Whaley Off To C-USA

Robert Whaley is going to play his Division I ball in Conference USA. Sources are telling TheInsidersHoops.com that the Michigan native and Barton County Community College big man made a commitment Tuesday night.

The 6-10, 265-pound Benton Harbor, Mich., power player called Bob Huggins and the Cincinnati staff to give his word to the Bearcats.

That makes two commitments for UC during this recruiting cycle. Nick Williams, a 6-3 PG/SG out of Florida's Chipola JC, is already on the board. Ditto for Class of 2004 Ohio SG Jamar Butler.

Whaley, of course, committed to Missouri as a high school student. He ended up at Barton County due to legal problems stemming from a sexual assault charge.

He averaged 16.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and three blocks last year for coach Ryan Wolf's 22-10 Cougars, earning first-team All-American honors in the JuCo ranks.

It's not at all inconceivable to think that Cincinnati might have to re-recruit him this spring. The NBA -- and a dangling lottery pick in the draft -- likely will be a factor.

In the meantime, though, Huggins and Company can shift focus to filling its remaining two available scholarships. The Bearcat staff is aiming to land another big man along with a versatile guard or wing.

Among the top targets: Louisiana PF Brandon Bass, Houston PG/SG Tack Minor, South Atlanta SG/PG Vincent Banks and Vincennes JC SF/SG Jeff Varem.

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