APSU Sports Information: Austin Peay Basketball
Clarksville, TN – A post player who is a member of a two-time Georgia State championship team and whose father has a Governors history, is the latest Austin Peay State University basketball signee.
Chris Horton, a 6-8, 195-pound center for Columbia High School in Decatur, GA, has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball for APSU in 2012-13, becoming the third prep player to sign with the basketball Govs during the early signing period.
As a junior, Horton averaged 8.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game for a Columbia High School team that captured its second straight Georgia Class AAA State Championship. But it was his play this summer for the Southern Select AAU team that brought his emerging skills to the forefront.
“Chris is a guy who really is going to develop into an impact player,” APSU coach Dave Loos said. “He already is a good shot blocker with great timing and a good rebounder. But he also is a guy who plays hard. When you have a big guy with athletic ability and plays hard, he is fearless out there.
“Even though he already has played some good basketball, his best basketball is still out in front of him. He is a long-armed youngster with good athletic ability. He has that X-factor that we think will allow him to become an impact guy in this league.
“He just exploded this summer—he had a great summer and sometimes that happens with big guys . A lot of people were intrigued with him. We were fortunate to get him.”
His father, Eddie, was recruited by Austin Peay in the mid-1970s after a prep career at now-defunct Atlanta Bass High School, where the elder Horton, who stands 6-10, once pulled down 32 rebounds and blocked 14 shots in a game. However, Eddie Horton’s APSU’s career lasted only a handful of games in 1976-77 before he transferred to Alabama-Huntsville.
“His father accompanied Chris on his visit here,” Loos said. “I think his familiarity (with Austin Peay and Clarksville) certainly didn’t hurt us.”
Austin Peay, favored to win the 2011-12 Ohio Valley Conference race, has four seniors—center John Fraley, forward Melvin Baker, forward Josh Terry and guard TyShwan Edmondson—that will need to be replaced.
With the signing of Horton, 6-5 guard Cory Arentsen (Mater Dei High School, Breese, IL,) and 6-7 forward Preston Herring (West Limestone High School, Lester, AL), the Govs already have a major part of their recruiting completed for 2012-13.
“I think we have signed three quality guys,” Loos said. “To be able sign them early takes a lot of pressure off us and them. They can sit back and enjoy their senior years. For us, the rest of our recruiting will be centered on a definite need plus looking at some young kids (for future years).”
2012-13 Austin Peay men’s basketball incoming class
Corey Arentsen, G, 6-5, Breese, IL, Mater Dei High School
Preston Herring, F, 6-7, Lester, AL, West Limestone High School
Chris Horton, C, 6-8, Decatur, GA, Columbia High School