Brazilian JC Standout Interested in the Cougars

BYU's big man in the middle, <b>Rafael Araujo</b>, may be opening a Brazilian pipeline for the BYU Cougars.

His current teammate, Luis Lemes, is also from Brazil. But another Brazilian JC transfer has just appeared on the national radar and is interested in the Cougars.

He is Joao Paulo "J.P." Batista, from Pernambuco, Brazil. If you think Rafael is solid as a rock, wait until you see Joao. He's a 6-8 power forward who outweighs Araujo by five pounds, despite giving up three inches on him.

Batista played last season for Western Nebraska Community College in Scotts Bluff, Nebraska, where he averaged 61.4% from the field, 6.2 rebounds, and 14 points. He started 33 of 36 games as a freshman.

He led the team in scoring and was second in rebounding on a team that went 29-6. Their team placed second in the region during the regular season and wo nthe regional IX tournament and advanced to the National JC tournament.

J.P. topped the 20-point mark seven times and had five double-doubles. His top scoring game was 31 points and his best rebounding effort netted 16. He is expected to be a NJCAA All American candidate this season.

Batista is transferring to Barton County Community College in Great Bend, Kansas, for his sophomore season, following his freshman year coach.

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