CLARKSVILLE, Tenn.—Austin Peay State University men’s basketball continued to fortify its backcourt by adding 5-11 point guard Fred Garmon, who played the last two seasons at Mineral Area Junior College in Park Hills, Mo.
As a freshman, the Kennett, Mo., native averaged 7.1 points per game along 4.3 assists and 2.1 steals at Mineral Area. A torn meniscus interrupted his sophomore season and then shortly after returning, he incurred a deep bone bruise to the same knee when he collided with an opponent. Although his overall numbers shrank (4.9 ppg, 4.0 apg in 14 games), he still was able to help lead the Cardinals to a 26-8 record, a Region XVI title as well as a berth in the 2013 NJCAA National Tournament.
“When (longtime college assistant coach) Ronnie Dean heard we were interested in Fred, he said we would love him and he was right," said head coach Dave Loos. "He had (Dave) Loos written all over him. He is a pure point guard in terms of his feel for the game and his approach. He is just a bulldog—that’s my kind of guy at that point position.
“He is a very, very strong guy in mind and body. He can score—Fred was a two-time All-State player in Missouri—and has proven he can finish (at the basket). He also is hard nosed on the defensive end--he will guard you.
"There have been a lot of good players that have come out of the Bootheel in Missouri—we had one of them (Corey Gipson)—and I think he is in that class. As a result of his injuries this year he got overlooked. We feel like we really could be getting a steal in this guy.”
As a prep senior at Kennett, Garmon averaged 14.1 ppg, 5.5 apg, 4.9 rpg and 3.0 steals. He was a two-time Missouri All-State selection and was named Bootheel Conference Player of the Year. He was a three-time all-league selection and was named by MoSports.com as one of the state’s top rising seniors for 2011.
Garmon helps fortify a position that struggled much of the 2012-13 season, especially after starter Jerome Clyburn suffered a pair of leg injuries, forcing him to miss more than half the season. Loos’ best APSU teams have had strong point guard play, ranging from Colby Pierce back in the mid-1990s, Corey Gipson in the early 2000s and most recently Derek Wright (2004-07).
“As we entered into recruiting our focus was on changing the identity of our team,” Loos said. “We also wanted to make sure we didn’t get caught short at the point guard position. We now have three guys—Zavion (Williams), D.D. (Damarius Smith) and Fred Garmon who all can play the position.”