Basketball Tigers Get Second Commitment

A heavily recruited forward has committed to play basketball for Coach Cliff Ellis and the Auburn Tigers.

Altus, Okla.--Auburn has picked up its second verbal commitment for the 2003 basketball signee class from a heavily recruited junior college standout.

Ronny Lemelle, a 6-5 wing player from Western Oklahoma College, plans to sign with the Tigers during the early signing week in November. Lemelle, who is originally from Harrisburg, Pa., had his choice of scores of colleges

As a freshman, he averaged 18.8 points and six rebounds per game for Coach Jerry Kassin's team. He picked the Tigers over Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, New Mexico, George Washington, UAB and others. Lemelle will likely step into the position that current Auburn senior Marquis Daniels plays for the Tigers.

"I know Ronny is excited about going to Auburn and we are all excited for him because playing in the SEC is the big time and as good as it gets in college basketball," says Kassin. "Ronny is a good student and a great person. I always tell him that he ought to go into politics."

Kassin says that the forward has plenty of options. "It would be find to hard somebody who didn't recruit him," he says. "With the exception of OU (Oklahoma) and KU (Kansas), everybody in the Big 12 wanted him. Schools as far away as the Pac 10 to the west and others from all over the country offered him."

As a freshman, Lemelle (pronounced La-Mell) nailed an impressive 62 percent of his field goals. He shot 72 percent from the foul line and hit 32 percent of his three-pointers. "He is a very strong player and an excellent defender," Kassin says. "He has very long arms and a lot of quickness. He is also strong around the basket and is a great finisher. He was a center in high school at Philadelphia Christian Academy and that helps explain why he is good around the basket. It also helps explain his high shooting percentage."

Kassin says that Lemelle is such a good athlete he could play either guard spot if needed there in addition to being able to handle the small forward and power forward positions.

Auburn's first commitment is from 6-9, 235 Dewayne Curtis, a post player from Whitney Young High in Chicago. The Tigers have slots to sign as many as four players to bring in for the 2003-2004 season. Curtis is ranked as the top big-man prospect in the state by Illinois Hoop Oasis.

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