CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State men’s basketball coach Jay John announced the signing of shooting guard Michael Stovall today. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Stovall was one of the top seniors in the state of Illinois at Marshall High School in Chicago.
“Michael is one of the best athletes that we’ve ever recruited,” John said. “He’s one of those rare guys that can glide down the floor and easily swoop in and dunk the basketball. He’s got an all-around game as a player. He shoots the ball well, he penetrates well, he can pull up and hit a jumper, he’s good around the rim. Anybody that understands basketball in Chicago knows that the Chicago Public Red-West League is always among the best.
“When people see us play next year, they’re going to be impressed by our combination of ability and speed. We’re in the midst of a makeover. I’ve said all along to anybody that listens, when we first arrived here the caliber of freshman we could recruit was not good enough. The guys we’re getting now, we could not have successfully recruited them back then. With what we’ve been able to do over the past five years, we’ve been able to open some doors. There is continued interest in our program, and Michael’s addition is more evidence of that. We are in the midst of our best recruiting class.”
As a senior, Stovall led Marshall High in scoring with 20 points per game while also averaging eight rebounds and four assists. Several Illinois-based recruiting websites ranked Stovall as one of the top 10 seniors in the state.
In his final two years, he led Marshall to consecutive third-place finishes in the Illinois Class AA Tournament. Both times, the Commandos lost to eventual state champion Simeon High in the semifinals. Stovall was named to the all-state tournament second team in 2007, and among his highlights there were 16 points and 13 rebounds in a quarterfinal win over Lincoln High School and 16 points in the third-place game against Stevenson High School.
“I liked the coaching staff and the players at Oregon State and I felt like I fit right in with everybody,” Stovall said. “I had a lot of choices but I didn’t want to stay home. I wanted to try someplace new and far away. I had never been to Oregon before my visit and it’s beautiful out there.
“I feel like I can do a lot of things for Oregon State. My type of game is up-and-down, push the ball up the floor, get my teammates the ball. I feel like I can make other players better, and I’ll get a lot better at OSU.”
He averaged 15 points per game as a junior and made the 2005-06 all-city team.