football

7-footer could decide next week

Devinwatson200 12 27 200
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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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