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ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio men's basketball program has added forwards Mason McMurray (Stow, Ohio) and Nate Springs (Charlotte, N.C.) as part of the early signing period of its 2018-19 recruiting class, fourth-year head coach Saul Phillips announced on Thursday (Nov. 9).
"I think in both situations we added good athletes with some length, ability to shoot, skill guys," said Phillips of the class. "That's kind of our footprint, so we're excited about that."
A 6-8, 215-pound forward, McMurray has earned three letters at Stow-Munroe Falls High School under coaches Dave Close and Steve Kulp. He helped guide the Bulldogs to a 20-5 mark and a Suburban League title in 2016-17. McMurray garnered first-time all-conference and third-team all-district honors for his efforts. McMurray has also competed for The National Basketball Academy Ohio under coach Gene Reddy for the past eight years. Born Sept. 17, 1999, he is the son of Jerry McMurray and Jill Hunt and has a sister, Maddison.
"Mason is a late bloomer who has worked like crazy to put himself in a position that we just couldn't say no to him," said Phillips. "He was just clearly good enough. He's a hard-working kid, a kid that's accomplished a lot through just grit and determination combined with a lot of upside athletically. We're really excited to work with him."
A 6-10, 192-pound forward, Springs averaged eight points, seven rebounds and nearly three blocks per game as a junior at Myers Park High School. He will compete at United Faith Christian Academy under head coach Josh Coley as a senior in 2017-18. Springs has also competed for the Carolina Wolves (2017) under head coach Stephen Rexrode as well as the Charlotte Wizards (2015) and Carolina Preps (2016). Born Dec. 10, 1999, he is the son of George and Georgia Springs and has two sisters, Tiffany and Millicent.
"With Nate, you just look at him and see the impact he could potentially have on this program with his length and his ability to stretch the defense. He'll really, really fit in well with our guys, and his upside is off the charts."
Ohio enters its fourth season under the direction of Phillips in 2017-18. He has led the Bobcats to 53 wins over the past three seasons.
Ohio is coming off a 20-11 (11-7 MAC) 2016-17 season in which it recorded 20 overall wins for the second year in a row and achieved a second-straight 11-win MAC campaign. The Bobcats locked down the No. 2 seed in the 2017 MAC Tournament presented by VisitMyrtleBeach.com for the second year in a row, earning a bye to the quarterfinals. Ohio topped No. 7-seeded Toledo in the quarters, 67-66, before falling to No. 6-seed and eventual tournament champion Kent State, 68-66, in the league semifinals.
Ohio posted an 80-57 win over Capital last Saturday (Nov. 4) in an exhibition game at the Convocation Center. The Bobcats open the 2017-18 regular season with a 2 p.m. ET matchup against Alabama A&M on Saturday (Nov. 11) at the Convo.