Dove Digs His Visit To ASU

This past weekend coveted forward Marcus Dove visited the Arizona State campus, along with Sun Devils' first verbal of the 2003 recruiting class – guard Tron Smith. DevilsDigest talked to the duo about their visit.

Dove, a 6-7 190 forward from Millikan High School in Long Beach, CA has stated that the campus surroundings will play a huge factor in his decision. It seems that Sun Devil country has made a positive impression during his visit. "The visit is going real good. I really like the campus life here. I met a lot of people and they're all nice. Overall it's been a real good visit. I'm real pleased with the surroundings." Other factors that he listed as being influential on which school to choose are: "Coaching staff in one thing… Academics are a major part because that's what I'm here for…Players on the team, and so far they're all cool." Due to a back injury Dove wasn't able to scrimmage with the Sun Devil players. As a spectator he was quite impressed with the level of talent on Rob Evans' team. " I think the team has a lot of good players, just like that play right there (Dove paused to smile as he watched a monster dunk by Jason Braxton). They'll do real well in the Pac-10."

The scouting reports on the forward indicate that Dove is a very versatile player. When we asked him to assess his game, he seemed to agree with that evaluation. "My strong points are that I can take the ball out, dribble around people and shoot from the outside if they lay off of me. I need to improve my 3-point shot a little more. My ball handling is up to par, but it can always get better." The recruiting process has been a mixed bag of goods for Marcus Dove. "Sometimes the recruiting process gets on my nerves, but I'm learning to cope with it. It's been a little hard so far, but I like it."

He indicated that he's in no hurry to make a decision. He has two visits scheduled this month to Oklahoma State and Kansas. Nevertheless, he indicated that the Sun Devils will be a pretty tough act to follow. "I'll wait until I'll take all my official visits, but I can tell you that Arizona State has made a big impression on me."

Back in July, Tron Smith was the first verbal commitment in ASU's 2003 recruiting class. The 6-2 175 guard from Canyon Springs high school in Moreno Valley, CA was happy to get re-aquatinted (Smith visited unofficially in the summer) with his future teammates. "It's real fun visiting here and playing pick up. I love hanging around the guys." Smith's former high school teammate and current ASU player Jason Braxton, wasn't the only reason why Smith will be donning the maroon and gold in 2003. "Having Jason playing here was a real good factor. I lived with him during high school, and we're best friends. But Coach Evans is a real good factor too (smile)." Connecticut and Boston College were also schools the guard was considering.

Smith has been touted as a player that can play both guard positions. When asked about his skills, he offered this assessment: "My shooting is real strong. I'm a scorer, but I need to work on my ball handling and decision-making. I also need to work on my defense and rebounding. Overall, I have a lot I need to work on." Visiting following his verbal commitment allows him to try and convince a visiting prospect like Marcus Dove that ASU is the place to be. "I've been talking to Marcus about the school. Since I've been here, and I'm familiar with it, I can tell him all the good things about ASU. I know he's a good player, and I hope I can play with him at ASU"

Usually high school seniors try and savor every moment of their last year in high school. Smith doesn't feel that nostalgic. Watching him play indicates that he could play in the Pac-10 right now, and if he had his wish he'd be starting his college career this season. "I don't really like high school right now (smile). I'm ready to go to college. I don't want to even go back home right now, but I gotta do it. (smile)."

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