UT Hoops Inks 1st-Team JC All-American Guard

Craig Winder, a Division II junior college first-team All-America guard, has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball next season at Texas, head coach Rick Barnes announced Thursday.

Winder will have two years of eligibility remaining, beginning with the 2005-06 campaign. Meanwhile, the Horns are hot on the heels of another JC standout in shooting guard J.D. Lewis. The Midland College product, considered one of the top unsigned JC players in the country, will visit Texas this weekend, according to reports. NCAA statutes prevent collegiate coaches from commenting on players until they sign their LOI.

Winder joins a pair of fall signees on the 2005-06 Longhorns roster in A.J. Abrams (Round Rock, Texas) and C.J. Miles (Dallas, Texas). The spring signing period began Wednesday and continues through mid-May.

"We liked the way Craig fit with our guys during his visit," Barnes said. "He is a very athletic off-guard and a good on-the-ball defender who can also create his own shot off the dribble. Craig comes from a winning program and played under an excellent coach in Bill Lewit. The thing we like most about Craig is his competitive fire.

The 6-2, 190-pound Winder is an off-guard from Cecil Community College who earned first-team NJCAA (National Junior CollegeAthletic Association) Division II All-America honors this past season, becoming the first player in school history to accomplish the feat. He scored a total of 1,138 points in his two-year career (18.4 ppg). Winder averaged 21.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.6 steals and 1.1 blocks in 26 minutes per contest. He led Cecil to a 31-3 record and a berth in the NJCAA Division II 12-team national tourney. Winder also earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team at Nationals. Cecil was ranked No. 1 in the country for eight straight weeks during the regular season.

Winder, who redshirted the 2003-04 season, averaged 14.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.5 steals in 22 minutes per contest as a freshman in 2002-03. That year, he helped Cecil post a 27-7 record and advance to the NJCAA Division II semifinals. Winder was named to the NJCAA Division II All-Tournament team.

Horns Digest Top Stories