By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech men's basketball team is back at work in terms of adding to the future of the program as head coach Steve Payne announced the fourth signee of the 2014-15 recruiting class recently, junior college transfer Torrance Rowe.
A guard out of Eastern Florida State College, Rowe will join the likes of Savonte Frazier, Josh Bougher, and Aleksa Jugovic in Payne's most newest group of signees.
"Torrance is a guy we've had a relationship with for awhile now," Payne said. "We've been impressed with his energy level, his toughness, and his high basketball IQ, as well as his ability to shoot and handle the basketball. We're going to look for him to be a great teammate and fun guy to coach and go to practice with every day.
"A lot of the weaknesses we've had in the past have been centered around shooting the basketball and creating shots," Payne added. "He's really good at both of those aspects of the game and we think he will be a great teammate and great locker room guy as well. His junior college was very successful and he played for a good coach in Coach Shulman. All in all I think he'll be able to play both guard spots for us and make an immediate impact."
5-11 – 165 – Guard – Atlanta, Ga. – Eastern Florida State College
A native of Atlanta, Ga., Rowe averaged 14.3 points, 3.6 assists and 3.0 rebounds for Eastern Florida State College last season, earning Florida College System Activities Association Southern Conference Player of the Year honors. He shot nearly 40 percent from the floor and knocked down 38 percent of his 3-point attempts while leading the Titans to its second straight conference championship. While at EFSC, Rowe took home NJCAA Region 8/FCSAA Player of the Week honors as well as being named Honorable Mention several other times. He started all 30 games last season, recording a 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Rowe on why he chose Tech:
My relationship with Coach Payne and the rest of the coaching staff was really the driving force for me becoming a Golden Eagle. I felt a really good connection with the coaching staff and players and they did a great job of making me feel comfortable right away. I also instantly connected with all the guys on the team. I already knew a few of the guys, so that was nice to have some people I was familiar with.
Rowe on the city of Cookeville:
I loved the city of Cookeville and campus when I visited. It's smaller than what I'm used to, but the good family atmosphere really sold me. There's a good support system for Tennessee Tech athletics and I really loved that.
Rowe on what he brings to the table:
I think I can bring just a strong mental approach to the team. I want to be a solid point guard, kind of a floor general, both on and off the court. I want to be the guy that gets the team going and pumped before and during games. I think I'll bring toughness and an ability to keep people focused.
Final thoughts from Rowe:
I'm just very anxious to get there and start working right away. I can't wait to work hard and help Tech win an OVC championship and make the NCAA Tournament.
Eastern Florida State head coach Jeremy Shulman on Rowe:
Torrance is just a fantastic player and great individual. He does so many things on the court that help his team. He's a tough kid and he's a winner. He just flat out score the ball, but he's much more than that. Torrance can distribute the ball and defend the ball really well too. That's a big reason he was our Conference Player of the Year. He had just a fantastic season and I think he's going to be an outstanding player for Tech.
Off the court, he's just a really good kid. He's a little quiet when you first get to know him, but he opens up after awhile and he is a really funny person. He's had a tougher life than most people, but he's a better man for it. He's fun and great to be around.
I think he'll be able to go in to Tennessee Tech and produce right away. He can score and he's a guy that can't stand to lose. Torrance is a fiery competitor and I believe he's ready to go in and become an impact player for the Golden Eagles.