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Published: Thursday, 7/8/2004

Raymond not tied to Xavier

B.J. Raymond, a 6-6 swingman from St. John's Jesuit and The Blade's reigning player of the year, verbally committed to accept a basketball scholarship from Xavier in May.

But the senior-to-be has not yet signed a binding letter of intent for 2005-06 season - Raymond can't do that until the early signing period in November - and he could opt to attend another school after Xavier's Thad Matta accepted the head coaching job at Ohio State last night.

Raymond, who averaged 19.3 points and 7.5 rebounds in helping lead the Titans to a 23-5 record and a berth in the Ohio Division I state championship game in March, is attending a basketball camp in Indianapolis and could not be reached for comment. The summer recruiting period begins today.

St. John's coach Ed Heintschel said he hopes Raymond doesn't change his mind even with Matta gone from the campus in Cincinnati.

"I hope he still goes to Xavier," Heintschel said.

Two months ago, Raymond said he chose Xavier over Ohio State and Michigan, where he made visits, and Kentucky and Dayton, where he did not.


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