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Thursday, May 13, 2004
Hurricanes land forward from Texas

By Bill Hodge

Class 2004 forward Raymond Hicks of Longview, Tex., has signed with Miami-Florida over Texas A&M, Indiana, Fordham, Tulsa, Arkansas and Baylor.

The Georgia Bulldogs and coach Dennis Felton signed forward Younes Idrissi of Morocco/Woodstock-Massanutten MA, Va., over interest from Virginia Tech, Purdue, Virginia and South Carolina.

Southern Mississippi signed guard Michael Ford of Macon-Northeast, Ga/Los Angeles-Southwest CC, Cal. The Golden Eagles recently gained forward Dwayne Brown of Southeastern Illinois CC, Ill.

Remaining Top 100 Prospects: Center Chester Giles of Seattle-Rainier Beach, Wash., granted a release by Miami-Florida following the coaching change, is considering Washington, Cincinnati and Kansas. Forward Alex Galindo of Puerto Rico/Newark-St. Benedict's Prep, NJ., granted a release by UTEP following a coaching change, lists Rutgers, Kansas, Pittsburgh and Georgetown.

Forward/guard Wynton Witherspoon of Liburn-Berkmar, Ga., picked Virgnia Tech over interest in Providence, Texas, Georgia and Auburn.

Sophomore forward Philip McCandies of Winston-Salem/Parkland, NC., is expected to transfer from Virginia Tech to College of Charleston.

UNLV added center/forward Joel Anthony of Montreal, Canada/Pensacola CC, Fla., over interest from Penn State, Nebraska and Cincinnati.

Junior starting guard Chey Christie of Hartford, Conn., is expected to transfer from Clemson to South Alabama. South Alabama has signed center Jacque Pate of Washington, DC/Howard CC, Tex.

Forward Dexter Gray of Mount Vernon, NY., has chosen St. John's.

Freshman guard Tyler Relph of Victor, NY/Rochester-McQuaid Jesuit, NY., who recently announced he was transfering from West Virginia, has chosen St. Bonaventure.

Forward Ivan Chiriaev of Oakville, Ontario-St. Thomas Aquinas, who had signed with Iowa State, has withdrawn from the NBA Draft on advice from his agent and is expected to play in Europe. He had a poor performance in a recent Canadian high school All-Star game before many NBA scouts.

*Check Class 2004 lists for Prospects/Commitments/Signings/Schools and Conferences. Check Class 2004 Top 100 prospects who have made Commitmen ts or Signed. List of remaining Top 100 Prospects.

More Basketball News

Liberty signed center Rashad Robinson of Elizabeth City, NJ/San Jacinto CC, Tex.

Murray State signed forward Justin Orr of Cincinnati-LaSalle, Ohio. Orr, who recently decommitted from Miami-Ohio, is the nephew of former NBA player Louis Orr, the head coach at Seton Hall.

Texas-San Antonio signed guard Andre Owens of Irving, Tex/McLennan CC, Tex.

Guard Jaycean Herring of Bartlett, Tenn., signed with Tennessee-Chattanooga. The Mocs recently gained guard A.J. Mastin of Chattanooga-Red Bank, Tenn/St. Catherine CC, Kty.

Forward Sam Faulk of Saint Pauls, NC., picked Virginia Commonwealth.

Cleveland State signed forward Justin Henderson of Westerville-South, Ohio/Glen Oaks CC, Mich.

UNC-Greensboro gained forward Brian Beckford of Middle Village-Christ the King Regional, NY.

Arkansas State has signed center/forward Kitus Witherspoon of Orlando-Boone, Fla/Seminole CC, Fla.

2004 NBA Draft
(May 10-Early Entry Deadline; June 17-Early Entry Withdrawal Deadline; June 24-NBA Draft; second round selections do not receive guaranteed contracts)
High School/Prep School Entries
C/F Dwight Howard 6-10 Atlanta-SW Atlanta Christian, Ga (Uncommitted). Has agent. Draft: Top two first round.
G Shaun Livingston 6-7 Peoria-Central, Ill (Signed with Duke). No agent. Draft: Top three to five first round.
F Josh Smith 6-8 Mouth of Wilson-Oak Hill Academy, Va (Signed with Indiana). Has agent. Draft: Top six to 10 first round.
G/F J.R. Smith 6-6 Newark-St. Benedict's Prep School, NJ (Signed with NC). No agent. Draft: Middle first round.
G Sebastian Telfair 6-0 Brooklyn-Abraham Lincoln, NY (Signed with Louisville). Has agent. Draft: Middle first round.
F Al Jefferson 6-9 Prentiss, Miss (Signed with Arkansas). No agent. Draft: Late first round.
C Robert Swift 6-11 Bakersfield, Cal (Signed with USC). No agent. Draft: Late first round.
F Dorell Wright 6-7 South Kent Prep, Conn (Signed with DePaul). No agent. Draft: Late first to second round.
C Jackie Butler 6-11 Virginia Beach-Coastal Christian, Va. (Signed with Tenn). Has agent. Draft: Second round, if selected.

Junior College Entries
C Randy Orr 6-11 Hampton, SC/Western Kentucky/Georgia Perimeter CC, Ga. No agent. Draft: Will not be selected.
G/F Donta Smith 6-7 Southeastern Illinois CC, Ill (Signed with Louisville). No agent. Draft: Second round.
2003 NBA Draft
The most heralded high school player in years, forward LeBron James of Akron/St. Vincent-St. Mary, Ohio, was chosen No. 1 in the first round of the 2003 Draft by Cleveland. He averaged 20 points and was Rookie of the Year. The other three preps taken in the first round, all late picks, played a combined 86 minutes during the entire season: Forward Travis Outlaw of Starkville, Miss., 23rd pick by Portland; forward Ndudi Ebi of Houston-Westbury Christian, Tex., 26th pick by Minnesota; center Kendrick Perkins of Beaumont-Ozen, Tex., 27th pick by Memphis, then traded to Boston.

Class 2004 Basketball Database
*Search lists of Prospects/Commitments/Signings/Schools and Conferences
*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

The 5/8 Rule
The NCAA Division I Board of Directors has voted to approve measures of academic reform that included a repeal of the controversial 5/8 rule limiting college basketball recruiting to no more than five recruits in a single class and no more than eight in any two-year period. With the rule rescinded, coaches can fill their 13-man rosters with the best eligible players who have yet to sign. NCAA Story

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

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 For daily columns on prospects, commitments and signings, plus databases, go to's Recruiting Page.