steals three times and blocked shots four times.
The signing left coach Doug Tolin cautiously optimistic. In 2001-02 the Bison were also 'loaded' with five big men in the summer, but played most of the season with only two.
"Fortunately, those two were Scott Prater and DuJuan Brown," Tolin noted. "This is a pretty good group of guys."