6-9 Cesare Edwards of Hartsville, one of the state’s top prospects in the 2021 basketball class, announced a commitment to Xavier Friday night. His decision came as a bit of a surprise as Edwards said earlier in the week he wasn’t close on a decision and didn’t have leaders. His other offers included USC, Clemson, College of Charleston, Presbyterian, VCU, Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, Florida, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Florida, Providence, Missouri and Wichita State.
Edwards said he really knew about three weeks ago Xavier was likely going to be his choice.
“It was just the relationship I had with them and how comfortable they made me feel,” Edwards said. “Obviously I didn’t get to tour their campus or anything like that, but I’ve seen a lot. And just the relationship I had with the coaches and how comfortable I was with them. I feel like the opportunity they’ve given me is great. I have the opportunity there to play right away and they are going to take advantage of my versatility. I think i’ll play the four but I’ll be able to do multiple things. I just won’t be with my back to the basket.”
Clemson offered Edwards in February and at that point the Tigers were at the top of his list along with Xavier according to Hartsville coach Yusef English. USC offered April 15th but never appeared to get the traction with him like Xavier and Clemson.
Edwards is rated a three-star in the 247Sports Composite and is ranked 28th nationally among power forwards and the #5 prospect in South Carolina.
“His ability to shoot the basketball and put it on the floor, he’s more typical of a stretch four,” English said. “Runs the floor very well. Very athletic. You usually have guys at that height, they have a post game but can’t shoot. As a freshman, he was the best shooter on our team. We had to teach him the post game. He just figured out that I don’t have to settle for a jump shot. I go inside, I can get 20-something points in the paint and still be a threat from the outside. He’s developed his inside drop-step. At 6-9, who is going to be able to stop an inside, drop-step jump hook. Very few people. Since he already has great from on his jump shot, his jump hook is easy for him. Almost the same mechanics.”
Last season Edwards averaged 16 points, 13 rebounds and 3 blocks per game.
Saturday, another in-state prospect is set to announce. 6-3 Joshua Beadle of Cardinal Newman has a final five of Clemson, Wake Forest, Furman, College of Charleston and VCU.