Houston Men's Basketball Adds to Nationally Ranked Signing Class

Head coach James Dickey

April 11, 2012

as of 1 p.m., April 11, 2012

Player            Pos.  Ht.   Wt.  Cl.-Exp. Hometown-High School
Danuel House      F	6-7   195  Fr.-HS   Sugar Land, Texas-Hightower
Valentine Izundu  C	6-10  215  Fr.-HS   Houston, Texas-Lamar Consolidated
Danrad Knowles    F	6-10  190  Fr.-HS   Houston, Texas-HCYA

HOUSTON - Lamar Consolidated High center Valentine Izundu became the latest member of the University of Houston' nationally ranked men's basketball signing class when he signed a National Letter of Intent with the Cougars on Wednesday.

Izundu, whose last name is pronounced Iz-Oon-Doo, will join the program as a 6-foot-10, 215-pound freshmen for the 2012-13 season. He will have four years of eligibility remaining and picked the Cougars over Baylor, Missouri, Arkansas, SMU and Tulsa.

"We are excited about Valentine joining our program. He is a terrific, young prospect, a true center with size and length," head coach James Dickey said. "Valentine is a talented shot blocker, defender and rebounder, who can run the floor and has a tremendous upside. We are thrilled about Valentine becoming a Cougar."

As a senior for head coach Luke Lucky in 2011-12, Izundu helped lead the Mustangs to a 27-9 overall record and 13-1 mark in league play. Despite playing organized basketball for only three years, he has established himself as a defensive presence and blocked eight shots in a 79-59 win against Fort Bend Dulles High in November 2011.

At 6-10, Izundu will stand as the tallest member of the current 2012-13 Cougar team before he even plays a game.

Izundu joins forwards Danuel House (6-7, 195, Hightower HS) and Danrad "Chicken" Knowles (6-10, 190, Homeschool Christian Youth Association) as the newest members of the Cougar program.

Prior to Izundu's signing, the Cougars' signing class was rated in the nation's top 20 by three media organizations. Houston stands at No. 14 by Rivals.com, at No. 18 by ESPN and at No. 20 by Scout.com.

Both House (No. 15) and Knowles (No. 56) are ranked among the ESPNU 100. With their signing, the Cougars now have four student-athletes from that national list, joining freshman forward TaShawn Thomas (No. 92 in 2011) and redshirt freshman guard Joseph Young (No. 98 in 2010).

C • 6-10 • 215 • Freshman-HS
Lamar Consolidated HS
Houston, Texas

Terrific, young prospect... True center with good size and length... Extremely talented shot blocker, rebound and all-around defensive player... Runs the floor well and will continue to improve physically... Quick jumper who can block shots... Impressed coaches with his defensive mindset.

Senior (2011-12): Competed for head coach Luke Lucky... Helped lead Lamar Consolidated High to a 27-9 overall record and 13-1 mark in league play... Blocked eight shots in a win against Fort Bend Dulles High early in the season. Pre-LCHS (2008-11): Spent three years at Cypress Lakes for head coach Emmanuel Olatunbosun before transferring to Lamar Consolidated High.

Born Feb. 19, 1995.

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