The typically secretive Ndudi Ebi opened up to Rivalshoops.com on Tuesday night, sharing his thoughts about why he picked Arizona over Duke and Texas during a press conference earlier in the day.
Ebi, a 6-9 forward who is one of the top 10 prospects in the Class of 2003, said he also considered (to a lesser extent) Indiana and Houston.
Here is a transcript of the interview that Rivalshoops.com conducted with the Westbury Christian star:
Rivalshoops: Ebi, you had a lot of great schools to choose from. In the end, what made you pick Arizona over the other schools on your list?
Ndudi Ebi: All of the schools on my list were great schools, but I just felt that Arizona was a gut feeling. I prayed about it. I felt it was the right thing to do and I don't regret it. I feel it was a good decision.
RH: When did you actually arrive at the decision to pick Arizona?
NE: I was wavering on it, but today I was ready, and I felt it was the right thing to do.
RH: Who did the decision come down to in the end?
NE: It came down to Arizona, Texas and Duke.
RH: So was Houston a factor?
NE: They were.
RH: Was there anything in particular that separated the three schools for you?
NE: I just woke up, really not knowing that I had my press conference today. I felt that Arizona was a good decision. But from then on, my thoughts changed, but as it came to a conclusion, that it was the thing to do.
RH: Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski paid you a visit within the last 24 hours in an attempt to sway you in the Blue Devils' direction. Do that have any affect on your decision?
NE: At that time, I hadn't made my mind up. It was good that they came in. We watched some tape, watched how they practiced and watched how they did things. They do things in a very professional manner. And so did Arizona. Like I said, I just liked all of those schools, and it's all about being professional. It was just a gut feeling and the Lord guided me toward Arizona.
RH: Are you going to sign early with Arizona?
NE: You know, whether I sign early or late, I will still wind up at Arizona.
RH: So do you have plans to sign early in November?
NE: Yes, I have plans to sign early. I am just thinking about going to Arizona.
RH: Can you talk a little about Texas? A lot of people thought they were going to be strong, because of the home state factor and playing in the Big 12. Can you talk about their recruitment and why you didn't pick them?
NH: I don't really know. Texas is a great school. The staff was really good, and [Asst.] Coach [Frank] Haith is one of the best guys in the country. He did all he could and I love him to death. I would just like to thank Coach Haith personally for taking the time to recruit me. He's one of the best guys in the world and I enjoyed getting to know him in the recruiting process. If I had picked Texas it would have been great. But I am just glad that I was finally able to pick one.
RH: You've said repeatedly that your decision to pick Arizona was a gut one, but you look at their track record in terms of winning and sending guys to the NBA. Was there anything specific that separated them from the other schools?
NE: No, not really. No matter what school I would have picked, I know where I am going to end up.
RH: Meaning the NBA someday?
NE: Yes, I will definitely wind up in the NBA. It was just a matter of how I wanted to tell my story. This is how it was, and I felt it would have been good at Arizona, or any one of the three schools.
RH: Was it a relief for you to make the decision today and get it over with?
NE: Yes, it was good.
RH: Were there a lot of media there?
RH: How did you make your decision? Did you just step up to the podium and announce it?
NE: I had a speech and I made an announcement.
RH: Did you bring hats or t-shirts?
NE: I had a hat.
RH: One hat?
NE: I had three underneath the podium.
RH: Just in case you had a last minute change of heart?
NE: Yeah. I wasn't set at that time, but then I knew. I kind of knew this morning but I wasn't sure. I was still wavering.
RH: So what you are saying that even as you stepped up to the podium, there was a chance that you could have pulled a last minute switch on yourself?
NE: Yeah. It could have been a surprise.
RH: One of the things we noted throughout the recruiting process was that you didn't really give out a ton of information on the schools you were considering. Was there any reason that you kept things close to the vest like you did?
NE: No, I didn't keep things close to the vest. I didn't know. Today, Tuesday, I knew.
RH: How many years do you see yourself playing in college?
NE: I am not a one year guy, a two year guy, a three year guy or a four year guy. I am just taking it day by day.
RH: If you had to break down your game for the Arizona fans out there who haven't seen you play, what could you tell them that Ndudi Ebi will bring to the table for the Wildcats program?
NE: I guess a little bit of everything. There' only one way to put it, I am all purpose, both offensively and defensively. I am versatile.
RH: Are they going to play you at the four or the three?
NE: I am going to play everywhere. Arizona really doesn't have positions. They are just going to put me out there.