By Adam Zagoria
ZagsBlog/The Herald News (West Paterson, NJ)
March 31, 2008
Here is the latest on Mitchell Watt, a 6-foot-9, 205-pound senior forward from Arizona Desert Edge High.
After de-committing from Cornell, Watt is looking at Buffalo, Pepperdine, Rutgers and Davidson, all strong academic schools that he feels will also offer a competitive level of basketball. Watt hopes to sign during the late period, which runs April 16-May 21.
"I've kind of closed my recruiting down because I don't want too many people to be involved," Watt said Monday by phone.
Watt visited Buffalo this past weekend and said he enjoyed it.
"I really liked the school and the coaching staff and the players a lot," he said. "It was a nice area, Buffalo's a nice town."
Watt will also visit Pepperdine the weekend of April 19 and Rutgers the weekend of April 26. He said he he is still "considering" Davidson, but doesn't plan on visiting that school at this point.
"My last trip is with Rutgers," said Watt, who is being recruited by assistant coach Craig Carter. "I'd like to make a decision somewhat early in the signing period."
Asked what he knew about Rutgers, Watt said: "The (Big East) Conference is very attractive. Rutgers as an institution is highly regarded in the academic sense. I'm looking for a prestigious school academically and someone who will challenge me on the court."
Watt said he de-committed from Cornell because the other schools were offering him a full ride.
"I'm getting full ride offers from high institutions," he said. "I'd rather go that rout. I'm also looking for some challenging basketball that will challenge me and possibly take me to the next level."
Watts, also the Student Body President, averaged 13 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks , 4 assists and 2 steals per game while leading his team to a 28-2 record and the state title. He had nine blocks in the state final, his coach, Joe Babinski, said.
Asked to describe Watt's game, Babinski said: "He's very, very athletic. He's 6-9, slender. He plays above the rim. He has slim hips so he might have trouble in the low blocks.
"He can shoot the 3 and the 15-footer. He's good at taking it to the hole. He can cover inside and out. He's a real athletic young man. He's a very intelligent young man."
Rutgers has a three-man class coming in for next year, highlighted by McDonald's All-American Mike Rosario of St. Anthony; 6-6 wing Pat Jackson of Brooklyn Boys & Girls; and 6-8 big Christian Morris of South Kent (Conn.).
If Watt commits, he would be the fourth member of that class.