Lorenzo Romar finally, officially, has a center.
Aziz N’Diaye, a 7-foot center from Senegal who spent the past two seasons at the College of Southern Idaho, signed a national letter of intent yesterday to play basketball at Washington next season.
N’Diaye, who has three years of eligibility remaining, sat out the 2009-2010 season while recovering from a torn ACL. He averaged 8.5 points and 7.9 rebounds during his freshman season, and his size gives the Huskies a true center alongside forwards Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Darnell Gant and Tyreese Breshers.
“Aziz is probably the most rugged, most athletic big that we’ve had,” Romar said on a conference call last night.
Romar said N’Diaye hasn’t quite, 100-percent recovered from his ACL injury, but he’s been playing and lifting weights and should be ready to go as soon as he gets to campus in the summer.
“I watched him play one day, two hours at night, came back did squats, then played,” Romar said. “If you’re still recovering, that’s hard to do. He’s definitely functional today.”
The UW head coach also raved about N’Diaye’s dedication to playing defense and said he runs the floor extremely well for a big man.
N’Diaye’s offensive game needs the most work, Romar said, calling him “raw” but also describing him as aggressive and relentless around the basket.
N’Diaye now occupies the UW’s 13th and final scholarship, meaning that if any remaining recruits the Huskies are targeting — specifically Terrence Jones or Terrence Ross of Jefferson High School in Portland, Ore. — decide to sign with UW, a player currently on the roster would have to transfer or become a walk-on to make room for them.
Romar said he’s not necessarily done recruiting, saying only that “we’ll see” if the Huskies add another player for the 2010 season.
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