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Top Charleston recruit cleared by NCAA

Charleston freshman Adjehi Baru, the 6-foot-9 native of the Ivory Coast who is ESPNU's No. 59 recruit in the 2011 class, has been cleared to play by the NCAA, the school announced Thursday.

Baru's academic record had come under scrutiny and left his availability unclear while he practiced with the team, but now the Cougars have their prized recruit as they hope to get back to the top of the Southern Conference standings.

"I am very happy for our team and Adjehi Baru," coach Bobby Cremins said in a statement. "Adjehi Baru is an outstanding young man and an excellent student. Our director of compliance, Otto German, did a great job of gathering information and we are very appreciative of the NCAA's decision."

Charleston is missing its top three scorers from last season's team -- including NBA draft pick Andrew Goudelock -- that tied Wofford at the top of the Southern Conference, but fell short of the NCAA tournament.

With Baru and his 7-foot-5 wingspan, the Cougars gain their most celebrated incoming recruit in the program's history. As a senior at The Steward School in Richmond, Va., he averaged 19 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2.6 blocks and 1.6 steals.

Baru being cleared comes at a time when fellow top-100 recruits Wayne Blackshear of Louisville and Jahii Carson of Arizona State await word from the NCAA.