Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Xavier recruit stays on board


But Odia may not sign letter

By Dustin Dow
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Churchill Odia, Xavier's highly regarded freshman basketball recruit for next season, remains orally committed to the university today, the first day of the spring signing period, his high school coach said.

It is unclear, however, if Odia will sign a national letter of intent to attend Xavier, thereby locking him into his commitment.

Rumors and published reports linking Odia's recruitment by other schools, including Louisville, have heated up in the past week, and Xavier would like to have Odia signed during this period, which starts today and runs through May 19.

Odia is not required to sign a letter of intent, but it would end his recruiting process with the Musketeers, with whom he orally committed to in September.

In November, Odia, a 6-foot-6 point guard originally from Nigeria, also signed a non-binding agreement, accepting a scholarship from Xavier.

"There's a lot of rumors flying around," Montrose Christian (Md.) School coach Stu Vetter said. "A lot of schools are interested in Churchill. He signed a scholarship paper with Xavier, and that's the intention he still has."

Vetter acknowledged that other schools can pursue Odia until he signs a letter of intent with Xavier.

Typically, Vetter's players do not sign letters of intent during the early signing period in November. Some, such as Missouri freshman Linas Kleiza, never sign, but still keep their oral commitments.

Vetter said Odia was not available for comment Tuesday. Vetter said he did not know if Odia will sign a letter of intent.

"That's the option he has, of talking to other schools by not signing," Vetter said.

Odia is the highest-rated player of Xavier's incoming recruiting class that includes Moeller's Josh Duncan, Stanley Burrell of Hargrave Military (Va.) Academy and Vanderbilt transfer Brian Thornton.

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E-mail ddow@enquirer.com




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