Sunday, April 18, 2004

Xavier recruit mulling options


Odia may visit Louisville, Oregon State

By Dustin Dow
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Xavier is still at the top of his list, but standout recruit Churchill Odia is rethinking his options for next season.

The Montrose Christian School (Md.) senior orally committed to Xavier in September but said Saturday that he is considering Louisville and Oregon State as well.

Odia has not signed a letter of intent to play at Xavier, so other schools can continue to recruit him.

A native of Nigeria, Odia said he does not plan to sign a letter of intent because of visa problems that kept him off the court for Montrose's entire season.

"I told coach (Thad) Matta I'm not going to sign for any school if I don't get my visa fixed," Odia said. "Right now, I'm going to keep my options open. I've got some visits I can make."

Odia said Xavier is the only school he has visited so far.

He is playing Saturday in the Derby Classic in Louisville and said he could make a visit to the University of Louisville while he's there.

"Xavier is still my first option," Odia said. "Hopefully I'll decide by the middle of May."

The spring signing period lasts from April 14 to May 19. Players are not required to sign letters of intent to play for a particular school, but doing so ends the recruiting process and locks a player into a commitment. Odia already has signed non-binding scholarship papers, accepting a scholarship offer from Xavier, which is a necessary step.

Odia would be the highest-ranked recruit of Xavier's incoming class, according to Hoopscooponline.com, if he keeps his oral commitment. Hoopscoop editor Clark Francis ranks Odia as the 28th-best player in the nation in the 2004 high school senior class.

Odia's signed commitment would be a significant boost to Xavier's already highly-regarded recruiting class, which includes Josh Duncan of Moeller and Stanley Burrell of Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia. The Musketeers also will add Vanderbilt transfer Brian Thornton.

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E-mail ddow@enquirer.com




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