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Layer Signs Speaks to National Letter of Intent

April 14, 2011  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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First team junior college All-America selection Tavares Speaks has signed a national letter of intent to attend Liberty for the 2011-12 academic year.

First team junior college All-America selection Tavares Speaks has signed a national letter of intent to attend Liberty for the 2011-12 academic year.

Liberty men's basketball head coach Dale Layer has announced that Tavares Speaks has signed a national letter of intent to attend Liberty University for the 2011-12 academic year.

Speaks, a 6-4 guard, is a graduate of Green Hope High School in Cary, N.C., and will come to the Hill City after spending two seasons at Cape Fear Community College (Wilmington, N.C.).

"Tavares is first of all a great person," Layer stated. "He fit in immediately with our returning players. On the floor he can score the ball in several different ways, yet remain unselfish and team-oriented."

This past season, Speaks averaged 18.3 points per game, shooting 50.0 percent (222-of-444) from the field, including 33.3 percent (14-of-42) from the three-point arc. The Raleigh, N.C., native was also solid from the charity stripe, knocking down 164-of-216 shots (75.9 percent) at the foul line.

A first team junior college All-America selection, Speaks helped lead the Sea Devils to a 26-9 record this past season and an appearance in the National Junior College Tournament in Hutchinson, Kan.

Before making the decision to sign with Liberty, Speaks spent his two seasons at Cape Fear under the tutelage of former Liberty point guard and captain Ryan Mantlo (2002-2004). In his senior season with the Flames, Mantlo helped Liberty capture the 2004 Big South Championship, earning an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.

"[Tavares] learned a lot from Coach Mantlo over the past two years, which will enable him to step into our program and score baskets while playing two or three different positions," Layer added.

Speaks is the second player to sign with Liberty for the upcoming academic year, joining Andrew Smith, who signed during the early period in November.