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USF lands 2nd prize recruit

GREG AUMAN
Published October 8, 2004

Brandon guard Zaronn Cann isn't the only talented recruit who said he will play for South Florida next season. The Bulls have picked up another promising backcourt commitment from 6-foot-2 guard Chris Howard, who led Fort Washington (Md.) Friendly High to state championships in 2002 and 2003.

Howard, who is playing at Notre Dame Preparatory School in Fitchburg, Mass., this season, committed to USF during an official campus visit last weekend. He also was being recruited by Massachusetts, Boston College and Illinois.

"He sees the whole floor, and he's a great passer," said Notre Dame Prep coach Bill Barton, who guides one of the nation's most reputable prep academies.

Howard, who can play either guard position, averaged 17.9 points for Friendly as a senior in leading his team to its second straight state championship and 31-6 mark. The versatile guard had eight triple doubles his senior year for a team that finished the season ranked No. 1 in the D.C. area by the Washington Post.

Oral commitments are nonbinding until an athlete signs a national letter of intent, and the early signing period for basketball opens Nov. 10. The Bulls have a full allotment of five scholarships available as they build a roster for their first season in the Big East in 2005-06.

USF is a strong contender for a third recruit who made an official visit last weekend, 6-foot-9, 260-pound Denard Abraham of South Plains College in Levelland, Texas. Abraham, who graduated from Notre Dame Academy in Middleburg, Va., was ranked as the nation's No. 24 center prospect in 2003 by rivals.com and had committed to Conference USA rival Saint Louis. But he but did not have the necessary requirements for initial eligibility. He enjoyed his trip to USF, according to SPC coach Steve Green.

"I think he liked it a lot," said Green, who said other colleges, including Towson State, are recruiting Abraham, but no other schools have merited an official visit. "Obviously, the lure of going into the Big East is attractive to him."

WOMEN WILL BE TELEVISED: For the first time in school history, all USF women's basketball games will be broadcast live on www.GoUSFBulls.com The broadcast will feature a 15-minute pre-game show, along with halftime and post-game shows.

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