Barbee's Tigers Land Big Man Commitment

The Auburn men's basketball team picked up a verbal commitment on Saturday.

Fitchburg, Mass.--Matthew Atewe, a 6-9, 235-pound center at Notre Dame Prep, committed to Coach Tony Barbee's Auburn Tigers on Saturday.

Atewe, who is from Canada, chose the Tigers over Nebraska, Clemson, Nevada, UNC-Charlotte and others. He took an official visit to Auburn over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Commenting on his decision to play for Barbee's Tigers, Atewe said, "I like the coaching staff and the whole program," he said. "I have looked at it carefully and I think the program is on the rise and I want to be a part of that."

Atewe noted that he is comfortable playing either power forward or center. "I can do both," he said. "In high school I was more of a five (center).

"I am more of a defensive guy," he said. "What I do best is rebound, defend and block shots. I am not exactly sure what I averaged last season, but it was around a double-double (pointa-rebounds)."

Atewe, who just turned 19 years old, noted that he plans to major in business administration at Auburn and will arrive on the AU campus this summer. "I am good student," he said. "I would say I am pretty smart. I have a 3.3 GPA."

The big man said that he had lots of college options, but narrowed his short list to Nebraska, UNC-Charotte and Nevada. "I really like Auburn and I am looking forward to getting there," he said. "I will play wherever they need me to help the team."

Prior to playing at Notre Dame, Atewe played high school ball at Father Henry Karr High in Ontario. "There was a lot of good competition there," he said.

He is the second verbal commitment for the spring signing period for the Tigers joining 6-7 forward Dion Wade from Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nev.

With Rob Chubb graduating finding another post player for the spring period was a high priority for the Tigers. recruiting analyst Evan Daniel said, "What I like about Matthew Atewe is that he is 6-9, 235 pounds and can really get up and down the floor. He plays with a lot of energy.

"He is a strong player with a big frame who is a good pickup for Auburn," Daniel noted. "The biggest area for him to improve as he moves to college is his offensive game."

Auburn signed three players in the early period--7-0 forward/center Benas Griciunas from Findlay Prep, 7-0 center Ronald Delph from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.,and 5-9 point guard Tahj Shamsid-Deen from Columbia High in Decatur, Ga.

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