Pitt Transfer J.J. Richardson Signs with Men's Basketball

Forward J.J. Richardson during his Pitt playing days (courtesy of Pitt Athletics Media Relations)

May 17, 2011

HOUSTON - Former Pittsburgh forward and Fort Bend Hightower High product J.J. Richardson will join the University of Houston men's basketball program after recently signing an Offer of Athletics Financial Aid, head coach James Dickey announced Tuesday.

Richardson, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward, will sit out the 2011-12 season due to NCAA transfer rules. He will practice with the Cougars but not compete in any games during the upcoming season and will have two years eligibility remaining with the start of the 2012-13 season.

He chose Houston over Tulsa and Charlotte.

"We are extremely pleased that J.J. chose the University of Houston. This is exciting for our basketball program and the University," Dickey said. "To have a player of his size and ability is a great addition to our program. He is a strong, physical and skilled player that will really fill the power forward position on our team. J.J. is a quality student-athlete, and we look forward to his continued development during his redshirt season."

Richardson joined the Cougars after spending the last two seasons at Pittsburgh. As a sophomore in 2010-11, he helped lead the Panthers to the Big East regular-season championship, the NCAA Tournament Third Round and a 28-6 overall record while competing in 23 games.

He appeared in 22 games as a freshman during the 2009-10 campaign and was recognized as a Big East Academic All-Star. Richardson also received the team's Jaron Brown Pursuit of Excellence Award at the postseason banquet.

Before joining the collegiate ranks, Richardson was an award-winning prep performer at Fort Bend Hightower for head coach David Green. As a senior, he helped lead the Hurricanes to a 28-10 overall record with a 20-game winning streak and a perfect 13-0 league mark.

Richardson became the eighth player in the Cougars' overall signing class and the third during the spring period. Navarro Junior College forward Leon Gibson and North DeSoto (La.) High forward LeRon Barnes joined the Cougars earlier this spring.



Junior forward Jonathon Simmons (Houston, Texas/Midland JC), freshman guard Jherrod Stiggers (Terrell, Texas/Terrell HS), freshman forward TaShawn Thomas (Killeen, Texas/Killeen HS) and freshman point guard J.J. Thompson (Irving, Texas/Irving HS) signed with Houston in the fall.

That group will join redshirt redshirt freshman guard and Yates High star Joseph Young, who sat out the 2010-11 season with the Cougars. Young will have four years of eligibility remaining in 2011-12.

Player            Pos.  Ht.  Wt.  Cl.-Exp.  Hometown-High School (Last School)
LeRon Barnes       F    6-6  195  Fr.-HS    Stonewall, La.-North DeSoto
Leon Gibson        F    6-9  235  Jr.-JC    Downey, Calif.-Serra (Navarro JC)
J.J. Richardson*   F    6-8  240  Jr.-TR    Missouri City, Texas-Hightower (Pittsburgh)
Jonathon Simmons   F    6-6  190  Jr.-JC    Houston, Texas-Smiley (Midland JC)
Jherrod Stiggers   G    6-5  200  Fr.-HS    Terrell, Texas-Terrell
TaShawn Thomas     F    6-8  215  Fr.-HS    Killeen, Texas-Killeen
J.J. Thompson      G    6-0  185  Fr.-HS    Irving, Texas-Irving
Joseph Young**     G    6-3  185  r-Fr.-RS  Houston, Texas-Yates
* - will sit out the 2011-12 season after transferring... Will have two years of eligibility remaining in 2012-13
** - practiced with the team in 2010-11 but did not compete in any games... Will have four years of eligibility remaining in 2011-12.

F • 6-8 • 240 • Jr.-TR
Missouri City, Texas-Hightower HS (Pittsburgh)

Strong, physical player who fills the Cougars' needs at power forward... Tough, gritty, active player... Excellent post player with a strong body... His versatility stretches opposing defenses out to 3-point line... Has a high basketball IQ and has good hands... Excellent passer out of the post... Plays with unlimited energy... Runs the floor well and can rebound on both ends of the court... Will practice with the Cougars in 2011-12 but not compete in any games... Will have two years of eligibility remaining with the 2012-13 season.

Competed for two seasons (2009-11) at Pittsburgh before transferring. Sophomore (2010-11): Helped lead the Panthers to the Big East Conference regular-season championship... Played in 23 games as a reserve... Averaged 1.1 points and 0.9 rebounds per game... Scored a season-high six points against Penn and Delaware State... Grabbed four rebounds with four points against Maryland-Eastern Shore. Freshman (2009-10): Played in 22 games as a reserve... Served as a backup at the center and power forward positions... Named a Big East Academic All-Star... Earned team's Jaron Brown Pursuit of Excellence Award at team banquet... Saw action in two NCAA Tournament games... Scored four points with two rebounds in 11 minutes vs. West Virginia... Set career-highs for points (nine), rebounds (four), free throws made and attempted (3-5) and minutes played (14) at West Virginia... Played six minutes with two rebounds and an assist vs. DePaul... Played 10 minutes with two points and two rebounds vs. Texas.

Competed for two seasons for head coach David Green... Graduated in 2009... Played with the Houston Elite AAU team for head coach Rick Nelson...Guided Houston Elite to the Reebok Summer Championship semifinals... Impressed at AAU tournaments in both Philadelphia and Las Vegas prior to his senior year... Averaged 15 points and 14 rebounds per game during summer 2008...Helped guide team to Memorial Day Great American Shootout title in 2008. Senior (2008-09): Averaged 8.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and shot 57.9 percent (73-126) from the floor... Helped guide the Hurricanes to a 28-10 overall record, 13-0 league record and 20-game win streak...Reached double digit scoring in nine games and double figure rebounding in three contests... Saw action in 22 games on the year... Scored a season-high 19 points vs. Austin...Scored 16 points (10-16 FG) vs. Bush... Finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds vs. Katy Taylor... Scored 12 points with 12 rebounds vs. Bush... Grabbed 12 rebounds vs. Lufkin... Helped lead team to a No. 35 national preseason ranking by ESPN Rise Magazine and No. 2 in the state of Texas... Was a preseason All-Houston selection by ESPN Rise Magazine. Junior (2007-08): Helped guide the Hurricanes to a 27-10 record in Class 3-5A... Averaged eight points and eight rebounds per game.

Born Feb. 6, 1991... Son of Johnny and Bridget Richardson... Has an older sister Jalesa, who is 10 months older... Grew up in Troy, Ohio, before moving to Texas following his freshman year of high school.

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