BY MIKE DECOURCY
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Ronell Blizzard blew into town Friday for his official recruiting visit at the University of Cincinnati, and guard Leon Jones followed in his wake.
UC could complete its 1997 recruiting class by signing the two prep stars; Blizzard is a 6-foot-8 center/forward from Waterbury, Conn., and Jones is a 6-4 guard from Battle Creek, Mich.
Blizzard, who led Sacred Heart High to a state championship and Connecticut's No. 1 ranking, is rated among the top 100 prospects in the nation by recruiting analyst Clark Francis of Louisville, Ky.
In the state of Connecticut, he is rated the No. 4 prospect behind Connecticut recruit Edmund Saunders and Pitt recruit Ricardo Greer and ahead of future UMass guard Jamal Camah.
Recruiting analyst Van Coleman of the FutureStars service said Jones is ''very athletic, with a good first step, good springs around the basket. He's got a nice shooting touch to 18 feet, but is really not a three-point shooter.'' He places Jones just inside his list of the top 100 players.
Following UC's loss to Iowa State in the NCAA Tournament, coach Bob Huggins talked of building a more athletic team for next season.
The recruitment of Jones and Blizzard and the recent signings of point guard Michael Horton of Allegany (Md.) Community College and 6-7 forward Marvin Dixon of Odessa (Tex.) College appears to follow that approach.
In the future, pairing Blizzard with 6-8 center Kenyon Martin could give the Bearcats a
quick-jumping, agile front line of the sort that helped Arizona win the 1997 NCAA title.
Should the Bearcats sign Blizzard and Jones, they would be out of scholarships pending the resolution of the investigation into point guard Charles Williams' eligibility.
If they were to sign another player, it could be 6-foot guard Shawn Myrick of North Idaho College, a dynamic scorer rated the No. 24 prospect in junior college by recruiting analyst Phil Henzel of DeSoto, Tex.
As a freshman at Jacksonville (Texas) College, Myrick averaged 19 points. In leading North Idaho to a fourth-place finish in the NJCAA championships last month, he was the tournament's leading scorer and won the award for best small player.
Myrick is considered to have excellent range and penetrating ability but he may be too small to play both backcourt positions.
UC LOSES OUSLEY TO MEMPHIS April 15, 1997
JUCO PAIR COMMITS TO UC April 14, 1997
BRANNEN: NO FOOTBALL THIS YEAR April 11, 1997
KAMBALA PICKS UNLV OVER UC April 10, 1997
PREP STAR NARROWS LIST TO 3 April 7, 1997
WILLIAMS SAYS HE'S RETURNING April 5, 1997
BRANNEN WALKS ON FOOTBALL SQUAD April 4, 1997
FORTSON: 'I KNOW I CAN PLAY' April 2, 1997
RECRUITING TAKES ON URGENCY April 2, 1997
WOODEN SELECTORS SPURN FORTSON April 2, 1997
FORTSON LEAPS TO NBA April 1, 1997
BEST GUESS: FORTSON'S GONE, AND HUGGINS COULD GO, TOO March 17, 1997
NCAA Tournament stories
MARCH 16, 1997
IOWA STATE 67, UC 66
UC LOSS NOT ALL SURPRISING Daugherty column
BRANNEN BECOMES SCORER
MARCH 15, 1997
IDENTITY CHECK FOR UC
IOWA STATE GETS ASSISTS FROM HOLLOWAY
MARCH 14, 1997
UC 80, BUTLER 69
IOWA STATE IS TALL ORDER
20 MINUTES ENOUGH FOR UC THIS TIME Daugherty column
MARCH 13, 1997
UC'S FORTUNES HINGE ON FORTSON
NCAA LETTER LED TO WILLIAMS INQUIRY
WILLIAMS PUNISHED BEFORE TRIAL Daugherty column
HUGGINS TO OSU? A COMMON QUERY
GUARD PROBLEMS PLAGUE BEARCATS
HUGGINS QUOTES GILLEN ON OSU JOB
MARCH 11, 1997
WILLIAMS PREPARES TO START
MARSHALL HAS THE MUSCLE TO CHECK FORTSON
MARCH 10, 1997
UC, XU ON COLLISION COURSE IN SWEET 16
LET FORTSON PLAY, REFS - IT'S HIS TIME Daugherty column
OPPONENT DOESN'T MATTER TO BEARCATS
BUTLER ROSTER HAS LOCAL FLAVOR