2017 Recruiting Class: FAU men’s basketball adds experience, depth

The Owls added six transfers and a lone freshman.


FAU head coach Michael Curry directs his players on where to be during the Owls loss to Miami in 2016-17. Photo by Mohammed F. Emran

Hans Belot Jr., Sports Editor


he Owls added four backcourt players a few weeks after they lost Adonis Filer (senior), Frank Booker (senior) and Nick Rutherford (transferred to Monmouth University). FAU added guards Tyler Byrd, Payton Hulsey, Je’Quan Perry, Anthony Adger and Byron Abrams.

Byrd, a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, played at Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Florida last year, but started just four of the 29 games he played in. He averaged 5.4 points per game on 35 percent shooting.

Hulsey has already played for three different colleges in his career. He started out at Western Kentucky University, then moved to Eastern Florida State College and spent this past year with the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina.

The Memphis, Tennessee native averaged 5.5 points and 5.6 rebounds, and was named to the 2016 Colonial Athletic Association All-Defensive Team.

Perry and Adger both attended Spartanburg Methodist last year, where Perry averaged 8.7 points per game. Perry’s worth mainly comes in his shooting, where the Charleston, South Carolina native shot 50 percent from the field, 47 percent from three and 89.5 percent from the free throw line in his lone year with the junior college.

Perry’s backcourt mate Adger averaged 11 points per game as well as a team high 5.8 assists per game. A native of Iva, South Carolina, the point guard also shot 52.9 percent from the field and 43 percent from deep.

Abrams is the lone freshman FAU added in this year’s recruiting class from Conyers-Heritage High School who led his high school to its first postseason victory in 20 years. He was the third leading scorer for his team this past year, averaging 9.2 points per game.

To round up its draft class, FAU added forwards Amir Smith and Simeon Lepichev to replace the outgoing Jeantal Cylla (transferred to UNC-Wilmington), Jesse Hill (transferred) and Marcus Neely (senior).

Smith is transferring after playing with Conference USA opponents Rice University in the 2015-16 season, before transferring to State Fair Community College this past season. Smith averaged 11.8 points per game and led the team in rebounds with 8.9, and was also second in the country in blocks with 3.6 per game.

Lepichev played this past season for Kankakee Community College in Kankakee, Illinois, and started 28 out of the 29 games he played. He was the team’s second leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 9.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.

Here’s the full list of the 2017 signing class:

Tyler Byrd – Sophomore Guard/Forward, Gulf Coast State College

Payton Hulsey – Senior Guard, College of Charleston

Je’Quan Perry – Sophomore Guard, Spartanburg Methodist University

Anthony Adger – Sophomore Guard, Spartanburg Methodist University

Byron Abrams – Freshman Guard, Conyers-Heritage High School

Amir Smith – Junior Forward, State Fair Community College

Simeon Lepichev- Junior Forward, Kankakee Community College

Hans Belot Jr. is the sports editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him at @Don_Phenom_.