Jody Lumpkin, a 6-foot-8 center from Columbia, S.C., who was recruited by Maryland, has made an oral commitment to attend Rice University, his high school coach said yesterday.
"He loved Maryland, but it's just a better fit at Rice," said Scott Wilson, coach at the Hammond School in Columbia. "He felt he had more in common with some kids."
Lumpkin, with a 4.0 grade-point average and a 1,500 score in the Scholastic Assessment Test, can sign with Rice on Nov. 8, when the early signing period begins. He averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds last season for Hammond.
Lumpkin made an official visit to Maryland for Midnight Madness last week. He also considered the University of Pennsylvania, the College of Charleston (S.C.), and Davidson (N.C.) College.
Rice, located in Houston, will join the Western Athletic Conference next season after the Southwest Conference disbands.