TROY, Ala. (WSFA) - “Take the Stairs.” That’s been the motto for Troy men’s basketball since Scott Cross took over the program last year.
That phrase continued to be the focus during the signing period, as he found four new faces ready to become One Troy.
"I'm probably about as fired up about this recruiting class that I've ever been apart of," said Cross. "These four guys are definitely the type of guys we want in our program."
Signees Rory Pantophlet, Kieffer Punter and Christian Turner join Montgomery native Duke Miles in Cross’s second official signing class. He says the quartet will work well with the returning Trojans who have already bought into the program.
“As we were recruiting, we had that in the back of our minds, that we’re looking for our kind of guys, you know, ‘OKGs’ that will take the stairs, that are selfless, so I think when you’re a high-character individual and you do those things, you’re definitely going to mesh well with other high-character individuals that are ‘Take the Stairs’ kind of guys too,” said Cross.
Miles announced his commitment to Troy last week and, after an incredible senior season at Robert E. Lee High School, is someone Cross is especially excited for.
“Duke, I think, is a guy that can come in as a freshman, just like Des and Jakevian last year, and play significant minutes right away,” said Cross. “He had everything I was looking for: he’s a guy who plays on both sides of the ball, he defends extremely well, he’s a guy who can really slash and get to the basket, he makes the right reads, he makes the right passes.”
After a year of highs and lows, Cross says next season is going be an important one.
“I think I’ve been a head coach 12 or 13 years, but I would definitely say this is the most important recruiting class I’ve ever been a part of,” he said. “It was imperative that we sign some guys that are capable of coming in and winning a Sun Belt Conference championship, and I feel really, really confident that all these guys check both those boxes, and when you can do that, I definitely think you’re gonna take steps in the right direction.”
Cross says he hopes to add one more player during signing period.