Men’s basketball added three players to their roster for next season. Head coach Joe Golding announced Tuesday that the Wildcats signed two guards and a center on national signing day. ACU adds onto their impressive signing class from last year, that just two games into the season, has several freshmen playing high minutes and producing at a high level.
Guards Diamante Langston and Payten Ricks, along with center Kolton Kohl, all signed their letter of intents to play for ACU in the fall of 2016. Ricks and Kohl will enter as true freshmen, while Langston will come in as a junior transfer.
“We needed to add some guards for next season, especially since we’re losing Parker Wentz and Jalen Little, so it was really big for us to get Diamante and Payten,” Golding said. “Then to be able to add a player like Kolton is huge for us. We needed to add some length and size, and at 6-11 and with a chance to grow even more, we certainly did that.”
Langston transfers to ACU from South Plains College, regarded as one of the top junior colleges in the country. Last year, Langston averaged 3.9 points per game in all 34 games for South Plains. In his senior year of high school at Lewisville, Langston turned in 14 points per game and helped lead the Farmers to the Class 6A state playoffs. At 6-foot-2, he brings size and skill that should help the Wildcats continue to transform their roster into one of those of the Southland Conference.
Ricks, at 6-foot-1, enters his senior year at Maize South High School in Wichita, Kansas. As a junior in 2014-15, Ricks helped lead his team to a 22-2 record and a second-place finish at the state tournament. He averaged 47 percent shooting from the field and 31 percent from three.
“The biggest thing with Payten is that he’s a leader and he’s a winner,” Golding said. “He’s got incredible basketball intelligence. He’s a point guard that makes all of the right plays and has a good feel for the game and can score when needed.”
At 6-foot-11, Kolton Kohl will be hard to miss once he steps onto ACU’s campus. Kohl is considered one of the premiere big men in West Texas, as he averaged 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks per game last year as a junior for San Angelo Central High School. He earned first-team all-district 3-6A and was named the district defensive MVP. Kohl brings a level of size and defensive skill at the center position that ACU has not had in some time.
“Obviously Kolton has great size and length, and we needed to add that,” Golding said. “But he’s also really skilled around the basket and has great feet. The exciting thing is that he’s not finished growing. We’ll get him up here next summer and get him in The Bean to eat and put him to work with our strength coach and add some beef to his frame. We couldn’t be happier to get a kid like Kolton out of our own backyard.”