Sapp Among Those Revving up at Nike

New York Gauchos guard Jessie Sapp is one of the many players Arkansas is recruiting that is on hand this week for the Nike All-America Camp in Indianapolis and heads up Hawgs Illustrated's notes from the first day of media access.

INDIANAPOLIS - New York prep combo guard Jessie Sapp got in an unofficial visit to nearby St. John's at the end of June, but it left him no closer to a decision than before he went.

"It was cool and better than what I thought it would be," Sapp said. "But I am still wide open. It didn't change my opinion on how I want to look around at a lot of schools and see what everybody has to offer."

So it's still a mixture of Arkansas, St. John's, UConn, Georgia Tech, Marshall, South Florida, DePaul, Clemson and Pittsburgh just to name a few off the schools still alive for Sapp.

He plays high school ball for National Christian Academy in Washington, D.C. and his AAU ball with the New York Gauchos.

"There are a lot of schools that I am still looking, looking, looking at," Sapp said. "I talked to my mom and my coach about things. I can't really tell right now when I will be close to making a decision. But in the end I will make the decision and I want it to be the perfect one."

The Razorback coaching staff has told Sapp they love his versatility and he has told them he will take an official visit in September to check things out in Fayetteville.

"They like the way I can run the show, push the ball, and run the floor with or without the ball," Sapp said. "They have told me they are looking at me running the floor for them. I am looking forward to coming down there and seeing what it is all about."

Arkansas assistant Ronny Thompson has been the lead recruiter for Sapp, who averaged 14 points while leading his team to a state title last season and who has averaged over 20 points this summer for the Gauchos.

"Coach Thompson is cool," Sapp said. "He's got me looking forward to getting down there. Maybe Arkansas is the place for me. I am definitely going to keep that in mind."

Sap and Gauchos backcourt mate Lavance Fields are both on hand for this week's Nike All-America Camp, being held on the campus of IUPUI.

"I think personally we are best AAU backcourt in the country," Sapp said, "We bring it to work every day on both offense and defense and not everybody does that during the spring and summer. We just roll like that and try to bring the toughness to the court and not back down from anyone. We try to make everybody deal with us instead of the other way."

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Miami Tropics point guard Josue Soto (6-0, 153), a junior-to-be who is summer teammates with 2005 Arkansas prospect Denis Clemente, said that he will verbally commit to the University of Miami at the end of the summer.

Soto, a Puerto Rico who will play at Jacksonville Arlington County Day next season, said it's a comfort thing and Tropics head coach Art Alverez is on board with his decision.

"I want to stay in Miami because there is a lot of Puerto Rican flavor there and I just feel comfortable in Miami," Soto said. "Also Miami is a great school and going to the Atlantic Coast Conference, which is very good. My coach has given me the green light to go ahead and commit at the end of the summer."

Tropics guard David Huertas - also here at Nike - has already committed to Florida leaving just Clemente (6-0, 165), who favors Arkansas and is scheduled to come to the media room tonight, left to make a pledge.

"I don't know what he is going to do, but I know he loves Arkansas and its coaches," Soto said. "He is considering lots of offers, but he loves Arkansas."

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• Florida Air Academy point guard Walter Hodge says that his top three schools right now are Florida, Arkansas and Hofstra with interest also coming from Cincinnati, Kansas, Indiana and Miami.

"I like Arkansas and (Razorback assistant) Coach (Ronny) Thompson and it is a school I want to come see what it is like," Hodge said. "My coach and my decision will help me make my decision."

Hodge is teammates on the Team Florida AAU squad with Keith Brumbaugh, who is also here at Nike and one of the nation's top prospects.

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• Jeremy Wise, a 6-1, 151-pound junior combo guard from Jackson (Miss.) Murrah that Arkansas has shown interest in, said Wednesday afternoon that he is considering going to Mount Zion Christian Academy for his upcoming junior season.

"We played down there in a tournament and I liked it and I'm going to check it out," Wise said. "It would be better competition for me. I don't know yet, but I am probably going to make a decision by the end of July."

Wise, who is AAU teammates with Cyrus McGowan, is getting looks from teams such as Ole Miss, Arkansas, Alabama and Auburn.

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Memphis White Station point guard J.P. Prince, second cousin of former Kentucky and current Detroit Piston Tayshaun Prince, makes no secret of the fact that he wants to go to Kentucky.

But he has no offer there yet and is also looking at North Carolina State, Florida and Memphis to name a few. He is not involved with Arkansas at this point.

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• Jonesboro's Ryan Williams is with the California team while Michael Washington will spend the week with Purdue.

It might have been more appropriate for Williams to be on the Purdue roster. There were several Purdue writers waiting on him at the media room tonight, but he didn't show.

The Purdue writers say that after missing on a few guys, Williams is now near or at the top of the Boilermakers' wish list when it comes to guards.

Washington will actually be playing alongside and swapping out with 6-8 junior Kevin Durant, a high school teammate of Sapp's.

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• Clemente, Huertas and Tropics teammate Jason Bennett (7-1, 230) are all together on a Michigan team along with another UA prospect that I'll write about later.

Chris Douglas Roberts is teamed in a backcourt with future Miami Hurricane and current Miami Tropics guard Josue Soto on the camp's Arizona team.

• Hodge will no doubt drop plenty of passes to Eric Boateng, a 6-9, 230-pounder who is one of the best as they play together for Iowa's camp team.

• Sapp and Calvin Miles are both on North Carolina.

Magnum Rolle, who word has it will pick up playing with the Arkansas Wings AAU squad, has one of the nation's top player in guard Louis Williams on his Georgia Tech squad.

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