York's AAU coach talks recruitment

Compton Magic head coach Etop Udo-Ema is playing a large role in Gabe York's recruitment and WildcatAuthority.com talks to him about York's favorite schools, what he will be looking for, and what he is like as a player.

There are so many schools recruiting Gabe York for his services on the hardwood that he's had to start turning some away. However, one school he'll listen to despite a late start is Arizona, whose offer to York is less than a week old.

To his AAU coach Etop Udo-Ema, head man of the Compton Magic, Arizona will have an opportunity due in large part to its head coach Sean Miller, a man whom he has the upmost respect for.

"I know Sean very well," Udo-Ema said. "I met Sean about 10 or 15 years ago. I knew him at Xavier, he had one of my kids at Xavier, and so I've known him for a long time. He's one of the best because he has a good mix of experience and youth, which is hard to come by.

"He has a lot of experience for how young he is and he's not too far removed from the kids, and that's what makes him a little different. He's younger than most coaches and he can relate.

"At the coaching level, that makes him scary for some of the old guys. He's been in the game a long time; his dad's a coach, and he's still young. The old guys, even the Pac-10 guys, they're in trouble. He's going to be a beast."

Schools such as Notre Dame, Marquette, Washington, and Kansas all have a head start on Miller and UA, but Udo-Ema isn't sure if that means the Wildcats are out of it completely.

"You just never know what is going to happen," Udo-Ema said. "You never know how relationships are going to go. I'm just never going to say never."

After not being ranked by most major recruiting services as a sophomore, York's stock has continued to rise all the way to the 60th spot in the Scout.com Top 100 for 2012 and a four-star ranking. According to Udo-Ema, the big burst onto the scene is due in large part to York's lack of notoriety a year ago.

"This year Gabe has come back with a vengeance, a chip on his shoulder and that's why he's playing so well right now," Udo-Ema said. "This guy has put in more work than anyone on the circuit, he plays every weekend. I don't know of anyone in the country that is outworking this guy.

"A lot of the big time guys don't play that much. This guy goes out against bums and top-notch guys and gets it done. With Gabe, it's not hype anymore; nobody can touch the kid. He really had to work his way out of nothing."

His ability to be successful is due in large part to what Udo-Ema describes as a complete offensive skill set that allows him to do just about anything with the ball.

"He gets to the rim whenever he wants, and when he really gets there he will put you in the rim," Udo-Ema said. "If you're in the way, you're getting dunked on. His explosiveness is unbelievable. He's working on his transition into the point guard position, although he's passed the ball well.

"I don't think there's a better scorer in the class than him; maybe Shabazz (Muhammad), because he has more size. The kid can shoot it, and he can shoot it from anywhere and he'll jump over you. He knows how to get in the paint, he has great body control and he can really jump in the air and do a lot with the ball."

If you ask Udo-Ema how effectively York can shoulder the load offensively, he doesn't need many words to describe that ability.

"He's that dude," Udo-Ema said. "I really think he's that dude that can carry you."

With that ability to score, York is certain to help whichever schools he chooses sooner than later. However, according to Udo-Ema, the 6-foot-2, 170-pound combo guard wants to make an impact on a program right away; which is among other key criteria he'll be evaluating schools by.

"He wants to be able to play immediately, that's very important," Udo-Ema said. "We're looking at the relationship with the coach; he doesn't want to go to a coach he won't be able to relate to. The head coach will be important and obviously an opportunity for playing time will be very important."

While the decision on which school he chooses will ultimately be York's, he won't be without his family and AAU coach for much of the process.

"I think it'll be a group decision with everybody," Udo-Ema said. "Once he gets to five schools we're all okay with, he'll make the decision based on what his heart says."

So as the summer approaches, Udo-Ema believes a decision is not far off for which school ultimately ends up with the Orange (Calif.) Lutheran High School prospect, and also issued a friendly reminder about the work UA will have to do to land him.

"He'll sign in the early signing period, I think his decision will be before November," Udo-Ema said. "Arizona has to get on it hard, they have ground to make up."


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