Tim Higgins has grown two inches and put on 25 pounds in the past year. He is now 6 feet 10 and 205 pounds, continuing to develop as an inside presence at Paul VI Catholic.

Panthers Coach Glenn Farello believes “the sky is the limit,” for a big player with good hands and a strong basketball intellect, noting the old adage that big men take longer than guards to reach their potential.

Still, as Higgins toured a handful of colleges last week, he knew he had found the school he wanted to play for and felt no need to wait and see if things changed. So on Sunday afternoon, Higgins committed to play basketball at Cornell after also considering Bucknell and Penn.

“It’s the perfect fit for me,” Higgins said. “One of my goals for a long time was to go to the Ivy League. My high school coach said, ‘If you’re dating a girl and you find the perfect one, what are going to do? Wait to marry her and find a few other girls?’ ”

Farello said it is his understanding that it is the earliest commitment ever for a player to an Ivy League school.

Cornell Coach Bill Courtney, who knows the Washington area well after serving as an assistant at George Mason, Virginia and Virginia Tech, has been recruiting Higgins for more than a year. Higgins attended a camp at Cornell last year and was especially impressed on his visit last week by the Big Red’s plans for him to work with strength coach Jay Andress.

“I had been to the weight room at the other schools, but I hadn’t met the [strength] coaches,” Higgins said. “They made a good impression on me with the strength coach. The success he’s hand in the past with other players in just tremendous.”

Higgins was Paul VI’s first post player off the bench last season and with all five starters returning, he will fill the same role this season.

“He’s got great hands, active around the basket,” Farello said. “He has a good feel for the game and great work ethic. A lot of times with big guys, they take time to develop.”