Center to visit Xavier

Tuesday, April 21, 1998

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Xavier coach Skip Prosser has talked often the past few years about the Musketeers not having an "eraser," a tall, athletic, shot-blocker who can make up for defensive breakdowns by altering opponents' shots and swatting some away.

Obi Harris, a 6-foot-10 sophomore center from Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College, could be that eraser.

Harris is scheduled to visit Xavier this weekend and expected to choose between the Musketeers, St. John's and DePaul, Tallahassee assistant coach Deven Patton said. Harris, a New York native, has visited the other schools.

In 31 games this season, Harris blocked 169 shots and had close to 300 for his junior-college career. He averaged 12 points, 10 rebounds and 5.3 blocks for Tallahassee (26-5).

"He's basically a defensive player," Patton said. "He'll block a lot of shots, change a lot of shots, and the one thing he does exceptionally well is he runs the floor. There aren't many 6-10 guys who will beat him down the floor. And he rebounds the ball real well."

XU remains in the running for two other players who already have visited: 6-8 Desmond Walker and 6-9 Ashante Johnson.

Rick Ball, of BALLPLAYERS JC Report, said he ranks Harris among the top-20 junior-college centers in the country and has Walker and Johnson among the top-five power forwards. The Musketeers have two scholarships available.