SMU signs big man from Maryland via Nigeria

SMU Head Coach Matt Doherty announced that Julius Omoniurhie (ah-mon-your-ee) Francis has signed a National Letter-of-Intent to play for the Mustangs beginning with the 2009-10 season. Francis is a 6-11, 230-pound forward for coach Mike Hibbs at Olney Good Counsel High School in Maryland. Go inside for video links of Omoniurhie provided by Scout.com.

DALLAS (SMU) --- SMU Head Coach Matt Doherty announced that Julius Omoniurhie (ah-mon-your-ee) Francis has signed a National Letter-of-Intent to play for the Mustangs beginning with the 2009-10 season. Francis is a 6-11, 230-pound forward for coach Mike Hibbs at Olney Good Counsel High School in Maryland.

"Julius is a big post player that runs the floor well and plays with a toughness that I like," state Doherty." "With Bamba being a senior, we felt we needed to bring in a post man. We are excited that he will be a Mustang."

The Nigerian native is in his third year of basketball in the United States. Francis earned All-Conference Honorable Mention and the team's most improved player as a junior after helping his team to a 21-8 record with an 11-7 league mark.

He was also named to the All-Tournament Team at the Merv Lopes Classic in Honolulu in December 2007. He finished his junior season averaging 5.4 rebounds and 4.6 points while hitting 46.2 percent from the floor.

"Over the past three years Julius's improvement has been dramatic," says Hibbs. "In his junior year he helped the team win 21 games, the most in 10 years. Julius has great enthusiasm and desire, and is a great young man. He can run the floor better than any big man I have seen in some time, and he continues to develop. He will be a great fit with SMU."


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