Steve Green is no stranger to recruiting in Baltimore.
Green, the veteran men’s basketball coach at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas, has sent three Baltimore natives to Division I schools in the past seven years, most recently former Douglass guard Itchy Bolden (Morgan State).
Green was back in Baltimore last year when he got word that Dunbar shooting guard Derrell Edwards wasn’t going to end up at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Edmondson forward Stanton Kidd, however, emerged as an unexpected bonus.
“It was more of a coincidence than anything,” Green said. “We knew about [Edwards], visited him and saw the other. He was playing there at the same time. And we just went after both of them then. It wasn’t a ploy from the beginning.”
Edwards and Kidd both signed on to play for the Texans, and are nearing the end of their freshmen seasons. “I think they’re talented guys and good basketball players with good basketball IQ,” Green said. “They’ve been brought up in a pretty tough basketball environment with good competition.”The 6-foot-2 Edwards averaged 23 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists last year, earning second-team Baltimore Sun All-Metro honors. He was the leading scorer on Dunbar’s Class 1A state championship team.
“Derrell is probably averaging about 10 or 11 points a game,” Green said. “Stanton is probably a little less than that. [But Edwards has] had some games where he’s exceeded 20. I think there’s always a learning curve. The competition in our league is as good as there is in junior college.”
Kidd, 6-7, averaged 19 points and 11 rebounds as a senior, leading Edmondson to its first Baltimore City championship, and earning first-team All-Metro honors for his efforts.
“Stanton’s kind of a tweener, a 3/4,” Green said. “He shoots the mid-range shot, defends the other team’s four man. He’s kind of a mid-range player.”
Green said Edwards and Kidd have transitioned smoothly from Baltimore to rural Texas. Both players show up to class on time, complete their assignments and work hard on the court.
“Somebody along the way has instilled in them a certain amount of discipline and making good choices,” Green said.
It’s been an “inconsistent” season for South Plains, which won the NJCAA national title in 2008. The Texans need a win against New Mexico Junior College on Thursday night for a berth in the Region 5 tournament, where they would be the No. 4 seed from the Western Junior College Athletic Conference.
In South Plains’ win over New Mexico Military Institute last week, Kidd scored 15 points on 5-for-7 shooting from the field and a 5-for-5 showing from the free-throw line. In a win over Frank Phillips College days before, Edwards scored a game-high 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting from the floor. There have been ups and downs for both Baltimore players.
“Any freshman I’ve had has been inconsistent,” Green said. “Sophomore year is when they finally have an idea. It’s a world of difference between freshman and sophomore year. It’s incredible. They’re almost different people.”
Recruiting won’t start in earnest for Edwards and Kidd until their sophomore years, but Green said both players are doing what it takes to move on to the next level. Whether they leave South Plains with Division I scholarships depends on “a lot of things.”
“It’s tough to know because now they go back into the pool with high school players coming out,” Green said. “They’re going to be recruited against the next [Derrell and Stanton] coming out of high school. Could [they] end up at a similar place like Corpus? Yeah, they could. But you just never know.”
Baltimore Sun photos of Derrell Edwards (2010) and Stanton Kidd (2009) by Karl Merton Ferron and Colby Ware.