May 11, 2012

JUCO wing DeAndray Buckley commits to CMU

Central Michigan picked up their fifth commitment in the Keno Davis era when 6-foot-4 and 205 pound wing DeAndray Buckley from Indian Hills (IA) Community College made his pledge.

It has been an interesting path for Buckley to end up in the Maroon and Gold. Originally hailing from Romulus (Mich.) High School, he was a key component on a 21-2 team that also included former CMU post target Justin Moss. During that year Buckley averaged 15.2 PPG and 9.7 RPG, leading to Division 1 offers from Northern Iowa, Eastern Kentucky and New Hampshire. He would eventually sign with New Hampshire, where he saw action in 29 games as a true freshman, including four starts. He averaged 2.8 PPG and 1.9 RPG before electing to leave the program.

He would wind up at Indian Hills C.C., a noted JUCO powerhouse that consistently competes for NJCAA titles and sends numerous players to Division 1 programs. Michael Haynes (Iona), Brandon Spearman (Hawaii), Gary Ricks Jr (Drake) and D.J. Bennett (Oklahoma) joined Buckley as members of Indian Hills 2012 class moving on to Division 1 schools. On a loaded roster, Buckley averaged 5.5 PPG and 2.6 RPG. He drew interest from numerous programs, but eventually cut it down to Central Michigan and Lousiana-Monroe, before giving his commitment to the Chippewas.

"It came down to CMU and Louisiana Monroe," reported Buckley to Steve Schwanda of All Eyes on You Hoops. "It was a tough choice, but the opportunity to be part of all the new guys coming in, with the new staff and be closer to my friends and family made CMU the choice for me. The staff welcomed me with open arms and that helped too."

Buckley visited CMU last week with Ypsilanti (Mich.) point guard Derrick Richardson, who had committed prior to his visit.

"It was a good visit, I was impressed with how nice everything was up there," added Buckley. "It was nice having Derrick there with me, we knew of each other a little from back when he was a sophomore and I was a senior."

While he had his admitted struggles acclimating at New Hampshire, his time at Indian Hills C.C. proved to be very useful.

"It helped me off the court because it was such a small town, everything you did was under a microscope. On the court, the coaches made me a captain and I got a chance to be the leader for a new group of players, which I feel will help me at CMU. Plus we won a lot, so that was of course great."

Buckley has put work in on and off the court since he left high school. He has continued to mature, while also working on his game to become a better basketball player.

"I am working on my athleticism right now, because to get where I want to be, I not only need to be quicker, but I have got a lot stronger and smarter," DeAndray added. "I make much better decisions with the basketball now as well."

He is hoping to enroll at CMU for summer classes if his coursework from New Hampshire transfers in. Regardless of when he arrives, Buckley is very excited to join the Chippewas, and the fast pace offense of Keno Davis is definitely on his mind.

"Coach (Keno) Davis likes to run and score a lot of points and that is the style of play I love as well." Buckley said.

DeAndray Buckley is the fifth commitment for Central Michigan in the 2012 class.

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