football

7-footer could decide next week

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MORE:Mailbag:Austinmakesamove
SANDIEGO--TheTorreyPinesHolidayClassictippedoffWednesdayafternoon,andwhilethereweren'tmanymarqueeseniorsintheevent,thefieldwasloadedwithtalentedunderclassmen.Eventhen,however,oneofthebiggest2013playersintheannualeventmadewaves,sayingadecisioncouldcomesoon.Moreandmorejuniors,sophomoresandfreshmenemergedaskeyprospects.
7-footeralmostreadytochoose
Three-star7-footcenterKameronRookshasafinalfive,agoodideaofwherehestandswiththoseprogramsandasolidsupportingcastleadinghimintherightdirection.
Nowtheonlythingheneedsisadecisiondate.
Rooksisclosinginonthat.ThebigmantoldRivals.comWednesday,thefirstdayoftheHolidayClassic,thathecouldbemakinghiscollegechoiceasearlyasnextweekfromafinalgroupofArizona,ArizonaState,California,ConnecticutandWashington.
"I'mthinkingabouttheendofDecember,maybe,"Rookssaid."Idon'tknow,maybe."
Rookshastakenallfiveofhisofficialvisits,withhismostrecentgoingtoArizona,CaliforniaandWashington.Whilehe'ssayingpubliclythathehasnofavorites,heofferedhistakeonwhathelikesaboutthosethreeschools.
OnArizona:"Ijustlikedtheenergythere.Mydad(formerNBAcenterSeanRooks)wentthere,andeverybodywascominguptomeandwaslike,'BeaWildcat,beaWildcat!'Soitwascool.Itwasgreatenergy.Ilovedthecoaches,lovedtheplayers."
OnCal:"IhonestlyliketheircampuswaybetterthanArizona's.IfIwentthere,Icouldgetagoodacademicdiploma."
OnWashington:"It'salotcolderthere.IreallylikedcoachLorenzo(Romar)--hewastheonewhowasshowingmearoundtheplace,otherthanjustassistantcoaches.Itwascool."
Rookssaidhe'slookingforaplacewithgoodacademics,anNCAAtournament-worthyteamandsolidplayers.He'shopinghecanfindthecollegethatmixesallofthosejustrightinthenextfewdays.
"I'mjusttryingtofigureoutwhatisthebetterschool--whatschoolIwouldfitinmostly,"Rookssaid."SoI'vebeentalkingtomymomandmydadandmycoaches."
Five-starbattlegoestothesophomore
Thetournament'sbiggestmatchupcameonopeningnight,withtwofive-starsbattlingontheevent'sbiggeststage.
Five-star2014guardJustiseWinslowfaced2015five-starcenterIvanRabb,andthematchupdidn'tdisappoint.
Winslow,whogaveupsomeseriouslengthandheighttoRabb,wassaddledwiththeassignmentofguardinghiminthepost,anditaffectedhimonoffense.Thetwowentaftereachother,pilingupdouble-digitpointsapiece.
"Weputonashow,"saidWinslow,whosawhisHouston(Texas)St.John'steamfalltoRabbandhisOakland(Calif.)BishopO'Dowdsquad."Ithinkthetournamentgotwhattheywantedtosee.Twotopprospectsgoingatitinthefirstround.
"Hehadalittleheight,sizeadvantageonme,butIthinkItougheditout,"Winslowadded."IthinkIplayedbetterdefensethanheexpected.Hedidn'tplaywellthefirsthalf,butthesecondhalfhecameoutreallystrong,attackingreallywellandjustshowedwhyhewastheNo.2prospectinhisclass."
Feelingathome
Four-starRivals150smallforwardDakaraiAllenhadbutterfliesflutteringinhisstomachbeforeSacramento(Calif.)Sheldon'sfirstgameonWednesday.ItwashisfirsttimeplayinginSanDiegosincecommittingandsigningwithSanDiegoState.
"IcameoutalittlebitnervousbecauseitwasmyfirstgamebackinSanDiegosincethecommitment,"AllentoldRivals.com."SoIreallywantedtocomeoutanddowellinfrontofthefanswhocameout."
