Texas Juco Commits To Providence

Providence College received more than a victory on Saturday evening in its game against Rutgers. The Friars also received a much needed verbal commitment.

Russell Permenter, a 6-9, 230 pound center from Temple Community College in Temple, Texas, verballed to the Big East program after witnessing the Friars hold off a game Rutgers team, 78-68. In so doing, Providence has added an experienced, rugged inside post player to its recruiting class. The Friars reportedly like his rebounding and shotblocking abilities, and he possesses athleticism and the ability to get up and down the floor.

Permenter, who attended Temple High in Texas, originally signed with Texas-San Antonio coming out of high school, but after playing the 2007-08 season with the TSA squad, decided to transfer home to Temple Community College in the hopes of attracting higher attention. His gamble appears to have paid off.

At Temple High, as a senior, Permenter averaged 22 points, 12 rebounds and 6 blocks per game and was named District 13-5A's Most Valuable Player. At Texas-San Antonio, as a freshman, he played just over 9 minutes per game and averaged 3.1 ppg in 14 games for the Southland Conference Roadrunners. This season, at Temple Community College, he has amped up his game.

Playing a rugged schedule against such junior college powers in Texas as defending national champion South Plains and Navarro, Permenter has averaged 19.0 points, 8.7 rebound and 3 blocks per game, while hitting 54% of his field goal attempts. He's put up a 30 point, 16 rebound game against Weatherford, 23 points in a win over #7 ranked San Jacinto and 25 points against South Plains. With four games remaining before the playoffs, Temple CC is 16-10 and 6-4 in its conference.

A Vice President's Honor Roll student in the fall semester, Permenter is a passionate, competitive player. He told the hometown Temple Daily Telegram, ""I'm an intense guy, a passionate guy, and showing emotion definitely helps get my adrenaline going and gets my teammates going."

Playing at a Big East school is a dream come true for the Texan. "That would definitely be a big one, to sign with a Big East program that's doing well," Permenter told the Telegram in an interview done just last week. "I'd be playing (No. 1-ranked) UConn and Notre Dame and schools like that."

The center was being pursued hotly by Providence and lead recruiter was Chris Davis, while Pepperdine, Santa Clara, South Alabama, Idaho and Tennessee-Chattanooga also were among the growing group of suitors.

Temple coach Kirby Johnson put Permenter through a workout a little over a week ago that was videotaped and sent to the staff at Providence. As the Telegram reported, "Trying to display his improving range as a shooter, Permenter went through a 14-ball rack of 17-foot jumpers, then took 14 3-point attempts from the top of the key and another 14 3s from the right corner. He showed admirable accuracy, particularly for a 6-9 player who's accustomed to staying closer to the basket. A few minutes later, to show he doesn't just want to float around the perimeter, Permenter set up in the low post and threw down 14 dunks in about 1 1/2 minutes. He hopes it's the kind of showing that will impress the Friars."

Apparently Keno Davis and staff were impressed, because a week later Permenter was sitting behind the Friars' bench at the Dunk and shortly after that, committed to Providence.

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