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Friday, January 28, 2022

Men's Basketball

UH makes a big splash with Izundu


When James Dickey took over as head coach of the Cougars in 2010 he said that one of his priorities was to recruit the Houston area.

He wasn’t kidding.

On Wednesday, the Cougars added Lamar Consolidated 6-10 center Valentine Izundu to an already impressive, Houston-heavy recruiting class.

Izundu rounds out a recruiting class ranked 18th in the nation by ESPN that also features small forward Danuel House (Hightower) and Danrad “Chicken” Knowles (HCYA).

“He really likes to block shots and defend,” Dickey said. “We thought that this would be a special place for him, being able to keep another outstanding player from Houston at home. And he’ll fit in great with Danuel and Chicken and we’re just thrilled.

“Finding centers is always difficult and finding one that can really defend the paint.”

Izundu led Lamar to a 27-9 record as a senior, averaging seven points, seven boards and four blocks per game.

“He is certainly capable of blocking multiple shots on the same possession,” Dickey said. “He also has a great knack for the basketball; he can go get it. He does a great job of anticipating.”

Izundu has a very high ceiling and room to grow both physically and skill-wise. He only began playing basketball in the ninth grade.

“The more he plays, the better he’s going to get,” Dickey said. “I thought he made tremendous progress over the summer and over the course of the season. Because he’s very young, he’s going to mature physically as well as playing the game more and having a better understanding of the game. I like the way his reaction to the ball.

“For not playing anymore than he has, he has a good feel for the game.”

ESPNU has Izundu ranked as a three-star prospect with a 90 scouting rating.

Dickey said that the Cougars will continue to look for another point guard and post player and fill the 13-man roster.

Harris becomes a Razorback

According to Scout.com, forward Alandise Harris will transfer to Arkansas.

Harris, an Arkansas native, told the Houston Chronicle that his decision to leave Houston was based on being closer to his family.

Harris was the Cougars’ second leading scorer last season, averaging 13.3 points per contest.

Harris also pulled down 6.4 rebounds and blocked 1.3 shots per game.

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