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Willis excited about ASU opportunity following official visit

Arizona State is looking to sign a junior college frontcourt player with size in the 2016 class and hosted a top target last weekend who spoke with us about the visit.

Just two-plus weeks away from the start of the fall signing period, Arizona State coaches are looking to add another piece to their class and hosted Pearl River (Miss.) Junior College standout Darrlyn Willis over the weekend. 

Willis, a 6-foot-9, 220 pound power forward/center, said ASU was his final official visit and he expects to have his decision made in the next two weeks ahead of Nov. 16, when players can first sign a National Letter of Intent. 

With a Top-3 of ASU, Marquette and Wichita State, Willis wanted to see the Sun Devils in person before coming to a decision. He'd previously officially visited both of his other finalists as well as Mississippi State. 

"Arizona State's coaches were recruiting me and just started recruiting hard so I went on and took a visit to see how it was looking and I liked it a lot," Willis said Sunday. "Man, staying at the W Hotel (in Scottsdale) was amazing. I haven't stayed anywhere like that before, nothing like it.

"Pretty much I just got what they need to get everything started because they're in a rebuilding situation. I'm from a junior college so I'm experienced with it. So I got what they need. They just want me to come help them, pretty much."

Willis is intrigued by getting in at the ground floor of the Bobby Hurley era at ASU, with the coach being one of the major selling points of the program.

"(Buffalo point guard transfer) Shannon (Evans) was really fun to hang out with and the facilities was pretty nice," Willis said. "The players were just saying how Bobby Hurley is a good guy. Having a good coach is what makes a good team. That's mainly what they were saying, just that Bobby Hurley is a good guy, truthful to his word."

Last season Willis averaged 13.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game and was a first-team All-MACJC selection and an All-Region 23 selection for a team that went 25-5 and won a state championship. He made 62.6 percent of his shots from the field and 75.5 percent of his free throws.

"I'm actually super glad I came JUCO first," Willis said. "I came in, won a ring first year, won state. It was a really good experience to go through. I met some good coaches like my coach here, so I'm really glad I came here.

"We were all freshmen last year so I think we're going to have a pretty good team this season."

ASU coaches told him they like his motor and the intensity with which he plays, Willis said. 

"My style is kind of like Chris Bosh, I play something like him. A left handed LaMarcus Aldridge maybe. I don't know. I just play like me man, I get out there and just play. I really can't base my skills off nobody. I do watch a lot of guys but I just do it my way."

Not wanting to tip his hand too much, Willis did admit he's getting closer to knowing where he'll play at the next level, having narrowed things down considerably from an early juncture of the process when he reported a scholarship offer from ASU, Alabama, Iowa State, LSU, Marquette, Memphis, Oklahoma State and others. 

"I'm getting closer," Willis said. "I don't really want to say exactly just yet but I'm going to think about it a little more and then I'll know."

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