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November 12, 2012

Findlay Prep PF commits to AU

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Auburn basketball landed their second commitment for the 2013 class in as many days, as Findlay Prep (Las Vegas, Nev.) power forward Benas Griciunas pledged to the Tigers on Monday afternoon.

"I thought it was the best fit for me. It would be great to play at Auburn and I'm excited and happy," Griciunas said.

Griciunas visited Auburn back on October 28 and chose Auburn over Georgia Tech. Auburn assistant coach Ryan Miller recruited Griciunas to the Plains.

"He's a nice person, he understands basketball," Griciunas said. "He's a good guy, we have a a great relationship and he never lied to me. He's a really great guy, I really like him."

The 6-foot-11, 200-pound Lithuanian-born product spoke with both Findlay Prep coach Todd Simon and his coach back home from Lithuania to help him make his decision. Simon believes Auburn has landed a talented and intellectually advanced player.

"He's a skilled big man, very versatile. He can dribble, shoot, he's a big left-hander. This is his third year with us, he's had all the skill development with us and he can create offense. He works hard at his game, he's a good leader, and he has all the intangibles," said Simon.

"You can do so much with him, but with his basketball IQ, you change stuff on the fly. He's very good versus the zone, he works with teammates, it's going to open opportunities to add stuff to his offense and Auburn's offense. And those Lithuanians take basketball seriously."

Griciunas grew up in Lithuania before moving to the United States before his sophomore year in high school. He has a sister that lives in Houston. Griciunas has adjusted to the difference in style of play from Europe to the States, but that homegrown style is what drew the two parties together.

Griciunas sees himself as a player with range, a "pick and pop" type player that can play the screen and roll game and provide Auburn with versatility inside and out.

"Auburn plays more European style, more pick-and-roll, and my game fits me and Auburn well," Griciunas said. "It's different stateside, but that I'm more prepared playing different styles. I'm getting better."

Griciunas' playing time last season was limited, but for good reason. He was playing behind five-stars Anthony Bennett (UNLV), Brandon Ashley (Arizona), and Winston Shepard (San Diego State), as well as four-star Dominic Artis (Oregon). Griciunas is beginning to show what he can do, scoring 17 points last Friday night and seven points and seven rebounds on Saturday.

Griciunas will sign with Auburn during the early signing period starting on Wednesday.



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