SDSUfanscameoutinbunchestoseeAllenandfellowAztecssigneeD'ErrylWilliams.SDSUassistantcoachTonyBlandstoppedbytoseethefutureAztecsonThursday,andplayersJamaalFranklin,ChaseTapleyandMattShrigleyvisitedtheTorreyPinesHighSchoolgymtoshowsupport.
"Assoonastheycalledmynameforannouncements,allIheardwas,'Aztecs!'"Allensaid."Sothatfeltreallygoodgoingintothegame."
TheexcitementofplayinginSanDiegowasenoughtomakeWilliams--athree-starpointguard--grindthroughapainfulankleinjurythathasseverelylimitedhimforaboutsevenweeks.
"Iwasreallytryingtogetoutthereonmyankle;it'smyfirstgameback,soIwasreallytryingtogetintherhythmofthegameandgetbacktonormal,"Williamssaid."It'sagreatfeeling,allthefanscomingoutandtalkingtomeandreallysupportingus.ItjustmakeseverythingbetterandmakesmefeelgladthatIpickedSanDiegoState."
2014pointguardmakinghiscase
InthestateofCalifornia,twopointguardsarevyingforthetop2014PGspot:LosAngeles(Calif.)LoyolaguardParkerJackson-CartwrightandEtiwanda(Calif.)guardJordanMcLaughlin.
IfDevinWatsonhadhisway,though,hisnamewouldbeuptherewiththosetwo.
WatsonhasgrownabouttwoinchessincethelasttimeheplayedintheTorreyPinesHolidayClassic,andhisgamehasimprovedaswell.Ontheopeningdayofthetournament,Watsonpiledup26pointsanddouble-digitassistsinanovertimelosstoTacoma(Wash.)Lincoln.
He'shopingthat,alongwithmoresolidgamesthisseason,willbeenoughtogethiminthesamepantheonassomeoftheothertop-flight2014WestCoastguards.
"IfeellikeIcanplaywiththem;IfeellikeIcan,"saidWatson,who'scominginat6-foot."Ihaven'thadthechancetomatchupwiththemyet,butwhenwedo,it'sgoingtobeashow."
Watson'sloneoffercomesfromtheUniversityofSanDiego,buthe'sreceivingheavyinterestfromUCIrvine,SanDiegoState,OregonStateandSt.Mary's.
Tip-ins
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Inabattlewith2015four-starforwardCameronWalkerClickHeretoviewthisLink.Wednesdayevening,2014three-starforwardD.J.WilsonClickHeretoviewthisLink.heldhisown.The6-foot-8wingsaidhe'sgrowntwoinchessincethesummerandhasseenhisgamegrowaswell.WilsonclaimsoffersfromBoiseStateClickHeretoviewthisLink.,NevadaClickHeretoviewthisLink.andCal,andhesaidGonzaga,ColoradoClickHeretoviewthisLink.,GeorgetownClickHeretoviewthisLink.,StanfordClickHeretoviewthisLink.andHarvardarecomingafterhimstrong,too.
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SpeakingofWalker,heputtogetherahugeopeningstretchtohistournament.Afterscoring22pointsinhismatchupagainstSacramento(Calif.)CapitalChristianonWednesday,Walkerfollowedwitha33-pointperformanceagainstYaleSecondarySchool(Canada)Thursday.The6-foot-6wingholdsoffersfromSDSU,FresnoState,CalPolyandUCIrvine.OregonStatebecamethefirstPac-12schooltoofferthetalentedsophomoreafterwatchinghimWednesdaynight.
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SheldonHighshouldbeaddingfirepowersoon.Three-starshootingguardDarinJohnsonClickHeretoviewthisLink.saidheshouldfinallybeabletojoinAllenandWilliamsonthecourtSundaybecauseoftransferrules.JohnsonsignedwithWashingtoninthefall.
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UCLAClick Here to view this Link. assistant coach Korey McCrayClick Here to view this Link. stopped by the tournament Thursday to catch Winslow's game. Winslow, who scored 35 points in the win, said he feels a strong pull to UCLA because his brother lives in Los Angeles. DukeClick Here to view this Link., North CarolinaClick Here to view this Link., KansasClick Here to view this Link., TexasClick Here to view this Link., ArizonaClick Here to view this Link. and many others are involved.
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Click Here to view this Link.
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