Thursday, September 28, 2000

Prep forward favoring UC

Maxiell draws comparisons to Martin

By Michael Perry
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Jason Maxiell has played basketball for only three years. He moved with his family from Chicago to Texas before his freshman year of high school and was sought out for the sport because of his height.

        He has progressed quickly.

        The 6-foot-8 power forward from Carrollton, Texas, is scheduled to arrive Friday for an official recruiting visit at the University of Cincinnati. He said the only other school he is considering is Kentucky, but reports that Arkansas also is involved and that Maxiell will visit UK for Midnight Madness (Oct.13).

        “I'm mainly leaning toward Cincinnati,” Maxiell told The Enquirer.

        “Cincinnati is what he's been saying since Day ,” Newman Smith High School coach Charles Duke said. “He had me call them.”

        Recruiting experts say Maxiell is raw offensively but is so athletic and hard-working that he is reminiscent of former UC star Ken yon Martin, last year's college player of the year and No. 1 NBA draft pick.

        “He's a little bit of an undersized power forward athlete, but in this day and age, guys who play that hard are at a premium,” Clark Francis of HoopScoop said. “There are not many guys in college that have his athleticism and his intensity. He's fairly strong right now, but he'll get bigger and stronger. He's a talent.”

        Francis ranks Maxiell among the top 40 players in the country. So does Bob Gibbons of All Star Sports.

        “Jason Maxiell is right now a Kenyon Martin-type athlete,” Gibbons said.

        Duke said Maxiell averaged 11 points, almost 10 rebounds and five blocks last season.

        “I like Bob Huggins and his assistant coach (Mick Cronin),” Maxiell said. “I like his program. He plays a fast-paced game. I'm a running player, up and down, and a good defensive player.”

        Maxiell is the first of three recruits with scheduled official visits. Point guard T.J. Ford from Sugar Land, Texas, said he will visit UC the weekend of Oct.7, and Kelvin Torbert, generally regarded as one of the top five players in the country, is scheduled for the weekend of Oct.28.


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