McCurdy commits to Arkansas

New Jersey point guard Sean McCurdy (6-1, 180) becomes the Razorbacks' first hoops commitment in the 2005 class when he verbally pledges Friday morning to sign with Arkansas.

It appears just what the doctor ordered for the University of Arkansas basketball program.

The Razorbacks were in the market for a top-notch shooting point guard with some toughness for their 2005 recruiting class and got just that on Friday morning when Sean McCurdy committed to the UA.

McCurdy, a 6-1, 180-pound prospect from traditional national power St. Anthony's program in Jersey City, N.J., gave his verbal pledge to the Razorbacks after a mid-week visit to Fayetteville and then sleeping on it Thursday night.

"It's a done deal so go ahead and feel free to let everyone down there know," said Bob McCurdy, Sean's father and a former All-American who led the nation in scoring for Richmond at 33 points per game back in 1975. "Sean's ecstatic. He's so invigorated about Arkansas. In fact, he wanted to get up and call them at 5:30 this morning, but I made him wait until 11:30."

Sean McCurdy talked about the reasons for his commitment when school let out later in the day.

"It was a great visit (to Arkansas), just absolutely awesome," Sean said. "I went down there not knowing what to expect and came out knowing that's where I wanted to go to school.

"It is the place I wante to play my college basketball at and for. I love the college, the players, the coaches and the fans."

McCurdy averaged 15 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists while leading St. Anthony's to a 30-0 campaign last season and a No. 2 ranking nationally in the USA Today poll while playing for legendary coach Bob Hurley.

"I don't think there is a more firey, physical, strong point guard in this class than Sean and he gets the fact that great point guards are made from the neck up," Hurley said. "His strength and fitness level are second to none. He can really shoot the ball, handle it, dives for loose balls constantly and is one of these guys who can take it to the hoop, take contact and not left it affect him.

"He is also of the mindset that the other players get publicity during the year, but the point guard gets recognition at the end of the year if his team is successful," Hurley continued. "That's all that matters to Sean is winning."

McCurdy is proud of his tough nature on the court.

"I think my toughness is one of the biggest parts of my game," he said. "I don't fear anyone and will never back down. That's one thing fans will never have to worry about. I will always play the game the right way."

McCurdy, sporting a 4.02 grade point average, is also the consummate student-athlete according to Hurley.

"He is the number one student in his class," Hurley said. "That tells you a lot about him off the court. He has the same drive to succeed in the classroom and he does. He is just intensely competitive in every thing he does."

McCurdy canceled a visit to UMass he had scheduled for this weekend and will thus end a recruiting process that also included Memphis, Rhode Island, Clemson, Indiana and St. Joe's.

Bob McCurdy credits UA head coach Stan Heath and Razorback assistant Ronny Thompson with making this happen.

"Arkansas was not even on the radar, but they got on him at the ABCD camp and then followed him in Vegas," McCurdy said. "Then Coach Heath and Coach Thompson came up to New Jersey and we loved them. Now he's gone to Arkansas to see what it's like and it's where he wants to be. He is just thrilled and we are thrilled for him."

McCurdy left Arkansas feeling extremely comfortable with both the players and the coaching staff and sees exciting days.

"I definitely see a lot of great young talent and feel like we are going to be successful in the future," McCurdy said. "Coach Heath and I really bonded during my visit and I think I did so with the players, too. I can't wait to be a part of what they are building at Arkansas."

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