April 13, 2000
PULLMAN, Wash. - Two junior college players have signed national letters of intent to play basketball for Washington State next season, Coach Paul Graham announced Thursday. The two are Framecio Little (pronounced frah-MEE-see-oh) from Dodge City, Kan., College and Paulo Rower from Arizona Western College.
Little, a 6-6, 210-lbs., native of Anderson, S.C., was a two-time all-conference selection for Dodge City. He averaged 17 points, five rebounds and three assists as a sophomore and shot 50 percent from the field, earning all-region honors. Dodge City was ranked as high as 11th nationally last year and finished 21-10, winning 16 straight at one point.
"Framecio is a very multi-dimensional player," said Graham. "He will give us more depth and athletic ability on our team next year. His athleticism will allow us to play a more up-tempo game, especially combined with the returning players we have and the four perimeter players we signed last fall. Framecio can contribute right away and by signing him, we have taken another step in making this team better."
Little led Dodge City to the Region VI tournament where they lost to eventual champion Independence. Dodge City Coach Mike Rohn said the Cougars are getting a solid all-around player.
"There's not much Framecio can't do on the basketball court," he said. "He scores in a lot of different ways. He's a good passer, who handles the ball well and he plays pretty good defense.
"From what the coaches have told me, Framecio will fit in nicely at Washington State because he is so versatile. The WSU staff did an exceptional job recruiting Framecio. The were very honest and up front all the way and that's why he chose to go there."
Little chose WSU over Oregon State, Tulsa, Baylor, Virginia Tech and East Carolina. He has been selected to play in the Kansas All-Star game, featuring the top 20 junior college players in Kansas, later this month.
Rower is a 7-1, 310-lbs. center who averaged 3.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game last season in Western Arizona's guard-orientated offense. He helped the Matadors to a 24-8 record and the Region I championship game. Rower, who will be a junior next season, will add much-needed depth to WSU's front line.
"Washington State is getting a quality person who understands the importance of the team concept and understands the things he has to do in order for the team to be successful, "said Arizona Western coach Kelly Green. "Paulo is very coordinated, can catch and pass the ball well and provides a presence inside that all coaches want. He is also in great condition and doesn't have an ounce of fat on his body. Because we play an up-tempo game, he gets up and down the court very well.
"Paulo is also a top of the line person. He's a guy who will work hard on the court, work hard in the classroom and get his degree. He will represent Washington State very well."
Rower, a native of Santa Maria, Brazil, was a member of the Matadors' 1999 junior college Region I championship team that advanced to the national tournament. He averaged 4.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game as a freshman. In his two years, Arizona Western was 50-16.
Rower will be the first seven-foot player at Washington State since 7-1 Todd Anderson in 1984-88 and only the fifth true seven-footer in Cougar history. The other three are 7-0 Ken Mathia (1984-87), John Tessem (1976-80) and 1988 NBA All-Star James Donaldson (1976-79).
Only five basketball players at Washington State have been measured at seven feet tall or better. Below is the list of elite giants.
Player Height Weight
James Donaldson (1976-79) 7-2 280 John Tessem (1976-80) 7-0 225 Ken Mathia (1984-87) 7-0 240 Todd Anderson (1984-88) 7-1 210 Paulo Rower (2001-02) 7-1 310
The two join four highly-recruited perimeter players who signed with WSU last fall. That quartet, ranked second among the Pac-10 by several recruiting sources, consists of Los Angeles area high school players Tommy Johnson (Crenshaw) and Marcus Moore (Dominguez) and junior college transfers Jerry McNair (Fullerton College) and Kendall Minor (Southern Idaho). Johnson was recently named the Los Angeles City 2000 Player of the Year, while Moore joined the Cougar team in January.
Graham also announced Thursday that freshman Bryan Whitehead's scholarship, which is awarded on a year-to-year basis, will not be renewed for the 2000-01 season. The Mount Vernon, Wash., native averaged 1.2 points and 1.0 rebounds per game in 21 games last season. Whitehead will have the option to remain with the WSU program as a non-scholarship player or transfer to another university.
"We have met with Bryan and he completely understands why we were unable to renew his scholarship. Bryan has handled the situation in a very mature manner and I commend him for that. Bryan is in the process of deciding what is best for him and his family and if he decides to transfer, the coaching staff will help Bryan identify situations that will allow him to continue to play basketball."