Padgett gets last minute pitch from Pastner

David Padgett is one of the nation's most soughtafter big men and a Who's Who of elite level college basketball programs are soliciting his services. Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina and Stanford are in the hunt.<BR> Arizona assistant coach Josh Pastner went to see Padgett last week. Padgett talked about the visit and the process of making of his decision.

Josh Pastner flew to Reno, Nev. on Friday to make sure there were no loss ends hanging on the recruitment of prized big man David Padgett.

"Coach Pastner was in on Friday and we talked for about an hour," Padgett said in our Sunday afternoon conversation. "All the coaches are making their last pitch. They've all been here over the last two or three weeks."

Padgett, a 6-11 center from Reno (HS), has taken all of his official visits. Stanford is the only school yet to come for an in-home visit before it's time to make a decision where he wants to play his college basketball.

"I've pretty much got all the information," Padgett said. "Now I have to sit down with my parents and make a decision. I haven't set a time deadline, but I'd like to make the decision in the next couple of weeks."

Padgett said all four schools are still in the hunt. When he sits down with his parents they'll talk about the positives and the negatives of each school.

"All the schools have positives and some negatives," he said. "North Carolina is North Carolina. They have the best tradition in college basketball. But (head coach Matt) Doherty is the least experienced. That's not a huge factor, but it is a factor."

Many observers think Padgett will ultimately choose Kansas or Stanford, two schools who have had great success developing big men.

"KU has had great success with its big guys," Padgett said. "And Coach Williams is probably the closest to his players. Stanford has also had success with their big guys."

More often than not, Lute Olson's age will be mentioned as a negative and Padgett  readily admits it is a concern for him as well.

"Of course I have to take (Coach Olson's) age into account,"  he said. "No one knows how long he'll coach, but he says he'll coach as long as he's healthy. But anything can happen, and anything can happen with any of the coaches recruiting me so I don't think it's that big of a factor."

Padgett is also aware of Arizona's success and knows if he chooses the Wildcats he will almost certainly be playing in the NCAA Tournament every year.

"Coach Olson takes Arizona to the NCAA Tournament every year," Padgett said. "They've had more success than anyone (18 consecutive appearances)."

Padgett has one thing going for him that most players don't; his grandfather was a college coach (Cal) and his dad has coached at the high school and the college (assistant coach at Santa Barbara) level. When the decsion is made, it will be made with the help of the whole family.

"My dad and my grandfather have been a lot of help," Padgett said. "My dad went through this as a player and my grandfather went through it as a parent. And they're both coaches, so they've been on both sides of the (recruiting process)."

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