BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Xavier basketball coach Skip Prosser and assistants Jeff Battle and Mark Schmidt have been making home visits to recruits since Sept. 9.
Two high school players begin returning the favor next weekend. Troy Bell, a 6-foot point guard from Minneapolis, Minn., and DeMario Hooper, a 6-4 wing player from Texarkana, Texas, are scheduled to be the first recruits to visit Xavier this fall.
Bell, the only freshman ever to start at Academy of Holy Angels in Richfield, Minn., averaged 29 points a game last year and already is his school's all-time leading scorer (1,642 points).
Gary Rufsvold, his coach, said Bell has made official visits to Tennessee and Boston College and that he will make a decision shortly after visiting Xavier.
"No one, including in the NBA, can take the ball away from him," Rufsvold said. "He handles the ball extremely well.
"He can cut, slash, create and dunk, and on the other hand he's a textbook in fundamentals."
Hooper averaged 18 points for Texas High school last year. His coach, Jim McManus, said Hooper will make official visits to Xavier, Louisville, Texas and Tulsa.
"He can do it all," McManus said. "We have to post him up sometimes, and he can run the point, too. He's pretty good.
"I would think (Xavier) would have a good shot at him. They play the same kind of style we do, and DeMario would fit in well there." Xavier has three scholarships available (Gary Lumpkin, Lenny Brown and James Posey will finish their careers this season), and is looking for a point guard, a shooting guard - swingman and a big guy.
Coaches can not talk about recruits until they sign letters of intent; the fall signing period is in November.
Bell is just one of the point guards Xavier is looking at. Among the others are Marque Perry, from Prosser High School in Chicago, Val Brown from Washington Lee High School in Springfield, Va., and Demon Brown from Maine Central Institute.
The Musketeers have had roughly 15 home visits scheduled. Among the players being recruited are a few ranked in the top 100 last spring by Bob Gibbons' All Star Sports Report.
One of those is guard David Young from New Castle, Pa., whose list includes Xavier, Penn State and Duquesne. He was ranked No. 79 by Gibbons.
Also among the players Xavier is recruiting: Trello Galloway (6-7 F, Fork Union Military Academy); John Oden (6-9 F, Carl Hayden HS in Phoenix, Ariz.); and Ricky Wright (6-7 F, E. Chicago Central in E. Chicago, Ind.).
Gibbons said Perry and Bell are comparable. He gives Perry a slight edge.
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