James back on the market, has a top three

Early on the recruiting process the Wildcats were in on Texas forward Damion James but he committed to Oklahoma before the summer recruiting season even got started. Today the five-star recruit is back on the market. Are the Cats a player this time around?

We've speculated a couple weeks ago that the Wildcats would be interested in James and vice versa if he got his release from Oklahoma and that has happened. Once he hit the open market, the two parties made contact.

"Yeah, he's interested (in Arizona)," said Nacogdoches coach Mark Richardson.

The 6-8, 225-pound forward verballed to Oklahoma back in April of 2005 but asked out of his letter of intent when Sooner coach Kelvin Sampson left to take the head coaching job at Indiana. The release was granted and James is back on the open market.

"A lot of his decision had to do with the coaching change," Richardson said. "He really wanted to play for Coach Sampson."

Right now James is looking at three schools, Texas, Texas A&M and Arizona. He'll visit all three and then make a decision.

"He'll try to make his mind up before the first summer school session," Richardson explained. "He wants to enroll in summer school wherever he decides. He's going to take his visits and make up his mind."

James is a versatile forward, more suited for the three but big enough for spot minutes at the four. He's well put together 225 pounds and uses his athleticism to score and get out on the run. He needs to improve his shooting and rebounding, but is clearly an elite player.

He has ties to all three schools left on his list and knows players at all three programs. He played some last year with the Houston Hoops and incoming Wildcat freshman Nic Wise.

If he did choose Arizona he'd bolster a deep group of wings and give them some versatility in the front line.

"He's a real good kid, real personable," Richardson noted. "He's just a good, complete basketball player."

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