Thursday, August 5, 2010

St. Joe's picks up first 2011 recruit

When watching the CP3 All-Stars on the AAU circuit this past spring and summer, the multitude of high-major players stand out.

Dezmine Wells (Richmond) and P.J. Hairston (North Carolina) are top-50 players, Bishop Daniels and Jacob Lawson are two more top-125 guys, while Joseph Uchebo (North Carolina State) and Marquis Rankin (Virginia Tech) are also going to ACC schools. Throw in Rodney Purvis, a top-three prospect in 2013, and you had one of the most explosive club teams around.

The player who made the team run like clockwork, however, was a less-heralded prospect – point guard Chris Wilson. The 6-foot-3 Terry Sanford (N.C.) product is a strong lefty who ran the offense, controlled the tempo and facilitated fast breaks. He is also a tough defender who can get into the lane against opponents. Without him leading the way, CP3 would not have played to its potential.

On Wednesday, Wilson ended his recruitment by choosing Saint Joseph’s over Old Dominion, Stanford, Winthrop, Tennessee and Davidson.

“I loved the academics, the smaller campus environment,” he told me Thursday. “[I have] an opportunity to come in and lead a team in a great league. And really the chance to compete for A-10 championships year in and year out while playing for a great coach.”

Wilson is the first 2011 recruit for head coach Phil Martelli, who is welcoming an outstanding recruiting class this fall. C.J. Aiken, Langston Galloway, Daryus Quarles and Ronald Roberts are all high-level players who could play in most leagues around the country.

For Wilson, leading his CP3 team will help him mesh with the talent he will be surrounded with in Philadelphia.

““It greatly prepared me,” he said. “To play with D-1 talent every game really gets you ready.”

Moreover, the same humble attitude he had with his AAU team will be needed in the Atlantic-10. While he might not get as many points or highlights as some other players, his unselfishness will be a key for the Hawks.

Wilson knows he will have to defer to others in order to be successful at Saint Joseph’s; he is only concerned with winning.

“I think I have the chance to make a big impact,” he said. “But I’m not really focused on my individual impact; I’m focusing on helping St. Joe’s get back to the top and compete for A-10 championships and make tournament runs.”

Wilson said that his relationship with Martelli and the way he fit into the Hawks’ system put them over the edge. Not surprisingly, the head coach is looking forward to having Wilson on his team.

“[He was] excited, I guess you could say,” Wilson said. “He told me that I brought leadership and presence at the point guard position he needs. And that he’s excited to coach me.”

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