MEN'S HOOPS INKS A PAIR OF RECRUITS FOR 2008-09 SEASON
DURHAM, N.H. – University of New Hampshire men’s basketball head coach Bill Herrion and his staff have announced that Russell Graham (Norristown, Pa.) and Abby Kabba (Oklahoma City, Okla.) have signed National Letters of Intent to attend UNH and play basketball beginning in the fall of 2008.
   
“We are very happy to sign both Abby and Russell,” Herrion said. “They fill two needs that we really needed to address with this recruiting class. Signing these two players is going to finally give us the depth that we need to move our program forward. Along with Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.), we feel really good about our recruiting class.”

Graham, a 6-foot, 175-pound point guard, is currently a senior at Norristown High School where he played under Mike Evans. Graham helped lead Norristown, one of the top teams in the state, to a 32-2 record this past season when he averaged 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists per game. Graham received All-Area and All-Conference honors for his efforts.
   
Kabba is a 6-6, 205-pound forward out of Northern Oklahoma College, a junior college in Tonkawa, Okla. Kabba, who played under Brett Weiberg, averaged 10 points and five rebounds per game this past season.

“Abby is an athletic frontcourt player that will give us added depth in the frontcourt,” Herrion said. “Russell gives us a tough, competitive, defensive-minded point guard, which is what we were looking for at that position. He has been very well coached by Mike Evans and Binky Johnson at a very successful high school program that has won a lot of games.”

The Wildcats will add Graham and Kabba to a recruiting class that already features Benson, who signed a National Letter of Intent during the early signing period Nov. 14. Benson, a 6-foot-8-inch forward from Greece-Athena High School in Rochester, N.Y., was a 2007 All-Greater Rochester all-star selection after averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Section V Class AA champions.

After a season in which UNH struggled with a general lack of bodies and occasionally played with as few as seven players, the Wildcats will plug in the three new pieces to form the most complete puzzle they have had in recent memory. Along with returning seniors Tyrece Gibbs (Brockton, Mass.) and Eric Gilchrese (Springfield, Ill.), and sophomores Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.), Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.), Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass.), Rony Tchatchoua (Douala, Cameroon) and James Valladares (Kaufman, Texas), the Wildcats will bring back sophomore Radar Onguetou (Yaounde, Cameroon), who played in just four games last season due to a knee injury, and junior Colbey Santos (Onset, Mass.), who sat out the entire season due to NCAA regulations after transferring from James Madison University.

The Wildcats will graduate forwards Mike Christensen (Reston, Va.) and Shawn Tobey (Eliot, Maine) this month, but the talent they have coming back, along with this recruiting class should help fill the void. Gibbs was named to the America East All-Conference Third Team, Gilchrese ranked sixth in the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.48) and eighth in steals (1.54 spg) while pouring in 10.2 points per game, Abreu and Conley were selected to the America East All-Rookie Team, DiLiegro led all America East rookies in rebounding and Tchatchoua and Valladares provided valuable minutes in the post off the bench. Onguetou, a tri-captain last season, brings leadership, toughness and rebounding skill to a team that desperately needed bigger bodies last season, while the athletic Santos’ shooting ability should aid the Wildcats’ offensive attack.

“With this recruiting class, Colbey Santos becoming eligible and Radar Onguetou coming back from a knee injury, we finally feel like we have quality depth for the first time in my four years here,” Herrion said.

Herrion and his staff still have one scholarship available for the upcoming season, but are not sure what they are going to do, whether it is signing another player with this class or bringing in a transfer.
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