Sunday, October 24, 1999

Muskies court high school big men

6-9 Holbrook is leaning to committing

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Xavier is playing host to one recruit this weekend — 6-foot-10 Brandon Crump from Houston, Texas — and next weekend two more players are expected to make official visits.

        Randy Holbrook, a 6-foot-9, 220-pounder from Kirkwood (Mo.) High School, and 6-10 Marcus Douthit from Notre Dame High School in Fitchburg, Mass., are scheduled to be in town.

        Holbrook, a Street & Smith's honorable mention high school All-American, has already visited Illinois State and Southwest Missouri State and has a trip planned to Arkansas State. He said Xavier tops his list.

        “(I'm looking for) a comfortable environment, nice people, a good coaching staff and somewhere I can live in the future,” Holbrook said.

        “They've been recruiting me for a while. I'm leaning toward them. I'm working hard on my grades, making sure I stay up with those. If I like it down there, I'm going to just commit when I come back from my visit and take it from there.”

        Holbrook, who averaged 17 points and nine rebounds last season, said he starts at center for Kirkwood but also can play both forward positions. He remained home this weekend to take the ACT standardized test.

        Douthit, a Syracuse, N.Y., native, played public school basketball in Syracuse before transferring last year to St. Thomas Aquinas, a private school in New Britain, Conn., outside Hartford.

        Aquinas has closed. Douthit, the No.90-ranked high school senior by The Sporting News, is now attending Notre Dame, a college prep school, and working toward becoming eligible for next year.

        There have been reports that Douthit committed to Providence College in August, then backed out. But Xavier will be his first official visit, said his AAU coach Mickey Walker, who also coached Xavier freshman Lionel Chalmers. Douthit and Chalmers have played together.

        Walker said Providence, Villanova and Syracuse are also interested in Douthit. Walker said Douthit averaged about 18 points and 12 rebounds last season.

        “You know who he's like kind of? Louis Orr,” Walker said, referring to the former Withrow High School and Syracuse star and former XU assistant coach. “Just a little taller and longer. He's a big guy who runs well. He's real skinny, and blocks shots really, really well. Offen sively he can face the basket. He shoots OK; he doesn't shoot quite as well as Louis did. He's great in the press. If you put him back there and people get beat, he blocks a lot of shots — and he changes a real lot of shots.”

        CRUMP'S CALL: Crump's official visit began late Friday night, and he was at Saturday's practice.

        “I'm looking for a team that likes to run and shoot. That's what I like,” said Crump, ranked No.95 by The Sporting News.

        Crump, from Klein High School in Houston, was at Memphis last weekend, and has also visited Southern Methodist. His mother said last week that Xavier had to convince Crump to attend a school so far from home. Crump said Saturday that distance “doesn't matter.”

        Crump said he will take one more visit — to Tennessee (Nov. 5-6) — and that he won't make a decision until after that.

        XU has one scholarship available.

        CAPTAINS: Senior Darnell Williams and junior point guard Maurice McAfee are co-captains for this year's team. They were selected in voting by the team.

        WOMEN'S RECRUIT: Charlyn Hawkins, a 5-foot-6 sophomore point guard from Butler Community College in Kansas, is taking her official recruiting visit to Xavier this weekend.


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