SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento State men's basketball head coach Brian Katz announced the program has inked a pair of freshmen during the early signing period - Modesto Christian guard Jeff Wu and Sierra High School forward Joshua Patton.
Both players are entering their senior prep seasons and will enroll at Sacramento State next fall.
A 6-foot-2, 175-pound combo guard from Taipei City, Taiwan, Wu moved to the United States prior to his sophomore year of high school and has already played for a pair of conference championship teams. His first stop was Union High School in Vancouver, Wash., where he helped the team to a 16-8 overall record, a 9-1 league mark and a 4A Greater St. Helens District championship. Wu then moved south to Modesto Christian High School as he could stay just one year as an exchange student at Union High School.
Due to transfer rules in California, he sat out Modesto Christian's first 15 games last season before being thrust into the starting lineup at shooting guard. Wu was part of a Modesto Christian team that won the Div. III Sac-Joaquin Section championship and the Trans Valley League title after posting a 24-9 overall record and 12-0 league mark.
The athletic and sharp shooting Wu was one of eight all-conference selections from a talented Crusader squad. He was named honorable mention all-league after averaging 9.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game while shooting .501 from the floor and .400 from the 3-point line. Wu will be a team co-captain on this year's Modesto Christian squad.
As a sophomore at Union High School in 2012-13, Wu served as the team's sixth man while averaging 8.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.9 steals per game.
"Jeff is a very versatile guard. Our philosophy with guards is we want guys that can dribble, pass and shoot, and Jeff does all of that very well," Katz said. "With his physical maturity and strength, he has a college-ready body right now. He has great hands, and every time the ball comes off his finger tips, you think its going in the basket. Jeff comes from an outstanding high school program, and a long line of successful players have come out of Modesto Christian."
A 6-foot-8, 200-pound forward from Manteca, Calif., Patton will redshirt the 2015-16 season with the Hornets before competing with the team as a redshirt freshman in 2016-17. The long and bouncy Patton has spent the last three seasons at Manteca's Sierra High School where he will enter his third year with the varsity squad.
In his first full season with the varsity team last year, Patton helped the Timberwolves to their second consecutive Valley Oak League championship as well as a 20-7 overall record and 12-2 league mark. He received numerous accolades, including Valley Oak League MVP, All-Area MVP and first team all-VOL defense.
Patton finished the season with averages of 11.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.8 blocked shots per game while shooting .620 from the field. In fact, his 48 blocked shots set the Sierra High School single-season record. He also recorded the first triple-double in school history when he tallied 18 points, 13 rebounds and 10 blocked shots against Weston Ranch High School.
As a sophomore in 2012-13, Patton was averaging 15.1 points, 10.3 rebounds and 5.0 blocked shots per game for the junior varsity squad before he was moved up to varsity prior to the playoffs. That team lost in the Div. III Sac-Joaquin Section championship game to Modesto Christian High School.
Patton's brother, Jerrod, currently plays basketball at Fresno State.
"Joshua has a huge upside, and is a really long and athletic player with big shoulders," Katz said. "He is a little thin right now, but he will eventually be very strong and powerful. He comes from a great high school program, has been taught fundamentally from the ground up, and will get nothing but better every single day. We really like his skill set, and he has the potential be a very good shooter."
Sacramento State, which won both its exhibition games last week, opens the regular season this Friday at 13th-ranked Gonzaga. Tip is 6:05 p.m., and the game will be televised live on Root Sports Northwest. The Hornets return all five starters and nine players overall from last season's team which finished 14-16 overall and 10-10 in the Big Sky Conference.
Sacramento State's Signees
||Fr.||Manteca, Calif./Sierra HS
||Fr.||Taipei City, Taiwan/Modesto Christian HS