Wednesday, March 03, 1999

Xavier gets commitment from 6-8 forward




BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        David West, the 6-foot-8 power forward who visited Xavier the weekend of Feb. 13-14, on Tuesday orally committed to play basketball for the Musketeers next season, his coach said.

        West, a Teaneck, N.J., native who attended high school in Raleigh, N.C., is averaging 18.5 points and 7.9 rebounds this season for Hargrave Military Academy (25-3) in Chatham, Va. He turned 18 last month.

        “What we do with the kids is we put pluses and minuses on the board, and Xavier had about all pluses,” Hargrave coach Scott Shepherd said. “Coaching staff, the players, big-time basketball at a small school. It had everything he wanted. It was a no-brainer.”

        West attended Xavier's 62-60 victory over Temple at a sold-out Cincinnati Gardens on Feb. 14.

        Shepherd said Villanova, Florida State and Virginia — with former XU coach Pete Gillen — had offered West scholarships and that West canceled upcoming visits to Villanova and FSU.

        “Right now he's one of the top five (unsigned) power forward prospects still in the country, regardless of age,” said Bob Gibbons of All Star Sports Report recruiting service. “He would be the equivalent of a top-100 player.

        “He's strong, he's competitive. Coming out of high school, he was somewhat overlooked. He's got excellent scoring skills, he's very athletic and he can block shots.”

        Xavier has one scholarship remaining. The Musketeers signed two players in the fall: Point guard Lionel Chalmers (Albany, N.Y.) and shooting guard David Young (New Castle, Pa.).

        “David Young could've been a McDonald's All-American,” Gibbons said. “He's one of the best shooting guards in the country. He's very talented.”

        The spring signing period begins in April. Xavier coaches can't comment until players sign.

       



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