The Miami Hurricanes might not be done with their 2009 singing class yet, but that doesn't mean they're waiting to get started on 2010, 2011 or even 2012.
Monday afternoon, Frank Haith's team picked up two verbal commitments from players not only highly regarded, but who came to the U.S. recently from outside the country. They are: 6-10, 200-pound, Rwandan-born wingman Yvan Ngirabuakunzi (a 2011 commitment) and 6-10, 220-pound center Ismalia Dauda from Nigeria (a 2012 commitment).
Both phoned UM coaches to tell them they wanted to be a part of the Hurricanes future recently -- even if that future is several years away. Dauda, a freshman at Miami Choice Academy, is considered by some publications to be the best 15-year old freshman in the state of Florida. He hasn't even played for his high school team yet. According to his coach, former FIU and Miami High assistant Bernard Wright, UM coaches didn't need to see Dauda play to see what they liked. They only had to watch one practice.
"Coach [Jake] Morton came down here to see some of our upperclassmen. He saw Ismalia practice once and it didn't take Miami very long to offer," said Wright, who said Dauda also received an early offer from Arkansas. "[College] coaches aren't waiting anymore to jump on kids. They see the size, potential, they want to be in position to get a talent like him early. He went to the North Carolina game recently and came back and told me, Miami is where he wants to be."
Dauda played for the Nigerian Junior National team last year and plans to play for Global Elite, a Nike-sponsored summer travel team based out of Atlanta in the offseason. Wright said Dauda has an older brother who played professional basketball and lives in Fayetville, Arkansas. But he doesn't expect that to play a role in the recruiting.
"He visited Arkansas unofficially in December," Wright said. "He came back saying it was way too cold for him. He wants to play and live in the warm weather. I'm pretty sure Miami is where he wants to be for the long haul."
Ngirabaukuzi, who arrived in the U.S. this past summer, has gotten a chance to play to high school basketball in the states at Piney Woods School in Mississippi. The former member of the Under-18 national team is averaging 13 points and seven rebounds this season and is a very good three-point shooter according to his coach Lemuel Jones.