Trio of JC Prospects Visit Tempe

In the early basketball signing period, the Sun Devils signed three high school players to letters of intent. In the late signing period it appears that ASU will ink a player or two from the junior college ranks. DevilsDigest talked to two of the prospects who visited Tempe this past weekend.

Kevin Henderson is a 6-3 guard from San Bernardino (Calif.) Valley College. His sophomore year was a very successful one as he won Southern California player of the year in the community college ranks. During that season he averaged 18.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg, and 5.1 apg. Henderson shot 50.1% from the field, 80.3% from the line, and 38.3% in three point baskets. His Wolverines won the Foothill conference and finished with a record of 27-5 (13-1). Their last loss of the season was at the California State Finals.

"The visit was really nice." He said. "I've seen what I needed to see and I liked it." San Diego State is the other school that offered him a scholarship, and he did visit them last week. "I haven't made up my mind yet if I'm gonna take other visits," he commented. "I'm gonna sit down with my coach and see what he has to say about it. I'm gonna make my decision after I take all my visits." Henderson added that he's on track to receive his AA degree in May.

The humble guard, who hails from Minneapolis, never thought he was going to win the player of the year award. "I really didn't think about winning that award or what my chances were," he said. "I just went out there every night and played hard. The end of the season they announced it and that was that. It felt real good to get that award."

He declined to talk about his skills because he views it as bragging. "I let my play on the court speak for itself." His coach, Phil Mathews, was more than happy to discuss this topic. "He's a very skilled player," he said. "He can shoot the threes, dish out assists, and he's second on our team in rebounds. He equally a good passer and scorer, and a good defensive player too. He's just a real impact player." Mathews added UTEP and Texas A&M are also showing interest in his guard.

Another guard who tripped to ASU this past weekend was Chris Walker from San Joaquin Delta Community College. The 6-3 185 guard was given the same honor as Henderson in the Northern California region, and ironically the two met during the state championship. That loss was only the second for the Mustangs who finished the 2004-05 season 30-2. Walker averaged 11 ppg, 8 apg, 5 rpg, and 2 spg. He has been reported to already have visited UTEP, and is scheduled to visit Teas A&M. Indiana and Washington are two other programs that have been said to show interest in Walker.

The Sun Devils are also in need for a big man, and thus they entertained Bruno Claudino a Brazilian native who attends the College of Southern Idaho. Claudino stands at 6-9 215, and much like the other two ASU visitors was part of conference championship team. However, his playing time was severely impacted by an injury, which sidelined him two and half months. "It was tough for him to come back from that injury," said head coach Barret Peery. "But he's a tough player who can run the floor, post up, shoot the three pointer, and be aggressive." In the 14 games he played the forward averaged 5.1 ppg and 3.5 rpg.

"It was a nice visit," said Claudino on his ASU trip. I like the warm weather, the guys are cool, the coach is nice. Everything is nice. The Pac-10 is a good conference. I just want to go to a team that I can play a lot of minutes."

"I like to post up, go inside, and grab some rebounds," he said of his skills. "The only thing I have to work on is to go inside every time (smile)." Claudino already visited Kansas State and this week will visit Oregon State. "I maybe will visit Oregon," he added.

While he admitted that he's still trying to master the English language ("I watch a lot of movies and cartoons.") he's on pace to graduate in May with his AA degree.

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