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James Madison men's basketball head coach Matt Brady announced the addition of freshman forward Taylor Bessick (Philadelphia, Pa./Rise Academy) to the 2012-13 roster on Monday.
"Taylor's a guy with a terrific motor and good defensive instincts," commented Brady on his signing in a press release. "He's only been playing basketball for a few years, but he has a good set of offensive skills. He's going to be a terrific addition to our program."
Bessick comes to JMU from Rise Academy in Philadelphia where he was identified as Team MVP after leading the prep squad to a 32-12 overall record. Bessick averaged 15.5 points per game to go along with eight rebounds and two blocked shots.
A 6-foot, 9-inch forward listed at 215 pounds, Bessick didn't play organized hoops until signing up for the junior varsity squad at Frankford High School as a sophomore. He played two varsity seasons for the Philadelphia Public League Class AAAA school, aiding the Pioneers to a 22-5 mark as a junior followed by a 21-5 mark as a varsity senior in 2010-11. He averaged eight points, six rebounds and four blocks per game in his final season.
Bessick becomes the fifth member of the incoming class for the Dukes for the 2012-13 campaign. He joins guards Ron Curry (Pennsauken, N.J./Paul VI), Charles Cooke (Trenton, N.J./Trenton Catholic) and Andre Nation (Plant City, Fla./Faith Baptist Christian School) as well as forward Dimitrije Cabarkapa (Novi Sad, Serbia/High Medical School).