NATCHITOCHES – Two-time Arkansas all-state combo guard Czar Perry, who set El Dorado High School career records for scoring, assists and steals, has signed to play college basketball at Northwestern State.
Demons’ coach Mike McConathy announced the signing Monday. Perry had a career scoring average of 21 points, along with 5.1 assists and 2.2 steals, while El Dorado went 72-18 under coach Gary Simmons. He received recent recruiting notice from high major programs including Purdue, Wichita State, LSU, Texas, Kansas State, and Arkansas, according to online reports.
The 6-0 Perry, an explosive and versatile guard, led the Wildcats in scoring, assists and steals while helping them go 51-11 and reach the state semifinals in Class 6A each of the past two seasons, including the state championship game in March. El Dorado had an early season No. 22 ranking in the USA Today Prep Top 25 poll. He shot 38 percent on 3-pointers combined (120-317) in his junior and senior seasons.
This season, he averaged 21.5 points, 7.1 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 3.1 steals for an El Dorado squad that included a post player who signed with Arkansas in the early period. Perry owns career school record totals of 1,923 points, 463 assists and 196 steals.
“We add more speed and athleticism to our recruiting class with a very explosive and dynamic playmaker in Czar Perry. We have been following him for several years and he has attended our basketball camps the last two summers, so he is very familiar with our players and staff and our program’s style of play,” said McConathy.
“He is an outstanding athlete with equal ability to make the pass for an alley oop dunk or be on the receiving end of a lob. Czar is an extremely accomplished player and is capable of stuffing the stat sheet for our team in several offensive and defensive categories.”
Perry played both point guard and shooting guard during his career at El Dorado.
As a junior, Perry averaged 20.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 3 steals for a 23-7 team that reached the state semifinals. He shot 59 percent overall (179-304) and 45 percent (64-141) on 3s.
“His skill set continued to develop under the coaching of Gary Simmons at El Dorado High School as he developed to ability to deliver the right pass at the right time and he learned to use his quickness and become a disruptive defensive force,” said McConathy.
Perry made the 2016-17 All-Arkansas second team chosen by USA Today editors and was twice chosen for the All-Tournament team at the state tournament. He was a three-time all-conference selection and El Dorado News-Times All-Area team member who was chosen for the Arkansas East-West All-Star Game.
McConathy said Perry’s skill set was expanded by competing after his prep seasons ended.
“During the spring and summer Czar’s game was further enhanced by competing on the AAU EYBL Nike Circuit with the Arkansas Wings and the Under Armour circuit with the Arkansas AAO Squad, receiving terrific coaching with both teams. He fits our style of play on both ends of the floor and we know he can positively impact our team’s success from the onset,” said McConathy.
Perry is the latest addition in a seven-man recruiting class that began forming last fall during the early signing period, when NSU added three in-state players to its 2017-18 roster: 6-8, 265-pound post player Larry Owens of Monroe-Carroll, Louisiana’s 2016-17 Class 3A Outstanding Player, guard C.J. Jones (6-0, 155) of Monroe-Wossman, and swingman Caleb Starks (6-3, 190) from Division IV state champion Lafayette Christian.
This spring, the Demons have added four more newcomers, including Eastern Arizona swingman DeAndre Love (6-4, 190) and three prep standouts. Perry is the latest, joining California swingman Vontay Ott (6-4, 185) and Maryland’s Darian Dixon (6-8, 220).
The Demon basketball program has graduated nearly 90 percent of its seniors in McConathy’s tenure while ranking among the best performing men’s teams in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate reports in five years, including 2015-16.
NSU has made seven Southland Conference Tournament championship game appearances, winning in 2001, 2006 and 2013 to advance to the NCAA Tournament. The Demons have won a pair of NCAA Tournament contests, including a 2006 victory over 15th-ranked Iowa. NSU has ranked among the top scoring teams in NCAA Division I three times in the last four years, leading the country at 84 points per game in 2014-15.