Word from Wise, he makes his decision

After much speculation and waiting it is finally official, at least as official as a verbal commitment from a high school freshman can be. Nic Wise called the Arizona coaches Monday night and told them he was going to be a Wildcat. His father Greg Wise told Cat Tracks all about the decision and his son's progress.

"We just made a decision," said Greg Wise. "He decided on Arizona."

Although he was close to pulling the trigger a few weeks ago, it was a closer race than many thought. Texas convinced him to visit and after meeting the coaches and spending time with T.J. Ford the decision was not as easy as many thought.

"He really liked both schools," said Greg Wise. "He liked the coaches both places, but when it got down to it he felt more comfortable with Arizona."

Many are shocked that the Wildcats would offer a scholarship to a player so young. Part of their decision is due to the changing landscape of college recruiting and some of it is due to Wise's abilities. He is already a great ball handler and has fantastic court awareness. He not only sees the floor better than most players his age, but better than most players in general.

"He does a lot of things well," said the elder Wise. "His awareness and knowledge of the game is so much better than players his age. Really good point guards see things ahead of time, before they develop. He is ahead of most opponents by knowing what is going to happen. His knowledge of the game of basketball is tremendous."

Wise is not only a great pass-first point guard, but he's very good on offense as well. He didn't score a ton last season in high school, averaging slightly more than 9 ppg, but he's been lighting it up in summer tournaments.

"His long range shot is really good," said Greg Wise. "He's also very quick and can handle the ball. You can't play off of him because he can shoot, but you can't play up on him because he'll blow right by you. Offensively he's way ahead of the game for his age"

Just because Wise is so good does not mean that he doesn't have things to improve. Obviously there are aspects to his game that he would like to fine tune in the three years before he enrolls at Arizona.

"He's a really good on-ball defender, he has quick hands and is really good at getting steals. His defense off the ball can get better. He needs to get better at following players around the court and getting through picks. A lot of that is from being a point guard and always the guy with the ball."

There is an aspect of his offensive game that needs a lot of work, of course you can say that about most players leaving high school.

"He needs to get better at his midrange game," Greg Wise said. "He is so used to getting by his man and getting to the basket that he hasn't worked on his midrange game. Against bigger players he won't always be able to get to the hoop. He needs to work on getting into the lane and pulling up for a midrange jump shot."

One concern is the fact that Wise is just 5-9 at this point. There is little to worry about. Wise is just 15 years old and his father is well over six-feet tall.

Fellow Houston prepster Jawann McClellan has already committed to Arizona, but despite the fact that they are both friends it wasn't as big a factor as many would think.

"That really helps a lot that there will be another player from Houston. But Daniel (Gibson) will be at Texas, so that is kind of a wash."

The whole family knows what a special honor it is to be the youngest player to commit to the Wildcats. Wise is younger than McClellan, who committed before his junior year and was then the youngest player to verbal to Arizona.

"It says a lot for a big time program to have confidence in Nic," his father said. "I think they know that he will work harder than almost any other player. They don't have to worry about his work ethic. Even though he's committed he will keep on working to be as good a player as he can be. He knows you can't be good without putting in the work."

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