SSU MBB inks Arey, Blount, Jones

PORTSMOUTH — A standout local product from Peebles, an off-guard from the Southwest Ohio region, and an All-Frontier Conference honoree mark the latest addition to DeLano Thomas’ recruiting class — as Tanner Arey, Corie Blount, Jr. and James Jones will all be joining the Shawnee State University men’s basketball program for the 2020-21 season.

The landing of the three players brings Thomas’ recruiting class to a total of 10 heading into the upcoming campaign.

Tanner Arey, 6-0 Sr. Wing/PG

Peebles, Ohio | Peebles HS

A top-notch player during his days at Peebles, Tanner Arey’s name certainly sits among the best to ever play for the historic basketball program based just 50 minutes away from the SSU campus.

Third only to Blake and Beau Justice on Peebles’ all-time scoring list, Arey dropped 1,470 points across his high school career — while playing under the tutelage of his father, Josh.

Peebles ultimately went to the OHSAA Division IV regional tournament twice (2014-15 and 2017-18), winning 23 games in Arey’s freshman year and advancing all the way to the Division IV, Region 15 finals in Arey’s senior year.

For his career, Arey made three Division IV all-Southeast District teams, earning second-team all-Southeast District honors as a sophomore (15.3 points per game) and as a junior (19.6).

In his senior season, Arey earned Division IV Southeast District Player of the Year honors and subsequently obtained first-team all-Southeast District billing — notching 22.6 points and 3.5 assists per contest for the regional final-bound group.

He added in two Division IV Honorable Mention all-Ohio honors in 2016 and 2017, and capped his career by notching second-team all-Ohio accolades in 2018.

James Jones, 6-4 Sr. Wing, Chicago, Ill. |

Bogan HS/Buffalo (N.Y.)/Williston State (N.D.)/Montana Western

An all-conference talent at Montana Western, James Jones will transfer to Shawnee State for his final season of playing eligibility in the 2020-21 academic year.

Jones, who hails from Bogan High School just north of the Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn, was an all-City first-team selection as a senior and an all-city Honorable Mention selection as a sophomore.

As a result of his senior season efforts, Bogan was named to the Illinois High School Association’s (IHSA) Class 3A Honorable Mention all-state unit.

His efforts led to former Buffalo and current Alabama head coach Nate Oats recruiting the 6-4 guard.

After appearing in 14 games with the Bulls, Jones transferred to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) ranks at Williston State and posted a terrific 2018-19 campaign — averaging 19.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game on 50.5-percent shooting in just 27.7 minutes per game.

Following his lone JUCO season, Jones made the move to Montana Western for his junior year and posted similar efficiency with the NAIA program, notching team-highs of 16.2 points and four assists while grabbing 3.7 rebounds and shooting 49.2-percent from the field.

He also knocked down 38.4-percent of his three-point attempts.

Jones was named as an Honorable Mention Frontier Conference selection following the 2019-20 season.

Corie Blount, Jr., 6-2 Fr. Wing

Liberty Township, Ohio | Lakota East HS

Blount, Jr. appeared in 41 games over his last two seasons of competition for Lakota East during his junior and senior seasons.

As a senior, Blount shot 44.4-percent from the field and 40-percent from three-point range while coming off the bench for the Thunderhawks, which went 36-17 between the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.

Blount is the son of Corie Blount, a starting forward on Cincinnati’s 1992 NCAA Division I Final Four and 1993 NCAA Division I Elite Eight teams.

The eldest Blount, a 6-9 forward during his playing days, played in the NBA from 1993 to 2004 for seven different franchises — the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors.

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