Wednesday, September 29, 2004

6-10 center commits to Bearcats



By Bill Koch
Enquirer staff writer

University of Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins landed the center the Bearcats have been seeking to take them into the Big East Conference next season when Abdul Herrera, a 6-foot-10, 245-pound senior at South Miami Senior High, said Tuesday that he will attend UC.

Herrera visited UC last weekend. Fred Jones, his coach at South Miami Senior, said Sunday night that Herrera had put UC at the top of his list but had not made an oral commitment.

On Tuesday, Herrera made his decision and was canceling visits to Illinois, Kent State, UTEP and Ohio State.

"I liked the coach and the team," Herrera said. "The visit was good. I liked the town and the people. That's it."

Said Jones: "He had a visit with Coach Huggins a week before he went on the official visit. His parents were there and I was there. He was impressed with the opportunity to go there and be assured he would get a college degree and an education. The program speaks for itself."

Herrera averaged 17.5 points, 15 rebounds and four blocked shots last year as a junior and is ranked anywhere from No. 70 to No. 100 in his high school class by most recruiting services. He's ranked No. 74 by TheInsiders.com, which rates him as the ninth-best center in his class.

Jones describes him as "one of those throwback guys who plays with his back to the basket completely. He has a variety of post-up moves, can drop-step and shoot the jump hook with the right or left hand."

A native of Panama, Herrera said he moved to Miami three years ago. He was recruited by Huggins and new UC assistant coach Frank Martin, a former high school coach in the Miami area.

Herrera is the third player to commit to UC for next season, joining Tyree Evans, a 6-3 shooting guard from Richmond, Va., and Devon Downey, a 5-9 point guard from Chester, S.C. All three are expected to sign during the early signing period Nov. 10-17.

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E-mail: bkoch@enquirer.com




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