Thursday, July 08, 1999

XU wants wing, post man

50 players make up hot list for Musketeers

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Their list contains roughly 50 names. Xavier coaches are convinced half the players they have identified can help for sure; they'd like a closer look at the other 25 potential recruits.

        “That list will be pared down real quickly,” XU coach Skip Prosser said.

        Today is the first day this summer that college coaches are allowed to see high school players. They can't speak to recruits in person, only by phone and only once a week.

        Prosser and assistants Mark Schmidt and Jeff Batle will on the recruiting trail at the NIKE All-American Camp in Indianapolis, the ABCD Camp in Teaneck, N.J., and stops in Georgia, Las Vegas, Orlando and Pittsburgh.

        XU is looking to fill two scholarships with a scorer and a big man.

        Darnell Williams and Obi Harris will be the only seniors on XU's roster. Williams was XU's leading scorer in 1997-98 before sitting out last season with a knee injury.

        “We're looking for a scorer who is athletic enough to play our style ... like a Darnell Williams,” Prosser said. “The tough blend is the athleticism and the ability to shoot the ball.”

        Among the wing players Xavier will look at, according to recruiting experts: Jason Edwin, 6-foot-5, Warsaw, Ill.; Desmon Farmer, 6-5, Flint, Mich.; Romain Guessagba-Sato, 6-4, Dayton; David Hawkins, 6-4, Washington, D.C.; Julius Johnson, 6-5, Garfield Heights, Ohio; A.J. Moye, 6-5, Westlake, Ga.; Ricky Paulding, 6-5, Detroit; Brian Polk, 6-4, Georgetown, Del.; Courtney Scott, 6-6, Lansing, Mich., and Omari Westley, 6-6, Cleveland.

        Farmer, Johnson, Paulding, Moye and Scott are the most highly rated by Insiders Report national recruiting service.

        The quest for a big man is neverending. Once Harris is gone, the remaining post men, Marcus Mason and Reggie Butler, will have only one season left.

        “We have to recruit the guys who can beat Temple and Cincinnati,” Prosser said. “We want to be able to compete against those teams. If it's not a top-five guy, that's OK. But we have to find somebody that can compete with those guys.”

        Experts say XU has interest in Robert Brooks, 6-8, Saginaw, Mich.; Kyle Davis, 6-9, Blakely, Ga.; De'on Dixon, 6-8, Fayetteville, N.C.; Marcus Douthit, 6-9, Syracuse, N.Y.; John Gilbert, 6-7, Minneapolis; Arthur Johnson, 6-8, Detroit; J.C. Mathis, 6-9, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Scott Merritt, 6-9, Wauwatosa, Wis.; Cleveland native Tory Reed, 6-8, Milford, Conn.; LaDetres Stallworth, 6-7, Hughes High School, and Andre Sweet, 6-7, New York.

        Gilbert, Johnson and Mathis are the most highly rated of that group.

        With just two scholarships, there is less margin for error.


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