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Thursday, April 22, 2004
Lofton selects Vols over Bearcats

By Bill Hodge
CollegeSports.com

Kentucky's Mr. Basketball, Chris Lofton, a guard from Maysville-Mason County, Kty., has chosen Tennessee over Cincinnati. He averaged 27 points as a senior.

Maryland signed guard Sterling Ledbetter of Laurel, Md/Allegany CC, Md., who averaged 14 points last season.

Texas A&M and first-year coach Billy Gillispie have signed forward Edjuan Green of Spring, Tex/Temple CC, Tex., who averaged 19.7 points and 14.7 rebounds this season.

Sophomore forward/guard Derrick Byars of Memphis-Ridgeway, Tenn., will transfer from Virginia. He played in 31 games this past season, starting 18. Class 2005 forward Laurynas Mikalauskas of Lithuania/Dyke-Blue Ridge, Va., recently committed to the Cavaliers over Maryland, West Virginia, Clemson, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame.

Freshman forward Todd Hendley of Sanford-Lee County, NC., will transfer from Wake Forest to UNC-Wilmington. He played in 16 games for Wake Forest this past season.

LaSalle signed guard Richard Cunningham of Philadelphia-Neumann, Pa; forward Sherman Diaz of Trinidad/Burlington-Life Center, NJ; and guard Darnell Harris of Baltimore-St. Frances Academy, Md.

BYU has forward Keena Young of Beaumont-Ozen, Tex/South Plains CC, Tex., who was once signed by Memphis and then committed to Texas Tech; and guard Josh Reisman of Mount Vernon, Wash/Gonzaga/San Jose CC, Cal., who played in 30 games as a redshirt freshman for Gonzaga.

Georgia State has signed touted guard Travis DeGroot of Montclair, NJ/New Mexico Military Institute, NM; guard Malcolm Manier of Lebanon, Tenn/Cincinnati State Technical College; forward/center Justin Billingslea of Lithia Springs, Ga; and center Deven Dickerson of Richmond-Henrico, Va.

Middle Tennessee State signed guards Jonathan Loe of Memphis-Bartlett, Tenn/Mississippi/Northwest Mississippi CC, Miss; Marcus Morrison of St. Petersburg-Lakewood, Fla/South Carolina/Garden City CC, Kan; and Francis Cuyler of Leesburg, Fla/Cowley County CC, Kan. The Blue Raiders recently gained forward Tim Blue of Palm Beach-Palm Beach Gardens, Fla/Indian River CC, Fla.

East Tennessee State gained forwards Greg Surmacz of Peterborough-Collegiate, Ontario; and Chris Mitchell of Chicago, Ill/Highland CC, Ill.

Saint Louis has forward Vas'shun Newborne of Natchez, Miss/Chipola CC, Fla.

Sacred Heart signed guard Drew Shabik of Stoystown/Boswell-North Star, Pa; and forward Brice Brooks of Silverdale-Central Kitsap, Wash.

Lafayette has guard Matt Betley of Medford-Lenape, NJ.

Akron signed guard Cedrick Middleton of Chicago Heights-Marian Catholic, Ill/Wolfeboro-Brewster Academy, NH.

*Check Class 2004 lists for Prospects/Commitments/Signings/Schools and Conferences. Ninety-four prospects on the early Class 2004 Top 100 have made Commitmen ts or Signed. List of remaining Top 100 Prospects.

