DENTON, Texas – Houston native P.J. Hardwick became the first signee of the Tony Benford era when he signed a National Letter of Intent on Friday.
The 5-10 point guard averaged 15 points and 10 assists per game as a senior for Christian Life Academy last season, and originally signed with Mississippi State as a part of the nation’s No. 17 ranked recruiting class according to Hoop Scoop. The site also listed Hardwick as the No. 250 ranked player in the nation.
“We are very fortunate to have P.J. on board for next season,” Benford said. “He is a tremendous character kid, and he brings everything that we are looking for in the point guard position. P.J. not only comes from a great family, but he also has a great basketball head on his shoulders. He is extremely fast on both ends of the floor, and I think all of our fans will be excited to see him play.”
As a junior, Hardwick led Christian Life to a 30-1 record while averaging nine points and 12 assists per game. Rivals.com named Hardwick a three-star recruit.
Benford was named the North Texas head coach on April 24, and added veteran head coach Bart Lundy to his staff the following day. He takes over a program that has averaged 21 wins per year in each of the last six seasons, and has played in each of the last three Sun Belt title games.