Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Stud center may still be NU-bound

Davis Nwankwo, who some recruiting experts consider to be one of the premier high school players in the nation, said he will decide by Friday whether he will sign with the Northwestern men’s basketball team.

But his announcement could come as soon as today.

The 6-foot-10, 240-pound center from Georgetown Prep in North Bethesda, Md., said he wanted to sign with Arizona, but his parents don’t want him to go there because of academic reasons.

Arizona is still one of Nwankwo’s top choices, along with Vanderbilt and NU.

USA Today ranked Nwankwo one of the top 50 high school players in the class of 2004. Web site ranked him the No. 9 center in the country.

Dwayne Bryant, Nwankwo’s high school coach, said the player’s agility, footwork and athleticism give him an edge over other big men.

“His best basketball is ahead of him,” Bryant said. “I don’t think he’s reached one-tenth of his potential. I would describe him like a Chris Webber.

“He runs like a guard. He’s as big as most power forwards, but he has the ability to handle the ball like a small forward. He can defend the perimeter, something that a lot of guys can’t do.”

The Wildcats haven’t always been on the radar for Nwankwo.

The high school senior said he seriously began thinking about NU this year. He said the academic reputation and Princeton offense, attracted him to the program.

“The offense is very versatile,” Nwankwo said. “Everybody is out and anybody can be inside and get backdoor cuts.

“It would develop my skills.”

Nwankwo said he averaged about 13 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks this season.

Nwankwo visited Evanston on March 30 during his Spring Break. It was an unofficial visit, as he already had used up his five official recruiting trips.

“It was great,” Nwankwo said of his trip to NU. “It’s right next to the beach. The guys there are great, Michael (Thompson), Ivan (Tolic) and the coaches.”

Nwankwo said the factors in his decision are, “just being comfortable at the school, the coaches, players, the atmosphere, academics, basketball and being able to develop to my fullest.

“I would be comfortable at any of those three schools.”

Stanford had been toward the top of his list, Nwankwo said, but he was denied admission in late January or early February.

Bryant said Nwankwo wanted to sign a letter of intent during the early signing period, but he couldn’t reach an agreement with his parents on a school that would meet their athletic and academic standards.

Bryant, a former point guard who played at Georgetown on the same team as Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo, said Nwankwo has as much raw talent as anyone.

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Stud center may still be NU-bound