Head coach Donyell Marshall and the Central Connecticut men's basketball program announced the signing of three student-athletes during the spring signing period on Thursday. Deion Bute, Joe Hugley and Tyler Kohl-Ross will join the program for the 2017-18 season.
"We felt it was a need to add student-athletes who make us a little older and add experience," said Marshall. "We're very excited to be adding a group of high-caliber players. They all have winning backgrounds and should help elevate the program."
A 6-foot-9 center, Bute is a native of Phillipsburg, St. Maarten and will join CCSU from Tallahassee Community College. As a sophomore, he helped TCC to a 24-7 record while averaging 8.2 points per game and a team-high 7.6 rebounds. He appeared in 30 games, making 28 starts, and led the Eagles with 1.5 blocks per game and posted five double-doubles. He earned Coaches' All-Panhandle Conference Second Team honors as a freshman and was voted to the FCSAA All-Tournament Team after posting 13.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in three postseason games.
Hugley is a 6-foot-7 forward who played at Baltimore City Community College last season. Hugley earned NJCAA Division I All-America Honorable Mention honors after helping the Panthers go 19-13, while starting 30 games and averaging 13.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, with a team-high 32 blocks. A native of Gaithersburg, MD, He was named the Montgomery Sentinel Co-Player of the Year as a senior at Magruder High School. He was also on the All-Montgomery 4A Conference First Team and was selected to the Washington Post All-Met Honorable Mention squad after averaging 16.6 points and 9.1 rebounds per game, while setting a single-season school-record with 88 blocked shots, an average of 3.5 per game.
"Joe will have three years and really helps solidify the power forward position for us," Marshall said. "He can rebound and has the ability to shoot from the outside, which is something that wasn't a strength for us last season. He is hungry and knows the league having been at Robert Morris prior to going to junior college."
Kohl-Ross is a 6-foot-5 wing from Allentown, PA, who spent last season at Mineral Area College. A versatile player on the wing, he helped the Cardinals to a 28-3 record and a final ranking of No. 9 in the NJCAA poll. He averaged 9.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.6 steals per game, while shooting 49.6 percent from the field, including 38.3 percent from three-point range. As a freshman at Notre Dame-Green Pond in Bethlehem Township he earned First Team Colonial League All-Star honors after averaging 16.8 points per game and set a region record with 402 points. He is the brother of current CCSU assistant coach, Anthony Ross.
"Tyler is someone who can do everything," Marshall said. "He is a versatile player with a bigger body, who can score and pass, he can handle the ball or play at the "3" and the "4". He's a very good player, who coming out of high school was recruited by high-level programs and is definitely a steal for us. It's great to get a player who you can give the ball to and say, 'Go get us some points'."
The trio join Eduardo Camacho and Talek Williams, who signed in November, as members of the Blue Devils' incoming student-athletes for 2017-18. Camacho was named the Florida 2A Player of the Year, while Williams was named to the Pennsylvania Class 6A All-State Third Team and played in the Allen Iverson Roundball Classic.