2004 NBA Draft
(May 10-Early Entry Deadline; June 17-Early Entry Withdrawal Deadline; June 24-NBA Draft)
Entries
C/F Dwight Howard 6-10 Atlanta-SW Atlanta Christian, Ga (Uncommitted). Has agent. Plans to apply to North Carolina as part-time student. Howard, who averaged 25 points, 18 rebounds and eight blocked shots as a senior, was selected as the Naismith Prep Basketball Player of the Year. Predicted: Top Two in first round.
F Josh Smith 6-8 Mouth of Wilson-Oak Hill Academy, Va (Signed with Indiana). Projected: Top three to 10 in first round.
C Jackie Butler 6-11 Virginia Beach-Coastal Christian, Va. (Signed with Tenn). Has agent. Projected: Second round, if selected.
F Ivan Chiriaev 7-1 Oakville, Ontario-St. Thomas Aquinas (Pledged to Iowa State). No agent. Projected: Lottery to middle first round.
F Dorell Wright 6-7 South Kent Prep, Conn (Signed with DePaul). No agent. Projected: Second Round.
Possible Entries (second round selections do not receive guaranteed contracts)
C Randolph Morris 6-11 Fairburn-Landmark Christian School, Ga (Uncommitted). Father says college. Georgia Tech or Kentucky are favorites. Draft: Late first to second round.
F Juan Palacios 6-8 Centereach-Our Savior New American, NY (Uncommitted). Draft: Late first to second round.
F Shawne Williams 6-8 Laurinburg Prep, NC (Signed with Memphis). Projected: Late first to second round.
C Robert Swift 6-11 Bakersfield, Cal (Signed with USC). Projected: Late first to second round.
F Glen Davis 6-8 Baton Rouge-University, La (Signed with LSU). Projected: Late first to second round.
G Sebastian Telfair 6-0 Brooklyn-Abraham Lincoln, NY (Signed with Louisville). Projected: Top 10 to 20 first round.
F Al Jefferson 6-10 Prentiss, Miss (Signed with Arkansas). Projected: Middle first to second round.
G/F J.R. Smith 6-6 Newark-St. Benedict's Prep School, NJ (Signed with NC). Projected: Late first to second round.
G Shaun Livingston 6-7 Peoria-Central, Ill (Signed with Duke). Projected: Top four to 10 in first round.
Will Not Enter Draft
F Rudy Gay 6-8 Severn-Archbishop Spalding, Md (Signed with Conn). Projected: Late first to second round.
F Marvin Williams 6-8 Bremerton, Wash (Signed with NC). Projected: Late first to second round.
F/C LaMarcus Aldridge 6-11 Seagoville, Tex (Signed with Texas). Projected: Late first to second round.

2004 McDonald's All American Game
J.R. Smith and Dwight Howard helped the East rout the West, 126-96, at the 27th McDonald's All American Basketball Boys Game in Oklahoma City, Okla. The John Wooden Award which is given to the most valuable player of the game was given to co-winners Smith and Howard. Smith led all scorers with 25 points, while Howard contributed 19 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots. Story, Rosters.

McDonald's Games/All-Star Games/NBA Drafts
Search for Stories/games/rosters.

2004 Nike Hoop Summit
The 2004 USA Basketball Men's Junior National Select team defeated World Select, 99-79, in the Hoops Summit game in San Antonio. Josh Smith led all scorers with 27 points, J.R. Smith added 17, while Rudy Gay and Al Jefferson had 14 and 13. Sebastian Telfair scored six. Luka Bogdanovic led the World team with 20 points. Churchill Odia and Juan Diego Palacios each scored 10. Stories/games/rosters.

2004 Jordan Capital Classic
Dwight Howard scored 18 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks to lead the Black team to a 107-96 victory over the White squad in the Jordan Capital Classic and was named the outstanding player. Malik Hairston led the Black team with 23 points, while Robert Vaden added 21. Dorell Wright led the White team with 24 points, while Al Jefferson added 17 points and 10 rebounds. Stories/games/rosters

Class 2004 Basketball Database
*Search lists of Prospects/Commitments/Signings/Schools and Conferences
*Early list of Top 100 Prospects/Commitments/Signings/ Remaining Top 100 Prospects.
*More players projected to make an impact: Super Prospects.
*Top JC Prospects: Junior College List.
*Basketball Signing Periods: Early (Nov. 12-19) and Regular (Apr. 14-May 19).

*Indiana, Texas and Louisville lead the early 2004 Top Classes.

Class 2005 Basketball Database
*Search early lists of Prospects/Commitments

Basketball Commitments/Signings:
Class 2005: Database
Class 2004: Database/Top 100/Top Classes.
Class 2003: Database/Top 100/Top Classes.
Class 2002: Database/Top 100/Top Classes
Class 2001: Database/Top 100/Top Classes
Class 2000: Database/Top 100/Top Classes
Class 1999: Database
Class 1998: Database/ Top Classes

Bill Hodge is the executive editor and director of recruiting coverage at CollegeSports.com. For daily columns on prospects, commitments and signings, plus databases, go to CollegeSports.com's Recruiting Page.