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JUCO center J.J. Nganga commits to New Mexico

Craig Neal

New Mexico will be without three starters from this past season.

Kendall Williams will graduate, while the frontline will need to be revamped as Cameron Bairstow has also exhausted his eligibility and center Alex Kirk decided to declare for the NBA draft.

First-year head coach Craig Neal took another step into filling the front court, receiving a commitment from Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa (Okla.) center J.J. Nganga on Sunday night. This was first reported by Geoff Grammer of the Albuquerque Journal. Nganga is the third member of New Mexico’s Class of 2014 along with Alvarado High (Texas) small forward Xavier Adams and Santa Margarita Catholic High (Calif.) power forward Joe Furstinger. Both are rated as three-star recruits according to Rivals.

This past season with the Mavericks, the 6-foot-10 Nganga, averaged 6.0 points and 5.6 rebounds in less than 20 minutes per game. Nganga suffered a tear in his Achilles tendon two years ago. Nganga told Grammer that he was still playing with the effects of that injury this past season, but believes he’ll be healthy for his debut with the Lobos.

Fresno State, Nevada and Liberty had all offered Nganga.

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