March 31, 2009
CSU now looking at Qualls
It's getting to that time of year when college basketball coaches are looking for those final players to fill their rosters with hopes of hitting the jackpot with a "diamond in the rough." One of those schools looking to fill their final remaining scholarships is Colorado State and one of those players is Tahlequah (OK) power forward Matt Qualls.
At 6-foot-7, 230 pounds Qualls is a player who isn't the tallest at his position, but the numbers he puts up are larger than life. During his senior season, the Tahlequah Tiger averaged 23.4 points, 13.5 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game.
Qualls helped lead Tahlequah to the OSSAA Class 5A semifinals this season where they fell to the Guthrie Bluejays. This spring he's just trying to stay in shape.
"I'm just starting this workout program this week, been hitting the gym pretty much," Qualls said. "I'm just running and stuff, I don't play any spring sports or anything so I'm just kinda doing what I can with workouts with my trainer, that's pretty much it."
While he doesn't currently have any Division I offers, Qualls did have one from the University of Tulsa, but the Golden Hurricane decided to sign Jenks (OK) forward Bryson Pope instead. Right now Qualls is hearing the most from UTSA, Southern Illinois and UMKC at the DI level. As far as D-II schools go, he hasn't heard from Northeastern State University, located in his hometown of Tahlequah, but West Florida has contacted him. The Argos are looking to make the leap to Division I within the next couple of years.
But there is one D-I school that has recently grown more interested in the Oklahoma native. That school is none other than CSU.
"I got something in the mail the other day from them, I had never heard from them until last week. They said they wanted some game film, I haven't gotten to send them any yet but I'm trying to put some together from the state tournament, the game I had 38 points against El Reno. But I really hope something happens quick because I'm gonna start lining up my visits this week and next."
CSU seems interested in Qualls, but is he interested in becoming a Ram?
"Oh yea, they're in the Mountain West Conference and I know that's a pretty solid conference. It's something I'd definitely be into and if they're interested they'd be one of my top schools."
With any luck, CSU basketball fans will see Qualls as a "diamond in the rough" just as they did with Jesse Carr during the 2008-2009 season.
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